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Jennifer Bresnick 

Cross-industry collaborations will be key for breaking down big data siloes and expanding precision medicine research capabilities across the care continuum.

The calendar year may be coming to its end, but the nation’s work on precision medicine is just getting started.  Spurred on by the continuing development of big data analytics techniques and pepped up by the landslide passage of the 21st Century Cures Act earlier this month, personalized medicine is set for a bright future as new studies, coalitions, and therapies enrich the research landscape.

“Partnership” is the name of the game for many healthcare stakeholders as organizations seek to bulk up their data processing power while harnessing the collective knowledge of top researchers at academic medical centers, colleges and universities, pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies.

This collaborative atmosphere is critical for the continued development of novel therapies and new approaches to difficult diseases, says FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, MD, and the cooperation between organizations is already bearing remarkable fruit.

Academic medical centers (AMCs) have become anchors for precision medicine research, he said in a blog post.  By quickly expanding their reach across the care continuum, many are now responsible for almost all phases of care, from medical school training to research to patient-centered delivery.

“AMCs have evolved from ‘ivory tower’ teaching hospitals with associated basic research labs to multi-billion dollar enterprises that own an array of entities in a common corporate structure,” Califf explained.