Medical Discovery NewsBridging the World of Medical Discovery and You

Recent Episodes

Medicine: A Team Sport


You know how your mom makes your burger just the way you like it and can read your body language? Most moms don't treat her children the same since they're each unique. Well, medicine is working to do just that.

Not replace your mother, but like her, take all the data that science can now make available about you and help doctors create a unique treatment based on your genetic makeup. This is participatory medicine which is also called P4 comprising the four Ps: predictive, preventive, participatory, and personalized. It makes sense when you see the trend.

For just a thousand dollars, you can get a map of your genome and eventually people could also know their unique microbiome. That's the myriad of microbes that live in and on you that keep you healthy.

P4 is envisioned as a team sport involving the patient, specialized social networks, the entire care team and researchers. To make it work, everyone has access to the patient's data and participate in decision making. Eventually, the key is to compile the complete genomic sequence of every patient to create a huge data set.

It might be a turnoff for some people, but there's great promise in this approach. The data sets could be analyzed and compared to reveal causes of disease, determine optimal treatments, and identify preventive measures.

The approach is already used with some cancer patients whose cancer's genomes are compared with normal ones in the data set to find which genes are mutated. Once established, this type of large data set analysis could transition us from a treatment approach to a wellness or preventive approach to health.

More Information

P4 Medicine Could Transform Healthcare, but Payers and Physicians Are Not Yet Convinced
Biotechnol Healthc. 2010 Fall; 7(3): 7'8.

P4 Medicine institute (P4Mi)
"The P4 Medicine institute (P4Mi) is driving innovative approaches to disease prevention and maintenance of HEALTH AND WELLNESS by applying SYSTEMS BIOLOGY to medicine and care delivery."

P4 Medicine: A new approach to health and disease
Expert analysis from the annual meeting on women's cancer


Medicine is constantly advancing – that is a great thing about life in the 21st century. But it doesn’t just happen. Dedicated biomedical scientists are making discoveries that translate into those new medical advances.

Biomedical science is broad, encompassing everything from social science to microbiology, biochemistry, epidemiology, to structural biology and bioinformatics to name just a few areas. And, it can involve basic fundamental biology, the use of AI and chemistry to clinical studies that evaluate new medicines in patients.

No matter the research focus, the goal is always the same, to advance human health. It may take a few months, a few years or for fundamental science, a few decades. Few people make the connection that biomedical science is medicine and that biomedical scientists are working today on the medicine of tomorrow. Our weekly 500-word newspaper columns and 2-minute radio shows and podcasts provide insights into a broad range of biomedical science topics.

Medical Discovery News is dedicated to explaining discoveries in biomedical research and their promise for the future of medicine.


Alternatively, you can copy and paste the following web address (URL) into iTunes as a new subscription:

You can also search and subscribe to "Medical Discovery News" in the podcast section of iTunes.

See all podcasts and radio stations

The web site and Medical Discovery News radio program (Program) are made possible by The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB)as a community service and are intended to advance UTMB's mission of providing scholarly teaching, innovative scientific investigation, and state-of-the-art patient care in a learning environment to better the health of society and its commitment to the discovery of new innovative biomedical and health services knowledge leading to increasingly effective and accessible health care for the citizens of Texas.

All information provided on the web site and in the Program is for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional. Any information obtained by participating as a web site visitor or program listener is not intended to and should not be considered to constitute medical advice.

Thoughts and opinions expressed on the Program or on the website are those of the authors or guests and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of UTMB. The provision of links to other websites is not to be construed as written or implied sponsorship or endorsement of such websites by UTMB.

Please contact Dr. David Niesel or Dr. Norbert Herzog via email with any concerns, suggestions or comments.

All rights are reserved to information provided on the website or other information sources. No part of these programs can be reproduced stored in a retrieval system or transcribed in any form or by any means for personal or financial gained without the express written permission of Drs. Niesel and Dr. Herzog.