Much of medicine today is based on large-scale trials and the average responses of thousands of people.
But we are entering a future in which medicine will be personalized--a future in which your particular variety of disease can be identified at the molecular level, even from information contained in a single cell, and then you can be given the treatment with the best chance for success for you, with the least side effects.
Less trial-and-error, more precision.
AD&T's Precision Medicine Program
The practice of precision medicine is emerging quickly, particularly in oncology, but there is still a long way to go to apply it broadly across healthcare. There are many difficult scientific questions still to be asked and answered, and there are many challenges in turning a discovery in the lab into a tested and widely accepted tool for doctors.
In Notre Dame's Advanced Diagnostics & Therapeutics initiative, new discoveries in precision medicine are made through a rapidly growing program in which analytical scientists and bioengineers collaborate directly with physicians, health systems, and healthcare companies to find solutions to widespread high-mortality and high-cost diseases and conditions.
Through our partners, both internal and external, we are focusing our research on a growing list of urgent medical problems, including cancer, infectious diseases, severe inflammatory conditions, chronic wound healing, and congenital birth defects.
Within these broad categories, we are working on such efforts as:
- improved diagnostics and treatments for sepsis, the leading cause of death from infection in the world and the costliest condition for U.S. hospitals
- a better diagnostic and prognostic tool that takes into account the genetic differences in colon cancers
- a new field-deployable biochip platform for tracking viruses and biowarfare agents
- cutting-edge treatments for diabetic wound healing
- biotechnologies the reduce resistance to chemotherapeutics for multiple myeloma and breast cancer
Precision Medicine Research Fellowships at the Feinstein Institute
The Precision Medicine Research Fellowships, which are administered by Notre Dame’s Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics initiative, accomplish several goals at once: (1) they give Notre Dame students a chance to experience hands-on laboratory training at one of the most advanced hospital and clinical research facilities in the U.S.; (2) they provide a generous stipend, travel reimbursement, and free housing, which make them accessible to many students; and (3) they shape careers and change lives.
The competitive fellowships are awarded annually to two undergraduate and two graduate students who are interested in biomedical research, enabling them to spend two months in the summer working directly in the laboratories of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, in Manhasset, New York. The Feinstein Institute is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest integrated health system in New York State. The institute recruits more than 15,000 patients each year into over 2,100 studies and ranks in the top 5% of all National Institutes of Health grants awarded to research centers.
The Precision Medicine Research Fellows are guided by physician and scientist mentors as they work on real diagnostic and therapeutic research projects in a wide variety of medical areas, from cardiac arrest to Parkinson’s disease to sepsis. The fellows learn new laboratory practices, prepare presentations on their research, and contribute to the advancement of medical understanding. Outside of the lab, the fellows are part of a larger community of student researchers from around the country. They live within walking distance of the institute’s campus on Long Island, which itself is only minutes from Manhasset Bay and a half-hour train ride from Manhattan.
Grace Rupley Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Schmitt Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry