C26
Precision medicine at the crossroads: meeting the micro and macro, the molecular and social in new medical strategies

Convenors:
Nadav Even Chorev (European Institute of Oncology)
Ilaria Galasso (European Institute of Oncology)
Location:
Bowland North Seminar Room 20
Start time:
27 July, 2018 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

Novel precision medicine frameworks are casted across many levels of analysis and intervention. On the micro end are molecular-guided personalized treatments, on the macro end are cohort studies on populations. We invite papers focusing on meetings and alignments of multiple medical configurations.

Long abstract:

Medical strategies have evolved in the last two decades in an attempt to overhaul dominant evidence-based practices and achieve better medical outcomes, by customizing treatment and prevention strategies with higher and higher resolution. Far from being monolithic, this medical configuration is articulated across many levels. On the micro end of the spectrum are personalized practices focused on tailoring treatments to the specific needs, predispositions and unique molecular landscapes of the individual patient. On the macro end of the spectrum are epidemiological studies focused on whole populations, embodied in large prospective cohorts, which are often the framework of precision medicine programs (like the American All of Us Research Project, or the 100K Genomes Project in the UK). The underlying assumption of precision medicine is one of continuity between these two ends, where molecular individual characterizations lead to population-wide improvements and population genomic commonalities result in personalized therapies. Seemingly disparate, this range of approaches is characterized by the attempt to reshape both medical practice and its underlying epistemology, individual conduct and societal attitudes. Considering the promissory aspirations of the precision\personalized sociotechnical enterprise, we invite papers that critically engage with this multiplicity of analytical levels. We are particularly interested in examining to what extent and how these practices meet each other and 'hang together' to form a distinct assemblage. This can be approached through different levels of analysis, case studies and either empirical or theoretical inquiries.