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Washington University in St Louis organises Forum for India

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The event held in Mumbai discussed the current trends, personalised medicine and
the future of healthcare

Washington University, a leader in the emerging field of personalised medicine, recently organised Forum for India in Mumbai. The focus of the event was on personalised medicine, and what the future of healthcare holds in India.

The event was attended by Washington University’s leading medical scientists — Dr Philip Payne, Director of the Institute of Informatics, Dr Rajendra Apte, the Paul A Cibis Distinguished Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Kurt T Dirks, Vice Chancellor, International Affairs and Director of the Mc Donnel International Scholars Academy for Washington University and Gerard Baker, Editor at Large, The Wall Street Journal, who shared their cutting-edge research.

Mark S Wrighton, Chancellor, Washington University said, “The university has been at the forefront of discovery and research when it comes to genetic sequencing, having played an integral role in the Human Genome Project. We continue to push forward this important work and look forward to discussing collaborative approaches with our partners in Mumbai.”

Leading researchers from Washington University’s School of Medicine–along with corporate leaders and clinicians based in India discussed their research, shared insights and explored collaborative opportunities centred around personalised medicine and healthcare innovations.

The first keynote speaker was Dr Apte.

“As the population ages, we are confronted with diseases reaching epic proportions,” said Apte. “The problems associated with ageing are immense and acutely felt in South-east Asia. Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma and diabetes-related retinopathy affect tens of millions of people in India. We want to make meaningful, fundamental discoveries in the lab, then develop individual therapies and cures. It is a bench to bedside approach, and doing it collaboratively—with partners in India and beyond–gives it a lot of power.”
The other keynote speakers were Dr Payne and Robert J Terry Professor, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medical Sciences and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Washington University.

Dr Payne said, “India is making some very interesting moves to implement broader access to health insurance and healthcare for all parts of their population.”

“Given the size of India’s population and the complexity of delivering care at that scale, in many ways, a country like India could leapfrog the United States in terms of thinking about data driven approaches to improve wellness in the population,” he said.

In addition to the keynote speeches, Gerard Baker, spoke on the economics of healthcare. There were two panels that addressed the financial and regional impacts of healthcare and personalised medicine during the day.

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