UCHealth to create $63 million DNA center

AURORA – University of Colorado Health will invest $63 million in a new Center for Personalized Medicine and Biomedical Informatics, which will use DNA and molecular testing to provide better health care.

The center will be primarily located on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, but will serve as a resource for the entire UCHealth system, as well as Children’s Hospital locations throughout the state. Experts will be available for consultations with off-site physicians and a DNA bank will be able to sequence and analyze samples from across the region, according to a release from UCHealth.

DNA and molecular testing will be used to prevent, predict, identify and research medical conditions. The DNA bank will search for unknown DNA sequences and markers that point to disease susceptibility and more advanced treatments, according to UCHealth.

“This program will fundamentally change the way we offer care for patients by moving from a reactive system where we treat patients with established disease to a proactive system where we predict who will develop disease and identify disease in its very earliest stages,´ said David Schwartz chair of the University of Colorado Department of Medicine in a statement.

UCHealth, the CU School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado will invest resources in the center over the next five years, adding clinicians, genetic counselors, advanced practice nurses, researchers, the DNA bank and an expanded data warehouse and analytics tools.
Studying a patient’s genetics can be especially helpful in cancer treatment and pediatrics, according to UCHealth.

“We’re already seeing the advantages of personalized medicine applied in cancer treatment,´ said Dan Theodorescu, director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center in a statement. “Molecular tests and targeted therapies are already here, and they’re a contributing reason why our patients’ survival rates for certain types of cancer are significantly better than national outcomes.”

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Molly Armbrister covers real estate, banking and health care for the Northern Colorado Business Report. She can be reached at 970-232-3139, marmbrister@ncbr.com or twitter.com/MArmbristerNCBR

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