Saturday, 25 October 2014

UK Falls Behind in Genomic Medicine Race.

The great Norman Shumway, the true father of heart transplantation, had many witty sayings. One that particularly appealed to me was 'the future of transplantation is xenotransplantation and always will be' reflecting his belief that the interspecies immune hurdles would never be conquered in a clinically meaningful way. The reason this famous Shumwayism appealed to me was the fact that he often visited me in the lab when I was working in the lab at Stanford Universiity in the early 1990s on a xenotransplantation project!

The future of medicine IS genomic medicine - and will become the present long before xenotransplantation ever will. This paper published recently in the JAMA, describes the findings of 2 recent studies and speculates how genomic or more accurately exomic medicine may be used in every day practice in the near future.

Both of these studies come from the U.S. and this should surprise no-one. This contrasts with the protracted and top heavy way genomic medicine is still being organised within the NHS in England as described in this painfully long document published by NHS England - another example if ever we need one of how the UK is falling behind its competitors in the hi tech world of specialist services.