GW Cheney Cardiovascular Institute and McCormick Genomics Center to host cutting edge symposium, Personalized Medicine: The Genomic Revolution in Cardiac Care

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 4, 2007 Contact: Anne Banner 202-994-2261

WASHINGTON, DC—The Cheney Cardiovascular Institute and The Catharine Birch McCormick Genomics Center at the George Washington University host cutting edge Symposium to examine the issues and implications around the growing forces of genomics and personalized medicine in cardiology. This symposium is intended to provide a valuable state-of-the-art update on the current status and future directions of the genomics of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias, and the potential application to individualizing prevention, diagnosis and treatment for cardiac patients.

The practice of cardiovascular care has seen significant advances in the past 40 years with dramatic reduction of mortality from heart disease. Despite this major progress, cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of death in the United States and is on the rise in developing countries. As we enter the 21st century there is much more we need to learn about the individualized patient disease susceptibility, progression, and treatment strategies. Medical molecular genetics is the next frontier with the potential to make dramatic breakthroughs in the prediction of disease and improvement of prevention, treatment, and quality of care.

The symposium agenda features luminaries in the field of genomics who will explore the state of cardiovascular genomics and how it relates to clinical practice. Keynote speakers include Elizabeth Nabel, MD, Director, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to address:  Genomics & Coronary Artery Disease and Andrew Plump, MD, PhD, Director of Clinical Molecular Profiling, Merck & Co., to discuss: Genomics for Developing Biomarkers.  The symposium provides a unique forum in its roster of prestigious speakers from academic, government and industry and in its ability to examine the issues and stimulate new ideas around personalized medicine as it relates to personalized cardiovascular care. Researchers, cardiologists, policy makers, medical industry and anyone with an interest in personalized medicine and genomics will want to attend.

“By identifying the genes that can cause and cure heart disease, researchers hold in their hands the potential for personalized medicine. Understanding research advances in the science of the human gene and its application to cardiovascular disease will make possible life saving changes in cardiac care,” says Dr. Timothy McCaffrey, who is the program co-chair for the one-day symposium as well as director of the McCormick Genomics Center at The George Washington University. The McCormick Genomics Center is among the nation’s innovative leaders in genomics research and application and is one of the few centers in the world to focus on cardiovascular genomic research. Dr. McCaffrey will lead a faculty of renowned experts, in the program.

“Leveraging the enormous resources of The George Washington University is a key part of how the Institute is approaching its mission to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery, reduce mortality and improve the quality of life of Americans with cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Richard J. Katz, who is the Director of the Cheney Cardiovascular Institute and Director of the Division of Cardiology. “An educational program like this one, on personalized medicine in cardiac care, holds the key to the next major advancements in cardiovascular care, which researchers, clinicians and policy makers must understand is one of the ways we’re attacking cardiovascular disease and working to achieve our mission.”

The one-day symposium, titled “Personalized Medicine: The Genomic Revolution in Cardiac Care,” is designated for 6 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits and will convene on October 25, 2007 at The George Washington University Hospital Auditorium, in Washington, DC. For more information about the symposium or to register, please visit www.cheneycardioinstitute.org.

About the Cheney Cardiovascular Institute
The Cheney Cardiovascular Institute at The George Washington University was established in 2006. The Institute’s mission is to promote clinical research, education, patient care and community service with the goal of accelerating the pace of scientific discovery, reducing mortality and improving the quality of life of Americans with cardiovascular disease. To achieve these goals, the Institute seeks to provide an interdisciplinary structure to integrate basic and clinical investigators, clinicians, medical educators, health-policy experts, and community leaders. For more information, please visit: www.cheneycardioinstitute.org.