May 1, 2023

Precision Health Talks with Dr. Min S. Park

Meet the Chairman of the PrecisionMed Scientific Committee:

Dr. Min S. Park, Chief Science Officer and Director of Genomic Medicine, Sanimed International Labs and Management in the UAE; & Senior S&T Advisor, Healthcare, International Holding Company (IHC) in the UAE.

During over thirty years of a professional career in the National Laboratory, Academia, and private companies, Dr. Min developed, managed, and executed more than $400 million R&D projects in cancer, genomics, and renewable energy in the US, Korea, China, and the UAE. Dr. Min worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China State Development and Investment Co, Grandomics Biosciences, China, and G42-Healthcare, UAE as the founding director of the Emirati Genome Program. He served on international scientific committees including NIH-USA, DOE-USA, NSF-USA, NSERC-NSF-Canada, WHO, Welcome Trust-UK, NSFChina, and National S&T Panel-Korea.

What are the top 5 grand challenges we must solve in the next five years in realizing precision medicine?

  • 1

    Quality: ability to collect multidimensional data to assign evidence-based functions to many genetic variants specific to a person.

  • 2

    Completeness: to assign functions to the genetic variants in the non-coding regions of genome.

  • 3

    Individual specific: to build a complete and integrated platform to identify treatment options that are affordable to individual rare disease patients.

  • 4

    Affordability: to produce new drugs or repurpose existing drugs ten times cheaper and four times faster.

  • 5

    Accessibility of precision medicine for all: reimagine the current regulatory approval process to make new precision medicine treatment options available at scale.

What are the particular regional issues to be tackled when integrating Personalized Medicine in the Middle East?

More productive local and regional collaborations among researchers, clinicians, industry partners, regulatory agencies, and other stakeholders including patient advocacy groups.

Is precision medicine a reality or a fantasy?

Although the terms: "Precision Medicine" and "Personalized Medicine", were used often after the completion of the first draft human genome two decades ago, the real progress in these fields has been underwhelming.

However, Precision Medicine is poised to become a reality because of global economic growth, rapid dissemination healthcare of information, increased self-awareness and interest in personal well-being, and enormous exposure to high-level medical, genomic, and immunology information and knowledge during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, new scientific discoveries and technological innovations such as multiomics, big data management and analytics, machine learning, CRISPR genome editing, gene therapy, automation,

robotics, and computation, can revolutionize how we do precision medicine. It is the most exciting time in human history which will transform the way how to take care of patients and healthy people at a personal level with accuracy.

What are the challenges in precision Medicine in the field of rare genetic diseases?

One of the areas that precision medicine can make a real impact is rare diseases. The rare diseases are far from being rare: the number of rare disease patients are at the same level as the number of Type 2 Diabetes patients globally.

Because of the limited number of patients belong to an individual rare disease group, very limited treatment options are available for the patients. The majority of these patients die before reaching their teens, and the pain, sorrow, and sufferings are felt by their parents because patients experience the devastating symptoms from very young age. Precision medicine is ideal for rare diseases, because multidimensional data sets can assist the early diagnosis and treatment options. If we can build a platform that can democratize the accessibility and affordability of new innovative and individual precision medicine, we can make an immediate impact and improve patient’s life with rare diseases.

Interested to hear more?

Attend the PrecisionMed Conference and listen to Dr. Min S. Park speak on:
Day 1, 23 May 2023
09:05: Opening Remark
14:00 - 16:15 Chairing Session II: Advanced AI in Precision Medicine