Looking back on the last several months, I am pleased with the progress that has been made in generating new ideas, and building upon longstanding ones, as our member institutions come together in support of our design teams. The synergy within the medical center is exciting, and we continue to find more compelling reasons to support the sharing of both phenotypic and genomic data across all of the TMC institutions.
Data is central to the work of each of the teams—health policy, clinical trials, innovation, regenerative medicine and genomics—from developing a common IRB for clinical trials, to the creation of a TMC Biobank and Biorepository. All are important to the successful implementation of the TMC-wide strategic plan objectives, and all require collaboration and data sharing.
There is exciting and substantial potential to leverage the power of information for the improved health of humanity. And I see no place more capable of amassing the sheer volume or diversity of game-changing data than the Texas Medical Center. By compiling and sharing clinical information—from patients of all races, male and female, old and young—new drugs can be developed, new medical devices built, and novel IT solutions implemented to improve health around the world.
I look at the work being done through the Texas Medical Center Genetics (TexGen) project, founded by Drs. James Willerson and Eric Boerwinkle, as an outstanding example of the power of data sharing. Since 2001, TexGen has been amassing a database of genetic information, volunteered by patients, to help better understand the leading causes of cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke. And as a collaborative effort, the information is contributing to research across the medical center.
By harnessing the power of information, there is tremendous potential for TMC researchers and physicians to help unlock the mysteries of disease and human health.