Individual differences in genes and proteins can allow a disease to develop, grow, and spread in one person but not another, and also dictate how individuals respond to treatments. This insight has produced a new discipline—precision medicine—in which doctors integrate multiple measurements on each patient, including their genes, proteins and medical images, to help select prevention and treatment strategies that are tailored to each individual.
Oregon Health & Science University and the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory launched the Precision Medicine Innovation Co-Laboratory (PMedIC) in February 2018. PMedIC aims to generate, interpret, and apply multidimensional patient data such as genetic, proteomic, and metabolic profiles, and integrate this information with imaging and clinical results, to transform precision medicine.
PMedIC has three integrated components: data science, imaging, and 'omics, as shown in the figure below. Each component has its own research partners, leadership, and projects, thus bringing to bear the best minds, capabilities, and instrumentation for each area.
PMedIC will also act as a clearinghouse for researchers, matching them to subject matter experts at both OHSU and PNNL. It will also assist in putting together teams for the development of joint proposals, help investigators identify sources of funding for pilot projects, and offer assistance with proposal management.
New insights from PMedIC's approach will inform clinical trials, leading to more customized treatments and better patient outcomes.
Pacific NW Partnership for Data Intensive Biological Science: partnership between OHSU, PNNL, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Stanford.
Data Science Activities:
Pacific Northwest Center for CryoEM: partnerships between OSHU and PNNL.
Integrated Omics Co-laboratory: partnership between OHSU and PNNL.
OHSU is known for its basic, clinical, and applied research in the health sciences, including leading approximately 700 clinical trials and operating the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is OHSU's most significant source of funding, providing close to $230 million in 2017. NIH selected OHSU and PNNL to jointly operate a Metabolomics Core supporting the NIH's Undiagnosed Diseases Network in 2015.
OHSU researchers at the Knight Cancer Institute were the first to demonstrate the success of molecularly targeted chemotherapies in treating cancer. In 2017, the Knight Cancer Institute teamed up with PNNL to collaborate on National Cancer Institute-sponsored clinical trials, focusing on acute myeloid leukemia. Another group in OHSU, the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy, pioneers personalized medicine research to repair genes that cause disease.
OHSU's Proteomics Shared Resources makes state-of-the-art mass spectrometry-based protein analysis capabilities available to the biomedical research community at OHSU. See a description of available analytic instruments. Researchers can access one of the strongest MRI magnets in the world at the Advanced Imaging Research Center.
PNNL's Integrative Omics group combines mass spectrometry-based measurements of proteins, metabolites, and lipids with bioinformatics and computational biology to enable a deeper understanding of living systems. To accomplish this ambitious goal, this group develops new technologies in mass spectrometry, chemical biology, and bioinformatics that researchers apply to diverse biological questions.
Through PMedIC, OHSU scientists will be able to access PNNL's advanced computing capacity such as compressive sensing algorithms that improve the analysis of cryoEM images, increasing the speed of analysis without sacrificing resolution. In addition, OHSU scientists will also be able to use PNNL's expertise in analytical approaches to large datasets and the integration of complex molecular data.
The National Cancer Institute, part of the NIH, selected PNNL in 2011 as one of the five premiere proteomics centers in the nation to study protein changes associated with cancer, as part of the Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium. The goal: Develop biomarkers that can be used to guide personalized therapies for individual patients.
PNNL works with nearly 800 scientists annually at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a DOE Office of Science user facility on the PNNL campus that is available to the global research community. At EMSL, PMedIC researchers can access world-class mass instrumentation in mass spectrometry, microscopy, and computing. See a description of EMSL's advanced instruments and take a virtual tour.
Hundreds of graduate students and postdocs with backgrounds in life sciences and other areas of research and technology come through PNNL's doors every year. Check out opportunities for joint appointments, faculty, graduate students, and post graduates. Qualified postdocs may want to consider applying for the prestigious Linus Pauling Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship.
PNNL employs more than 4,000 scientists, engineers, and other professionals who support national missions in fundamental science, energy, and national security. Learn about jobs at PNNL.
PMedIC Co-Director Dr. Karin Rodland talks about the promise of precision medicine: "I dream of a day when no one has to die because of cancer."
Hear how OHSU's Knight Cancer Institute is personalizing medicine for its patients.
Dr. Karin Rodland talks about identifying the proteins in ovarian tumors—the first step to targeting drugs for specific individuals.
Meet the scientists of OHSU.