IGNITE blazes the way for genomic medicine

Getting diagnosed with a disease can be scary. Health providers work to find the right treatment plan based on the current standard of care guidelines. But what if in addition to the current evidence, doctors could also factor in each patient’s unique genetic makeup to help them diagnose more quickly and accurately, create a tailored treatment plan, or better yet, learn which patients are at a higher risk for developing specific diseases and employ methods for prevention or earlier detection? That’s the hope of genomic medicine, but researchers and clinicians are still gathering more evidence of its effectiveness before it can be widely implemented.

The IGNITE Network is looking to provide some of that evidence. The Network is comprised of a coordinating center and five multi-site clinical groups from Duke, Mt. Sinai, Vanderbilt, University of Indiana and University of Florida.

In order to provide the evidence that this type of practice will improve patient outcomes, IGNITE is conducting two large, network-wide genomic medicine pragmatic clinical trials (PCTs). These PCTs are focused around genetic risks for common chronic diseases and pharmacogenomics. PCTs are different than randomized controlled trials, or RCTs, which are great for studying the effectiveness of a treatment, but PCTs allow for bigger, more efficient clinical trials and help researchers and clinicians understand what to expect in real-world clinical settings.

Genetic testing to Understand Renal Disease Disparities across the U.S. (GUARDD-US) is a PCT that aims to determine the effect of returning apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) genetic risk information to hypertensive African ancestry patients and their primary care providers on systolic blood pressure (SBP). The primary outcome is SBP at three months comparing patients with high-risk APOL1 variants (positives) versus no high-risk variants (negatives). The co-primary outcome is three-month SBP in positives versus those receiving delayed testing. Secondary outcomes include renal disease testing, and psycho-behavioral factors. The team will re-randomize APOL1 negative patients to a genotype-guided approach to anti-hypertensive therapy versus usual care and compare three-month SBP.

A Depression and Opioid Pragmatic Trial in Pharmacogenomics (ADOPT-PGx) is a pragmatic clinical trial that enrolls patients into three pharmacogenomics (PGx)-guided therapy scenarios: acute post-surgical pain, chronic pain, and depression. For each scenario, participants will be randomized to genotype-guided drug therapy versus usual approaches to drug therapy selection (“usual care”). Changes in patient-reported outcomes representing pain and depression control using standard patient-reported outcomes measurement information system (PROMIS) scales define the primary endpoints. Secondary analyses include safety endpoints, changes in overall well-being, and economic impact represented by differences in healthcare utilization.

Both GUARD-US and ADOPT-PGx teams will begin recruiting people for the PCTs in mid to late 2020.

The IGNITE Network has the potential to drastically change the face of healthcare. As results from the PCTS come in, clinicians all over the world may be able to see the clinical utility of genomic medicine for both risk assessment and disease treatment.

Events Archive

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The Role of Digital Health Technologies in Drug Development: A Workshop

This workshop will provide a venue to discuss challenges and opportunities in digital health technologies for improving the probability of success in drug development and enabling precision medicine. Workshop participants may consider key components for an evidence-based framework for applying digital health technologies towards drug research and development.

When: Tuesday, March 24, 2020; 10 a.m. – 4:15 p.m..
Where: Webinar only; Registration required

Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Svati Shah, M.D., MHS
Associate Dean of Genomics and Director, Duke Precision Genomics Collaboratory; Professor of Medicine; Director, Adult Cardiovascular Genetics Clinic
Duke University

When: March 19, 2020
Where: WebEx

Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Bryce Seifert, Ph.D.
ABMGG Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Fellow
Duke University
Clinical Validity Assessment of Genes Frequently Tested on Hereditary Cancer Susceptibility Sequencing Panels

When: March 5, 2020
Where: Duke University

5th Annual Precision Medicine Conference

A two-day series of interactive presentations and panel sessions will feature some of the nation’s leading experts on emerging topics in genomic medicine and pharmacogenomics.

When: Friday February 21 – Saturday, February 22, 2020
Where: Orlando, FL

Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Calum MacRae, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice Chair for Scientific Innovation, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Associate Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Overcoming the barriers to clinical whole genome sequencing in routine acute care

When: February 20, 2020
Where: Duke University

Clinical Pharmacogenomics Preconference

These sessions will provide the latest update on emerging topics in pharmacogenomics. Attendees will learn from pharmacogenomics implementation leaders about their real world-experiences with using pharmacogenomics in the clinic, describe the regulatory oversight and need for evidence-based pharmacogenomic testing, as well as discuss the hottest topics in clinical pharmacogenomics today. The inaugural Clinical Pharmacogenomics Networking Reception to immediately follow.

When: Thursday, February 20, 2020
Where: Orlando, FL

Stakeholder Summit: Federal Regulation of Pharmacogenomic Testing

UF Precision Medicine Program and Precision Medicine Advisors will bring together stakeholders to discuss recent regulation by the FDA and formulate solutions for improving the safety and efficacy of pharmacogenomic tests.

When: Thursday, February 20, 2020; 8 a.m. – noon
Where: Orlando, FL

Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Elizabeth McNally, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Center for Genetic Medicine; Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
Northwestern University
Genetic Variation In Heart Failure: From Rare to Common and In Between

When: February 13, 2020
Where: Duke University

Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Rebekah Ryanne Wu, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Duke University
Impact of Family Health History on Understanding Genomic Risk in Singaporean Populations

When: February 6, 2020
Where: Duke University

Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Isaac Kohane, M.D., Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Biomedical Informatics; Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Harvard Medical School
What Can We Learn from Genomics Being the Leading Application of Clinical AI?

When: January 30, 2020
Where: Duke University

Precision Medicine World Conference

PMCW is the largest annual conference dedicated to precision medicine and brings together recognized leaders, top global researchers and medical professionals, and innovators across healthcare and biotechnology sectors.

When: January 21 – 24, 2020
Where: Silicon Valley, CA
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Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Cynthia Moylan, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Duke University
The Looming NASH Epidemic: Using -omics for risk stratification and prevention

When: January 23, 2020
Where: Duke University

IGNITE Steering Committee Meeting

IGNITE will conduct a a two-day Steering Committee Meeting

When: Wednesday, January 22 – Thursday, January 23, 2020
Where: University of Florida Research & Academic Center, Lake Nona, FL

Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Joe Grzymski, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Applied Innovation Center; Associate Research Professor of Microbiology and Computational Biology
Desert Research Institute
The Healthy Nevada Project Genetics Study and Linking Phenotype to Genotype

When: January 16, 2020
Where: Duke University

Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Lisa Bastarache, M.S.
Research Assistant Professor
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
How much more can we explain with genetics? Using EHRs to find Undiagnosed Patients

When: January 9, 2020
Where: Duke University

Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Opeyemi Olabisi, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology
Duke University
Patient-stem cell-derived podocytes as tools for modeling APOL1-associated kidney disease

When: Thursday, December 19, 2019, noon – 1 P.M.
Where: Duke University

Therapeutic Genome Editing: An ASHG-AJHG Webinar

Advances in the technology of genome editing offer major opportunities in the treatment of genetic disorders, but also raise complex technical and ethical issues. This webinar will explore these considerations both for somatic and germline genome editing and will explore the future research agenda for therapeutic genome editing.

When: Wednesday, December 11, 2 – 3 P.M.

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Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

George Church, Ph.D.
Professor of Genetics; Director, PersonalGenomes.org; Harvard University
Reading and Writing Omes

When: Thursday, December 5, 2019, noon – 1 P.M.
Where: Duke University

Precision Medicine Insights: A Webinar Series

Kristin Wiisanen, Pharm.D., FAPhA

When: Tuesday, December 3, 2019, 12 p.m. EDT

University of Florida precision medicine leaders will highlight current knowledge and trends in this series, including professional and educational opportunities, to advance the future of health care. Join us as Dr. Kristin Wiisanen, online graduate program director, discusses challenges and approaches to patient education in the era of precision medicine.

AMIA 2019 Annual Symposium

Under the overall theme of “Informatics: From Data to Knowledge to Action” the Ameican Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Annual Symposium will build on more than 40 years of sharing pioneering research and insights for leveraging information to improve human health.

When: Saturday, Nov. 16 – Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019
Where: Washington, D.C.

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15th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference

The 15th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference will convene the world’s leading researchers, investors, industry executives, policy experts, payers, clinicians, and patient advocates to define the landscape and outlook for personalized medicine in science, business, and policy.

When: Wednesday, Nov. 13 – Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019
Where: Boston, MA

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Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Hakon Hakonarson, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Center for Applied Genomics at the Joseph Stokes Jr. Research Institute; Professor of Pediatrics; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

When: Thursday, November 7, 2019, noon – 1 P.M.
Where: Duke University

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Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Rhoda Au, Ph.D.
Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology; Boston University

When: Thursday, October 31, 2019, noon – 1 P.M.
Where: Duke University

Exploring the Current Landscape of Consumer Genomics – A Workshop

The Roundtable on Genomics and Precision Health will host a one day public workshop to explore the current landscape of consumer genomics and implications for how genetic test information is used or may be used in research and clinical care.

When: Tuesday, October 29, 2019, 8:30 A.M.
Where: Washington, D.C.

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Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Gregory Gray, M.D., MPH, FIDSA
Professor of Medicine, Global Health and Environmental Health; Duke University

When: Thursday, October 24, 2019, noon – 1 P.M.
Where: Duke University

American Society of Human Genetics 2019 Annual Meeting

ASHG 2019 featured invited presentations by the world’s leading geneticists, in addition to symposia, workshops, and abstract-driven sessions about new developments in basic, translational, and clinical human genetics research and technology.

When: Tuesday, October 15 – Saturday, October 19, 2019
Where: Houston, Tx

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Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Joanne Ngeow, MBBS, MRCP, MPH
Senior Consultant, Division of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore

When: Thursday, October 10, 2019, noon – 1 P.M.
Where: Duke University

Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Brian Sullivan, M.D.
Medical Instructor in the Department of Medicine; Duke University

When: Thursday, October 3, 2019, noon – 1 P.M.
Where: Duke University

NHGRI Stategic Planning Workshop

Genomics in Medicine & Health

NHGRI is in the middle of a new round of strategic planning that will establish a ‘2020 vision for genomics’ and culminate in the publication of a new NHGRI strategic plan in October 2020 and is soliciting input from the broader research and public communities to help shape the 2020 strategic plan.

When: Thursday, Sept. 26 – Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, 8 A.M. – 5 P.M. both days
Where: Bethesda, MD

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Enhancing Scientific Reproducibility through Transparent Reporting – A Workshop

An ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a public workshop to discuss the current state of transparency in reporting pre-clinical biomedical research and to explore the possibility of improving the harmonization of guidelines across journals and funding agencies so that biomedical researchers propose and report data in a consistent manner.

When: Wednesday, September 25 – Thursday, September 26, 2019; 8:30 A.M.
Where: Washington, D.C.

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IGNITE Steering Committee Meeting

IGNITE conducted a a two-day Steering Committee Meeting and joint meeting with the Data and Safety Monitoring Board

When: Wednesday, September 25 – Thursday, September 26, 2019
Where: Silver Spring, MD

Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Richard Gibbs, Ph.D.
Director, Human Genome Sequencing Center; Professor of Translational Biology & Molecular Medicine and Integrative Molecular and Biomolecular Sciences; Baylor College of Medicine

When: Thursday, September 19, 2019, noon – 1 P.M.
Where: Duke University

Genomic and Precision Medicine Weekly Forum

Georgia Wiesner, Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University

When: Thursday, September 12, 2019, noon – 1 P.M.
Where: Duke University

IGNITE Steering Committee Meeting

IGNITE conducted a a two-day Steering Committee Meeting

When: Thursday, July 25 – Friday, July 26, 2019
Where: Orlando, Florida

NIH Collaboratory Grand Rounds

Moving Beyond Return of Research Results to Return of Value

Speaker: Consuelo H. Wilkins, M.D., MSCI
Vice President for Health Equity, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Executive Director, Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance

When: Friday, June 28, 1 – 2 P.M. EST

NIH Collaboratory Grand Rounds

Good Clinical Practice Guidance and Pragmatic Trials: Balancing the Best of Both Worlds in the Learning Health System

Speaker: Robert J. Mentz, M.D., FACC, FAHA, FHFSA
Director of the Duke Cooperative Cardiovascular Society
Assistant Program Director of the Duke Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship
Associate Professor
Duke University Medical Center and Duke Clinical Research Institute

When: Friday, June 14, 1 – 2 P.M. EST
More info

The M.D. Program at Icahn School of Medicine

The M.D. Program at Icahn School of Medicine combines the most progressive, technologically advanced, scientifically-based education with the goal of improving societal health care needs locally in New York City and around the world. We explicitly blur the traditional distinction between pre-clinical and clinical years by integrating the basic sciences across courses as well initiating students into to the clinical environment from their first day of school.Not only do our students acquire the medical, scientific and clinical expertise needed for a successful career, but also the skills to work in interdisciplinary teams, the analytic tools needed for research, the confidence to critically evaluate and apply new information, an appreciation for the social, ethical and cultural aspects of health and the life-enriching skills they require to become self-directed, life-long learners.

News Archive

Happenings, accomplishments and milestones of the IGNITE Network and its affiliates

JAMA highlights IGNITE sites’ work to integrate genomic testing in routine care

Posted: July 12, 2017

Journal of the American Medical Association – University of Maryland’s Dr. Toni Pollin and Duke University’s Drs. Geoff Ginsburg and Lori Orlando discuss how their programs are working to improve care through genetic testing in areas such as diagnosing monogenic diabetes and using family history to identify patients’ personal disease risks.

IGNITE Network analysis of challenges to implementing genomics in practice featured on GenomeWeb

Posted: June 21, 2017

GenomeWeb – Duke University led this effort to identify key challenges to and potential solutions for implementing genomics in practice based on information from IGNITE’s six member projects. (A free subscription is required to view this article.)

IGNITE Network highlighted at Precision Medicine World Conference 2017

Posted: June 8, 2017

BioQuick News – Duke University’s Dr. Geoffrey Ginsburg, co-chair and speaker at the 2017 Precision Medicine World Conference, presented the IGNITE Network’s achievements and aspirations to advance the implementation of genomics in practice.

IGNITE sites present at the 2017 Genomic Medicine X: PGx Meeting

Posted: May 5, 2017

IGNITE’s Drs. Todd Skaar, Josh Denny, Larisa Cavallari, and Kristin Weitzel were session speakers at the Genomic Medicine X: Research Directions in Pharmacogenomics Implementation Meeting on May 2 -3, 2017.

University of Maryland offers genomics education course using students’ own genomes

Posted: March 28, 2017

Association of American Medical Colleges – To help future clinicians better understand the importance of using genomics in practice, University of Maryland College of Medicine students can choose to study parts of their own genomes, or anonymous genomes, in a course all medical students are required to take.

IGNITE Network’s Kristin Weitzel quoted in AAMC story on the growth of genetics in medical education

Posted: January 24, 2017

Association of American Medical Colleges – Dr. Kristin Weitzel of the UF Health Personalized Medicine Program outlines the benefits and challenges of training medical students to use genetic information in clinical practice.

University of Maryland incorporates pharmacogenomic testing in routine care for stent patients

Posted: January 6, 2017

The Baltimore Sun – Researchers and clinicians at the University of Maryland worked together to make CYP2C19 testing routine for stent patients, reducing the rate of adverse events such as death, heart attack, and stroke.

Sanford Heart Hospital develops routine pharmacogenetic testing process for cardiac patients

Posted: December 18, 2016

Keloland Media Group – Sanford Heart Hospital uses genetic testing to determine if clopidogrel is an effective blood thinner for its cardiac patients, an effort aided in part by work completed by IGNITE’s Dissemination, Outreach, and Sustainability Working Group.

Essentia Health promotes MeTree, a family health history tool developed by Duke University

Posted: December 12, 2016

Essential Health Daily Dose – In order to gain a better understanding of their personal health risks, Essentia Health encourages employees to use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to complete a family health history using Duke University’s MeTree tool.

Vanderbilt University receives historic NIH grant to become part of a prestigious national precision medicine program

Posted: December 5, 2016

VUMC Reporter – Vanderbilt University will serve as the Data and Research Support Center for the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program with a five year, $71.6 million NIH grant, the largest of its kind Vanderbilt has received to date.

IGNITE researchers collaborate to improve patient outcomes through genomics

Posted: November 16, 2016

A collaborative IGNITE Network study shows that a quick, precise genetic test can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by helping to identify more effective medication for some heart patients. University of Florida researcher Larisa Cavallari, Pharm.D., presented these findings at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions on Nov. 15, 2016.

University of Florida’s work on genetic testing to prevent complications for cardiac patients featured in Explore Magazine

Posted: November 15, 2016

Explore Magazine – IGNITE’s Dr. Julie Johnson explains the impact of translating the UF Health Personalized Medicine Program’s research on gene-drug responses to clopidogrel into a standard practice for interventional cardiology patients at UF Health.

IGNITE Network highlighted in the Journal of the American Medical Association

Posted: October 18, 2016

Journal of the American Medical Association – Duke University’s Dr. Geoffrey Ginsburg and University of Florida’s Dr. Julie Johnson discuss the value of and challenges facing the use of pharmacogenomics to improve patient care.

The Gainesville Sun spotlights the history and accomplishments of the UF Health Personalized Medicine Program

Posted: October 17, 2016

The Gainesville Sun – The University of Florida’s Dr. Julie Johnson and Dr. Larisa Cavallari discuss the trail the IGNITE Network’s UF Health Personalized Medicine Program has blazed in the field of precision medicine since its founding.

Duke University study uncovers clues as to how aspirin may help prevent colon cancer

Posted: September 26, 2016

The Duke Chronicle – Dr. Geoffrey Ginsburg of the Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine explains how aspirin’s mechanism of action may help prevent not just cardiovascular disease, but also colon cancer.

IGNITE Network’s Mia Levy participates in NCI summit on health IT policy

Posted: August 19, 2016

The American Journal of Managed Care – Dr. Mia Levy of the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center describes opportunities for the successful dissemination and use of actionable health data for researchers and clinicians alike.

Mount Sinai obesity research featured in The New York Times

Posted: July 12, 2016

The New York Times – IGNITE Network’s Dr. Carol Horowitz works to reduce disparities in obesity and diabetes in underserved areas of New York City.

University of Florida researcher’s heart beats for pharmacogenomics

Posted: June 21, 2016

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News – Dr. Julie Johnson of the UF Health Personalized Medicine Program illuminates how current and future advancements in pharmacogenomic research can lead to additional improvements in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Vanderbilt University’s Mia Levy named Komen Scholar

Posted: April 12, 2016

Breast Cancer News – As one of the prestigious Komen Scholars, Dr. Mia Levy will help guide research and advocacy conducted by the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Inaugural UF Precision Medicine Conference: A ‘pharmacogenomics army of champions’

Posted: April 5, 2016

Pharmacy Times – The University of Florida (UF) College of Pharmacy and the UF Health Personalized Medicine Program (PMP) recently hosted a Precision Medicine Conference and certificate training program for pharmacists in Orlando, Florida.

Duke University study emphasizes importance of family history in patient care

Posted: March 3, 2016

Duke Medicine News and Communications – Lead author Lori Orlando, M.D., showcases a Duke University study published in the Journal Genetics in Medicine that exposes both the expected and unexpected benefits of using MeTree, a web-based family health history tool.

NIH researchers identify genomic signature shared by five types of cancer

Posted: February 5, 2016

National Human Genome Research Institute – Researchers have identified a striking signature in tumor DNA that occurs in five different types of cancer. They also found evidence that this methylation signature may be present in many more types of cancer.

University of Florida hosts inaugural Precision Medicine Conference in Orlando, FL

Posted: December 15, 2015

University of Florida – The expanding role of pharmacogenomics in clinical medicine and education was the focus of the inaugural Precision Medicine Conference

IGNITE research in the spotlight in Florida news story

Posted: November 19, 2015

Business Report of Central North Florida – In the weeks and months after a patient gets a heart stent, blood clots can pose a major threat to recovery. Now, University of Florida Health researchers have found that a quick genetic test can tell doctors early on whether a crucial anti-clotting drug will work

IGNITE Network’s Josh Denny appointed to team of precision medicine experts for Obama

Posted: March 30, 2015

National Institutes of Health – A newly created team of experts in precision medicine and large clinical research studies will seek public input from the large and diverse stakeholder community interested in the development of the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative and articulate the vision for building the national participant group for the Initiative.

IGNITE newsletter features SPARK Toolbox, network updates

Posted: March 29, 2015

The IGNITE Network’s quarterly newsletter provides timely information on developments within the network with a specific focus on genomic implementation tools available for clinicians, researchers, health educators and patients.

Physician Response to Implementation of Genotype-Tailored Antiplatelet Therapy

Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics – Physician responses to genomic information are vital to the success of precision medicine initiatives. We prospectively studied a pharmacogenomics implementation program for the propensity of clinicians to select antiplatelet therapy based on CYP2C19 loss-of-function (LOF) variants in stented patients.