The goal of personalized (or precision) medicine is to customize healthcare by tailoring medical decisions and practices to the individual based on each patient’s unique subset of variables in order to optimize the effectiveness of disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
Treatment of disease is a traditional cornerstone of ancient and modern healthcare, and a major goal of medicine through the centuries has been to identify, evaluate, and apply new therapies. Since the time of Hippocrates, medicine has recognized the phenomenon of individual variability in disease susceptibility, disease progression, and response to treatments. We must be able to identify and address factors that contribute to individual variability to make patient care far more personal by discovering the genetic and environmental factors that impact the health of every individual – genetics, socioeconomic circumstances, environmental exposures, numeracy and literacy, and access to healthcare. Vanderbilt University Medical Center is home to multiple programs, centers, and resources critical to the development of cutting-edge approaches in personalized medicine.