Project to develop precision medicine

Yang Meiping
Scientists from around the world involved in research to determine more precise treatment of complex diseases.
Yang Meiping

SHANGHAI has launched a research project to decode human health and accelerate the development of precision medicine.

The project, launched over the weekend with 560 million yuan (US$89 million) in sponsorship from the city government and led by Fudan University, is believed to be the first platform for international cooperation in human phenotype research.

Scientists say research on phenotypes, which result from the expression of an organism’s genetic code and the influence of environmental factors, as well as interactions between the two, could more accurately decode human health than genetic mapping.

The project has already attracted interest from scientists from China, the UK, Germany, the United States and Australia in conducting in-depth research into the interaction between phenotypes and genotypes, according to Jin Li, chief scientist of the project.

Their work is expected to lead to more precise treatment of complex diseases such as cancer.

“The international human genome project has cracked the ‘gene book’ of the human body. However, human diseases are not caused solely by the factor of genes,” said Jin, Fudan University’s vice president. “The project will analyze key information related to human health to find out how diseases happen and develop and provide important guidance for disease prevention and treatment.”

He said it would also be helpful in enhancing the development of related drugs.

Volunteers will be sought to take part in the research by providing precise statistics related to their health.

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