US-based Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) has approved a $50m fund, in a bid to expand its Centre for Personalised Medicine.
The institution will also need an additional $50m in philanthropic funding from the community to support the translation of research outcomes in the lab into bedside care for infants, children and adolescents, noted CHLA.
Centre for Personalised Medicine executive director Alexander Judkins said: "In the near future, a newborn’s genome will be sequenced at birth (or even before), permitting clinicians to plan a lifetime of personalised, preventive health care that focuses on preventing, rather than reacting to, illness."
The centre, which is led by Judkins, will be part of the hospital’s department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. It will comprise physicians, scientists, genetic counsellors and staff.
Investment in the centre will be used in three areas to improve children’s health, including cancer, inherited diseases and infectious diseases.
CHLA will take care of clinical and research programmes in each of these areas, and will deploy its existing resources and expertise to use genetic testing to refine and make treatment and care more precise for each.
Initially, the centre will concentrate on paediatric cancer, and will expand efforts to include genetic conditions such as epilepsy, autism, neurocognitive disorders, congenital heart disease and cleft palate, as the programme advances.
CHLA president Richard Cordova said: "With President Obama’s recent announcement of support for the Precision Medicine Initiative, I am pleased to know that our institution has the capacity to lead the development of better treatments and cures for children."
Image: CHLA’s Centre for Personalised Medicine executive director Dr Alex Judkins. Photo: courtesy of Business Wire.