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The successful future of medicine will depend on ensuring that patients are managed with treatments that are appropriate for each individual, a concept referred to as personalized medicine. In the 21st century, molecular medicine is teaching us that what we thought of as single diseases only a few years ago comprise many different molecular variants. What was once simply breast cancer is now recognized to be more than a half dozen different diseases. Each responds differently to a given therapy and carries a different prognosis.
Dr. Joshua LaBaer, founder and former director of the Harvard Institute of Proteomics, is ASU Biodesign Institute's Piper Chair in Personalized Medicine and director of the Biodesign Institute's Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics in 2009. The mission of the center is to drive the discovery and development of biomarkers for the early detection of diseases. With better disease detection and earlier treatment, the center strives to have a profound impact on decreasing mortality caused by various diseases including cancer and autoimmune diseases. Toward this end, the center's research is driven by innovation and technology development and focused on creating new tools that foster biomarker discovery. Through the Plasmid Repository, sequencing services, and a recent effort with NAPPA technology, the center provides the tools to accelerate research in hundreds of laboratories around the world.