Emory Report
November 23, 2009
Volume 23, Number 11


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November 23, 2009
Health Symposium links biology, behavior, environment

By Holly Korschun

The fifth annual Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Symposium, Dec. 14-15, will highlight the integration of biology, behavior and environment aimed at maintaining health rather than treating disease. The theme of the symposium, held at the Emory Conference Center, is “”Human Health: Molecules to Mankind.”

Predictive health is a new paradigm that defines the unique characteristics that predict disease risk for individuals and populations and uses new discoveries in biomedicine to emphasize health maintenance and health recovery rather than treatment of disease.

Major topics will include the promise and challenge of personal genomics; high tech health care; ethics and pragmatics; size matters; and zip codes vs. genetic codes.

Keynote speakers include Penny Pilgram George, president, The George Family Foundation, and co-founder, The Bravewell Collaborative; Nancy Fugate Woods, professor, family and child nursing and dean emeritus, University of Washington School of Nursing; and Eric Schadt, chief scientific officer, Pacific Biosciences.

The roster also includes speakers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, University of Michigan and National Jewish Health, in addition to scientists from Emory and Georgia Tech.

“This conference features an outstanding group of speakers focusing on a wide variety of topics in predictive health – one of the major themes in our University and Health Sciences strategic plans,” says Fred Sanfilippo, CEO of Woodruff Health Sciences Center and Emory executive vice president for health affairs. “It’s imperative that we learn to use the most advanced tools of molecular medicine and bioinformatics, along with behavioral and environmental sciences, to prevent disease and personalize treatment. The status quo of medicine focused on ‘illness care’ rather than ‘health care’ is not sustainable.”

Sanfilippo will lead the symposium along with President Jim Wagner; Bud Peterson, president of Georgia Institute of Technology; and Kenneth Brigham, associate vice president for predictive health.

Registration is required.