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Predictive Health Offers Innovative New Model, Focuses on Health Rather Than Disease


U.S. health care needs to change from its traditional focus on disease and medical intervention to a new and innovative model that focuses on maintaining health, says Emory University professor Michelle Lampl, MD, PhD, Emory University professor of anthropology and associate director of Emory’s Predictive Health Initiative.

Dr. Lampl, whose landmark research documented growth spurts in children, will discuss Emory’s role as a leader in predictive health at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on April 25 (more information on the WHSC web site).

“The idea that medical care is an intervention for disease or injury is embedded in our culture, just as is the idea that predictive health focuses only on specific disease prediction. Health prediction as envisioned by Emory’s Predictive Health Initiative is, by contrast, a fundamental and revolutionary paradigm shift,” says Dr. Lampl.

She will discuss how Emory’s Predictive Health Initiative aims to change the future of healthcare by creating a model of health using new tools of bioscience to identify and measure risks and identify deviations from healthy, common processes to promote health maintenance and restore faulty processes to healthy ones before disease occurs.

Emory’s Predictive Health Initiative will combine an interdisciplinary research core with a clinical testing ground for new predictive biomarkers of health, disease risk and prognosis aimed at keeping people healthy. As part of the initiative, Emory has started construction on a new Center for Health Discovery and Well Being, a conceptually -- and architecturally -- unique and innovative facility located in midtown Atlanta.

The research program links the expertise of the systems biology program at the Georgia Institute of technology, the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory, and a Emory programs in human genetics and computational and life sciences. It also relies on the expertise of ethicists, behaviorists, health economists and other disciplines from across the universities.

Dr. Lampl is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Emory. Her research focuses on human growth and development, including genetic and environmental factors involved in growth mechanisms. Her current research is exploring fetal and infant growth and development, and the nutritional, immunological and hormonal networks that interact with behavior to influence the growth process. (Full bio on the WHSC web site.)


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