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TIDBITS

Healthcare

By SUSAN FOTOVICH MCCABE

Kansas City’s Cutting-Edge Medical Research Medical research benefits the whole spectrum of society, and nowhere is that more evident than in Kansas City’s physician and scientific community. Success goes well beyond the boundaries of the city, yet much is rooted right here in the Midwest. Take, for example, the work being done at Children’s Mercy with GOLDILOKs (Geneticand Ontogeny-Linked Dose Individualization and cLinical Optimization for KidS), an initiative to establish the knowledge base essential for implementing precision medicine in children. GOLDILOKs brings together the resources and expertise of the Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine and the Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutic Innovation at Children’s Mercy. “We’re pioneers, because 80 percent of drugs on the market today have never been tested

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on children,” says Children’s Mercy Senior Vice President, Strategy & Innovation, David Westbrook. “As a society, we’re very cautious in subjecting our kids to clinical trials, and usually only when there is a grave diagnosis and all other options have been exhausted.” The research will rationalize standardization of treatment with patient-specific information required to implement individualized care. GOLDILOKs will also partner with patients and their families to provide real-time feedback on outcomes, ensuring that the medication and dose is “just right” for their child. Likewise, the University of Kansas Medical Center is pioneering new translational research, including a project that will establish a network of nine medical centers in seven states to build a data set from electronic medical records. The records will be used to contribute to new research in the fields of breast cancer, obesity and ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s disease). In addition, the project will

offer a clinical trial that will evaluate four different drugs for the treatment of pain associated with neuropathy, as well as a trial that will examine the effectiveness of long-term nicotine replacement therapy for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). “These specific studies are important not only because they affect patients’ lives, but because they show how KU has catapulted to the forefront of the research enterprise. We now have comparable programs to Mayo, Johns Hopkins and Harvard, and in some cases we have research programs that they do not,” says Richard Barohn, M.D., vice chancellor for research and University Distinguished Professor and chairman of the Department of Neurology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. “The whole research landscape has changed in the last decade. We have become a national leader in clinical and translational research.” n

KC Options | 2015-2016  

In this issue of KC Options learn about Kansas City’s dynamic tech scene and the companies developing revolutionary products and services fr...

KC Options | 2015-2016  

In this issue of KC Options learn about Kansas City’s dynamic tech scene and the companies developing revolutionary products and services fr...