The Future of Precision Medicine in Australia
Recent technological advances have enabled assembly of a wide range of data about an individual’s genetic and biochemical makeup, as formed by their genes, environment and lifestyle.
While medicine has always had personal and predictive aspects, precision medicine allows health and disease to be viewed at an increasingly fine-grained resolution, attuned to the complexities of both the biology of each individual, and the variation among the population.
ACOLA’s precision medicine project explores the current trends in precision medicine technologies and explores the role that a broader implementation of precision medicine capabilities may play in the Australian context.
The project was supported by The Department of Health.
The essence of this report is optimisation: the optimisation of public policy for individual care. It provides the intellectual framework for a healthcare revolution that will shape the lives and choices of all Australians
Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist
Launch of the Precision Medicine Report
The Future of Precision Medicine in Australia report was launched by the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP at Eureka 89 in Melbourne on 31 January 2018.
Glenn Withers gave a welcome address, Alan Finkel spoke of the Horizon Scanning Series and introduced the Health Minister, Greg Hunt, to launch the report. Following, Bob Williamson and Kathryn North discussed the clinical value of precision medicine before holding a Q&A with her paediatric patient, Louis Clarke and his parents.
The launch attracted seventy-five attendees, mostly from government and the Victorian medical research institutes.
Media coverage included some 51 published news items; coverage on Fox news; a radio interview with Bob Williamson conducted for ABC AM Radio; and a multi-article promotion on precision medicine with the conversation, including pieces by John Mattick, Stephen Duckett, Catriona MacLean and Merlin Crosley.
The report (and extract) are available in the downloads section on this page.
Expert Working Group
ACOLA, for its established ability to deliver interdisciplinary evidence-based research that draws on specialist expertise from Australia’s Learned Academies, convenes the Precision Medicine Expert Working Group (EWG) to guide the development of a targeted study that draws input from several disciplines to create a well-considered, balanced and peer-reviewed report.
The role of the EWG is to provide strategic oversight and provide expert input, analysis and provocative thinking
This report has been reviewed by an independent panel of experts. Members of this review panel were not asked to endorse the Report’s conclusions and findings. The Review Panel members acted in a personal, not organisational, capacity and were asked to declare any conflicts of interest.
ACOLA gratefully acknowledges their contribution.
|Professor Susan Dodds||Professor Nick Martin|
|Professor James McCluskey|
|Professor Robert Williamson (Chair)||Professor Ian Frazer|
|Professor Warwick Anderson||Dr Stephen Duckett|
|Professor Emma Kowal||Dr Carrie Hillyard|
|Professor John Mattick||Professor Catriona McLean|
|Professor Kathryn North||Mr Adrian Turner|
Project Funding and Support
ACOLA gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the Australian Government through the Commonwealth Science Council; Australian Research Council and the Office of the Chief Scientist. This research was funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council.
|Dr Angus Henderson||Dr Lauren Palmer|
Input papers commissioned or specially undertaken.
Input paper, chapter 1
- International actions, alliances and initiatives (PDF), Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE)
Input paper, chapter 2
- Epigenetics (PDF), Dr Tanya Medley and Professor Richard Saffery (Murdoch Children’s Research Institute)
- Gene Editing (PDF), Dr Tanya Medley and Professor Melissa Little (Murdoch Children’s Research Institute)
- Immunotherapy (PDF), Professor Rajiv Khanna (QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute)
- Infectious Disease (PDF), Professor Mark Walker, Professor David Patterson, Professor Paul Young, Professor Mark Schembri, Associate Professor Scott Beatson, Professor Alexander Khromykh (The University of Queensland)
- Microbiome (PDF), Professor Mark Morrison and Professor Philip Hugenholtz (The University of Queensland)
- Omics (PDF), Professor David James and A/Professor Samantha Hocking (The University of Sydney)
- Pathology and Imaging (PDF), Professor Catriona McLean (Alfred Health), Professor Andrew Gill (The University of Sydney), Associate Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre) and Dr Tom Barber (The University of Melbourne)
- Point of Care Testing (PDF), Professor Catriona McLean (Alfred Health) and Professor Robyn Ward (The University of Queensland)
- Point of Care Testing in Australia (PDF) – Where are we up to and why do we need it? Rosy Tirimacco (iCCnet Country Health)
- Precision medicine to become standard practice, not a specialty (PDF), Professor Ingrid Winship (Melbourne Health and The University of Melbourne)
- Precision Wellness (PDF), Dr Carrie Hillyard (Fitgenes and FizzioFit)
- Sequencing (PDF), Professor Dave Burt, Dr Yuanyuan Cheng and Dr Ken McGrath
Input paper, chapter 3
- Consumer Engagement (PDF), Dr Avnesh (Avi) Ratnanesan (Energesse), with input from Daniel Damiano (Oracle Australia), Matthew Tice (Insurgence Group), Matt Riemann (ph360), Yang Jiao (Australian Patients Association), and Kiran Nair (Energesse)
- Professional Development (PDF), Professor Sylvia Metcalfe, Dr Amy Nisselle, Dr Belinda McClaren, and Associate Professor Clara Gaff (Murdoch Children’s Research Institute)
- Public Engagement (PDF), A/Professor Matthew Kearnes (University of New South Wales), Dr Declan Kuch (University of New South Wales), Dr Nicola Marks (Faculty of Law Humanities and the Arts, University of Wollongong), Georgia Miller (University of New South Wales), Dr A. Wendy Russell (Principle Consultant at Double Arrow Consulting, Visiting Fellow, Centre for Public Awareness of Science, Australian National University), A/Professor Niamh Stephenson (University of New South Wales).
Input paper, chapter 4
- Legal and Regulatory Issues of Precision Medicine (PDF), Professor Dianne Nicol and Professor Margaret Otlowski (Centre for Law and Genetics, Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania)
- Social and Ethical Implications of Precision Medicine (PDF), Dr Wendy Lipworth and Professor Ian Kerridge (Sydney Health Ethics University of Sydney), and includes material on regulation drawn from the input paper prepared by Professor Dianne Nicol and Professor Margaret Otlowski (Centre for Law and Genetics, Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania)
Input paper, chapter 5
- Indigenous Health (PDF), Professor Emma Kowal (Deakin University), Dr Elizabeth Watt (Deakin University), Dr Laura Weyrich (University of Adelaide), Professor Margaret Kelaher (The University of Melbourne) and Dr Ray Tobler (University of Adelaide)
Input paper, chapter 6
- Data (PDF), Adrian Turner with contributions from Cheryl George, Bill Simpson-Young, Dr Stephen Hardy, Dr Chelle Nic Raghnaill and Jane Polak Scowcroft (Data61)
Input paper, chapter 7
- Health Economics (PDF), Professor Rosalie Viney and Professor Jane Hall, Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation (CHERE), with input from Dr Stephen Duckett and Greg Moran
Input paper, chapter 8
- Agriculture (PDF), Professor Dave Edwards (The University of Western Australia)
- Environment and Gene Drives (PDF), Dr Mark Tizard (CSIRO)
- Gene Editing in the Environment – The New Zealand Experience (PDF), Dr David Penman (Co-Chair, Gene Editing Panel, Royal Society Te Apārangi, New Zealand) and Professor Peter Dearden, (Director of Genomics Aotearoa, Biochemistry Department, University of Otago)
- Malaria and Disease Vector (PDF), Dr Alyssa Barry and Professor Karen Day (The University of Melbourne)