29 February 2012

A Pioneer of Personalized Medicine

Genotopia has a terrific thumbnail of the life and work of Barton Childs:

But his most important contributions were his steady, articulate advocacy of the importance of genetics for medicine. Like his mentor Harris, Childs’s passion was variation. He was not interested in finding “the gene for” a disease; he wanted to understand how our genes contribute to variability in disease. What is it that makes us each biochemically and genetically unique? In particular, he was interested in bringing an understanding of the principles of genetics and evolution into medical education. He was fascinated by the challenge of molding physicians’ minds as the most potent way to improve medical care. By influencing how doctors think, he believed, one could have the largest possible effect on how patients are treated.
This post originally and erroneously described Barton Childs as the founder of personalized medicine. Pioneer is more accurate.