"Personalized Medicine: Are We Ready?"

    The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research presents landmark panel

    TORONTO, Oct. 9 /CNW/ - On Thursday, October 16th, an international panel
of research, industry and health care leaders from around the world will
gather in Toronto to debate whether society is ready for the next generation
of medicine based on personal genetic makeup. This event provides a unique
opportunity to discuss the many health, ethical, legal, and social issues of
personalized medicine with those who are making it a reality.
    This landmark panel is part of the world's foremost international
research conference on Human Genetic Variation, which is taking place in
Toronto this year. The panel is open to the public and the media.
    Equipped with faster, cheaper technologies for DNA analysis, researchers
are now able to decode the genomes of individuals. This breakthrough means
individual genetic fingerprints can be used to assess risk of disease, as well
as to customize medical diagnoses, treatments and preventions.
    "Personalized medicine - health care tailored to our individual genetic
makeup - is becoming reality but we're now just learning if and when the data
will be useful," says Stephen Scherer, Chair of the event's organizing
committee. Dr. Scherer is a member of CIFAR's Genetic Networks program and is
the Associate Chief of Research at the Hospital for Sick Children, as well as
a Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto.
    How do we make sense of what is foretold by our genes and how can the
data best be used? Is it helpful for someone to know what diseases could be
waiting for them in the future, if there is no way to stop them from
developing? What safeguards can ensure that personalized medicine benefits
individuals and society?

    International Panel: Personalized Medicine: Are We Ready?

    Thursday, October 16, 7:00 - 9:00 PM (reception will follow)

    Panel Chair: Stephen Scherer CIFAR/Sick Kids/University of Toronto

    Panelists include:

       -  Linda Avey, Co-Founder, 23andme
       -  David Cox, Senior Vice President and CSO, Biotherapeutics and
          Innovation Center, Pfizer Inc.
       -  Harry Ostrer, Professor of Pediatrics, Pathology and Medicine, New
          York University Langone Medical Center
       -  Michael Nierenberg, Medical Director, Navigenics, Inc.
       -  Peter Ray, Head, Molecular Genetics, The Hospital for Sick
          Children, University of Toronto
       -  Cheryl Shuman, Director, Genetic Counseling, The Hospital for Sick
          Children, University of Toronto
       -  Tim Caulfield, Director, Health Law Institute, University of

    Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles Street West, Toronto (closest subway
    station is Museum, closest intersection is Charles Street and Queen's


For further information:

For further information: For media requests, including interviews with
panelists, contact: Alison Palmer, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research,
(416) 971-4891 Office, (647) 801-0265 Cell, apalmer@cifar.ca

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