By DFK | January 04, 2013 at 01:25 PM EST | 5 comments
This entry is modified from the original post in January of 2012. It is in reference to our "guest DNA provider", JES.
Why is this blog here? With the responsibility of keeping our students on the forefront of pharmacy education, I felt obligated to present, from a public point of view, where "things" are at with personal genetic information. As I have talked about patients who eliminate drugs from their body slowly (poor metabolizers) versus those who remove drugs rapidly (extensive and ultra rapid metabolizers) in class for years, I felt that this needed to be placed in the context of the "bigger picture". With the advent of direct to consumer (DTC) genetic testing, I saw the opportunity to investigate the "bigger picture".
JES sent his DNA sample (saliva) to arguably the most commercial of the DTC "personal genome" companies so we could delve into his personal genetic information.
Being in pharmacy education, we specifically were looking at this information to see the drug-genetic connections (pharmacogenetic) side of things. We wanted to know how JES "handled" certain drugs. This term, pharmacogenetics was defining what we wanted to know. That is, we wanted to study JES's genetic makeup in order predict how he would respond to certain drugs and to understand how certain drugs should be prescribed for him.
So, we are checking JES's pharmacogenetics, hence this PGxCheck.com blog...but it is much bigger than just drug response. We will learn what disease risk JES has, what disease(s) He may be a carrier of and what his DNA says about physical traits. The bigger picture includes legal issues, such as discrimination, ethics, healthcare, business and broader personal questions. We all need to be thinking about the use of genetic information in this era of easy access to DNA information.
We will start with the traits JES's genetics says he has. Certainly, he knows how he expresses some of the defined traits. It will be interesting to see if JES's expression of the traits, his phenotype, matches what his genetics say he should express as a trait, his genotype.
To get us all at a starting point, click on “About JES” at the left. You will see the trait that was tested by the personal genome company, how JES expresses that trait and we will start looking at the results and enter the results from JES's DNA testing. We will see if they match…and discuss why they may not!
For the students that are following along, I will also send an e-mail when there is a post.