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Archive - Jun 3, 2009

Personalize Medicine (Bioinformatics) Conference to be Held at San Francisco State

A one-day conference entitled “Personalized Medicine 2.0—Bioinformatics: Mining the Data” will be held at San Francisco State University on Thursday, June 4, from 9 am through 7 pm. The conference will be held in the Seven Hills Center at the University, 1600 Holloway Avenue. Full details and registration can be found at the link below. You may register online, at the door, or by contacting Jen Javernick at jjav@sfsu.edu or at 415-405-2636. The conference is described as an exciting, one-day conference and networking opportunity for scientists, educators, and health & industry professionals. Personalized medicine is the application of genomic data to ensure the delivery of the right treatments and preventive measures to the right patient at the right time, ushering in a new era of affordable healthcare delivered with laser precision. Personalized Medicine 2.0 is the second annual one-day conference focused on the perspectives of non-profit and corporate research, biotechnology, academic, and diagnostic leaders with concentration on how the evolving landscape is revolutionizing medical care. The conference will explore what happens "on the ground" when personalized medicine is put into practice, and what that means for caregivers and patients, as well as for the industries that develop products for personalized medicine. This year, the conference will concentrate on the role of bioinformatics, data mining, and systems biology in advancing personalized medicine. Speakers and panelists are from Genentech, Burrill & Company, Navigenics, UCSF, Pathwork Diagnostics, and more. The conference is an opportunity to network with the scientists, employers, and business leaders driving the future of healthcare. [Conference info and registration]

Diabetes Drug May Enhance Activity of Anti-Cancer Vaccines

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and McGill University have shown that the widely prescribed diabetes drug metformin can boost the body’s immunological memory and thus increase the potency of anti-cancer vaccines. "We serendipitously discovered that the metabolizing, or burning, of fatty acids by T-cells following the peak of infection is critical to establishing immunological memory," noted lead author Dr. Erika Pearce. "We used metformin, which is known to operate on fatty acid metabolism, to enhance this process, and have shown experimentally in mice that metformin increases T-cell memory, as well as the ensuing protective immunity of an experimental anti-cancer vaccine." "Our findings were unanticipated, but are potentially extremely important and could revolutionize current strategies for both therapeutic and protective vaccines," said senior author Dr. Yongwon Choi. Metformin may also boost the immune response to infection-fighting vaccines. The findings were published online on June 3 in Nature. [Press release] [Nature abstract]