IPM Monthly Speaker Series – Philip E. Empey, PharmD, PhD – January 19th, 2022

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The Institute for Precision Medicine hosts a monthly lecture series to highlight advances in Precision Medicine research and in Personalized Care – not only within Pitt and UPMC, but across the United States.

The first IPM lecture of 2022 will be delivered by Philip E. Empey, PharmD, PhD.

Precision Prescribing through Pharmacogenomics Implementation and Pre-Emptive Testing

Increasingly, it is understood that how a person metabolizes or responds to certain medications can be predicted based on their genetics. This nascent field, called pharmacogenomics (PGx), promises more personalized prescribing through a simple blood or saliva test. Over 300 FDA-approved medications currently have PGx information in their labeling, and consensus guidelines are available to tailor prescribing.  Concordantly, new coverage polices has extended payer reimbursement to guide the prescribing of more than fifty 50 commonly-prescribed medications.

In this first installment of the 2022 IPM Speaker Series, Dr. Philip Empey will describe the advances in Precision Medicine led by PGx and the Pittsburgh Pharmacogenomics (PittPGx) team.  Dr. Empey will explain not only how his team has accelerated the use of PGx in the clinic, but also the future of PGx as an integral part of patient care.  Basic research, clinical implementation, and education programs will all be discussed.

In partnership with Pitt’s CTSI, the IPM, UPMC, and ThermoFisher Scientific, Dr. Empey directs the PittPharmacy Pharmacogenomics Center of Excellence, the first “at-scale” academic‑industry collaborative PGx implementation program. The Center’s premier initiative is a large population study that is inviting more than 150,000 participants, with more than 8,000 enrolled so far, to join a new institutional biobank called Pitt+Me Discovery.  Subjects will undergo preemptive PGx testing using a contemporary genotyping panel capable of screening 4,600 genetic markers in nearly 1,200 genes that often impact the response to medication. Results are stored for research and electively returned to participants, and their UPMC electronic health record is annotated. As part of that effort, Dr. Empey and his team also leads the implementation of clinical decision support in PGx.

The Center builds on the PGx success of the PittPGx team in deploying clinical services and education. In 2015, the University was among the first institutions in the country to implement PGx testing through our PreCISE-Rx (Pharmacogenomics-guided Care to Improve the Safety and Effectiveness of Medications) program. PreCISE-Rx showed that variation in drug metabolism is common in real-world populations, that individualizing antiplatelet therapy in cardiac stent patients reduces major adverse cardiac events. PreCISE-Rx demonstrated unequivocally that genotype-guided prescribing is cost effective, and this success has led to expanded clinical services in the UPMC Primary Care Precision Medicine clinic. In parallel, our education program, Test2Learn (www.test2learn.org), teaches practitioners and health sciences students to use genomic data in real-world settings through an innovative instructional pedagogy interface. Learners can go through testing themselves and work with their own data to attain relevant learning outcomes, both online and in-person education.  Recent grant funding from the R. K. Mellon Foundation to IPM and from NHGRI are supporting the expansion of Test2Learn, as whole genome sequencing and new competency-based education modules are currently in development.

Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, January 19th at 4:00pm.  

MEETING LINK:    https://pitt.zoom.us/s/94473585453

PASSCODE:  104392