Science & Technology

Genomics - the power to revolutionise healthcare

Professor Bill Newman
6th March 2019, 7:15pm
RNCM

In this lecture Professor Bill Newman will discuss the technological advances in genomic medicine that now allow us to undertake whole genome sequencing for an individual in a time frame and at a cost that make it feasible as a test within standard healthcare: this will improve diagnostics and decision-making regarding patient's care and treatment.

Virtually every human ailment has some basis in our genes. Until recently, doctors were able to take genetics into consideration only in cases of birth defects and a limited set of other diseases which have very simple, predictable inheritance patterns because each is caused by a change in a single gene. But now with the vast trove of data about human DNA generated by genomic research, scientists and clinicians have more powerful tools to study the role that multiple genetic factors acting together and with the environment play in much more complex diseases. Ultimately, it appears inevitable that treatments for such diseases will be tailored to a patient's particular genomic makeup. Professor Newman will explore how we should use this technology for patient benefit and the areas where it have will have the greatest impact.

He will also look at the ethical and technical challenges that it raises and examine whether the new technologies will speed us toward new therapies and ways to care for people with cancer and rare inherited disorders. Finally, Professor Newman will consider what future advances in genomic medicine we will see over the next decade and how we can ensure that these are adopted in an equitable way. 

About the speaker

Professor Bill Newman trained in medicine at Manchester University and then undertook training in medicine in the North West of England before starting Clinical Genetics. He completed a PhD on the expression of genes in developing bone and how this relates to the development of osteoarthritis before moving to Toronto to expand is genetics training. He was appointed as a Consultant in Manchester in Genetics in 2003 and a Professor in Translational Genomic Medicine in 2013. He am the current director of the Greater Manchester Genomic Medicine Centre and recently served as the Chair of the British Society for Genetic Medicine.