Jointly sponsored by the CRI and the Center for Personalized Therapeutics, the 1200 Patients project seeks to develop a new medical system model for personalized care, in which the genetic profile of a patient can be incorporated into treatment decisions.

Led by University of Chicago physicians Dr. Mark Ratain and Dr. Peter O’Donnell, business lead and venture partner Ken Bradley, and CRI lead programmer Keith Danahey, the project has been underway since 2011.

Rather than delivering raw genotype information, the GPS provides a patient-specific interpretation of the genomic data for a group of commonly prescribed medications. This information is distilled into a summary designed to be understood in 30 seconds or less, so that providers can easily use the tool during clinic visits. Physicians can use this knowledge to inform their choices in prescribing a medication—for example, pre-identifying patients at higher risk for severe side effects or predicting when a patient may need alternative dosing.

In 2014, the University of Chicago Innovation Fund awarded a $100,000 investment for further development of the GPS tool. The team plans to use this funding to continue developing a more robust version of the tool and to further validate the system in hospital and health care environments outside the University.

The GPS has been designed and maintained by the CRI since its inception. Under the leadership of Keith Danahey, our 1200 Patients team provides custom programming, database design, data stewardship, and data analysis, among other essential work. Keith’s team was joined by programmer Ishai Strauss in fall 2014, and together they design powerful yet simple software solutions for both physicians and researchers. In addition, they have undertaken complex data analysis that has led to exciting developments in the field of pharmacogenomics—the study of the effect of genetic variation on drug response or toxicity.

The team’s work was accepted for presentation at the AMIA 2015 Joint Summits on Translational Science in San Francisco, further underscoring the impact of this project.