Meet the Precision Medicine Leaders

The new Precision Medicine Initiative at Cedars-Sinai, which seeks to tailor disease treatments and prevention strategies to each unique individual, is coordinated by a six-member core group. Here are brief profiles of the members:

Dermot McGovern, MD, PhD
Director, Translational Medicine, F. Widjaja Inflammatory Bowel and Immunobiology Research Institute
Director, Precision Medicine Initiative at Cedars-Sinai

McGovern's laboratory studies the role of genetic variation in susceptibility to inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) in diverse populations. It utilizes big-data approaches to identify biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets for IBD that feed the Drug Discovery and Development Group, which McGovern co-directs.

Jennifer Van Eyk, PhD
Director, Basic Science Research in the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center
Director, Advanced Clinical Biosystems Institute
Co-director, Precision Medicine Initiative at Cedars-Sinai

Van Eyk launched the Advanced Clinical Biosystems Research Institute, where the motto is "from discovery to patient care." Her laboratory is known for its proteomic technical pipeline. She works extensively with academic, industry and pharmaceutical partners to pursue key clinical areas in a number of diseases.

Beatrice Knudsen, MD, PhD
Director, Biobank and Translational Research Core
Director, Translational Research, Department of Pathology

Knudsen is a pathologist-scientist who is passionate about converting microscopic images into numbers that can be quantitatively analyzed to facilitate discovery of new molecular biomarkers. The multiplex tissue staining technology and digital image analysis methods that she has developed are designed to advance the diagnosis and treatment of many human diseases.

Benjamin Berman, PhD
Director, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Research Center

Berman's laboratory focuses on developing new methods for cancer genome analysis. Berman also is a principal investigator in the National Cancer Institute's Informatics Technology for Cancer Research program, which aims to develop open software and data standards for the cancer research community.

Spencer SooHoo, PhD
Director, Scientific Computing

SooHoo directs the EIS-based Research Informatics and Scientific Computing Core, which supports researchers with High Performance Computing clusters, storage and databases. He plays key roles in the UCLA CTSI Bioinformatics Program and the pSCANNER network, which both involve building networks to identify potential cohorts of research subjects across multiple institutions.

Ian Wright (Consultant), CBiol
President and Founder, Strategic Innovations LLC
Chief Strategic Adviser, Applied Clinical Biosystems Research Institute and Precision Medicine Initiative

Wright's company makes connections among scientists, clinicians, industry and investors. The goal is to direct a strategy that develops great ideas to benefit patients as quickly and safely as possible. Wright sits on the boards of, or is an adviser to, a number of early-stage and large bioscience companies.

Related story: Laying the Groundwork for Precision Medicine