“Most medications that are developed for diseases truly help only a very small percentage of the people who take them. It’s not that they’re bad medications, it’s just that every person is unique, and medications are developed for extremely broad populations.” – Dr. Eric J. Topol

“The future will be different,” says Dr. Topol, who heads Scripps Genomic Medicine (SGM) and the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI). “With new knowledge, we’ll eventually be able to tailor medications to a person’s specific genomic make-up, and we’ll know whether a person can be helped by a certain medication or not. This is what we’re working on at Scripps, and I’ve never been more excited.”

In 2006, Scripps Health launched both SGM and STSI to change the status quo in medicine and help shape the future of health care as we know it.

SGM, now part of STSI, was created to take advantage of the explosion of new knowledge and technologies from the government’s investment in the Human Genome Project (HGP). With an 80-year history of medical research and clinical care, Scripps Health is dedicated to advancing patient care by tailoring prevention, diagnosis and treatment to an individual’s unique genomic signature and educating and training current and future physicians about genomic medicine.

Under SGM, scientists have established a robust system for systematically discovering and characterizing DNA variants associated with health and diseases. The five key research areas of SGM are:

  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Biomarkers
  • Healthy Aging

Brief descriptions of studies in each of these areas are at: Research Highlights.