ACR Master Ralph Snyderman, MD, chancellor emeritus for health affairs at Duke University in Durham, N.C., and founder and chairman of Proventys Inc., recently received the 2007 Leadership in Personalized Medicine Award. The award, given by the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC), honors Dr. Snyderman’s efforts to advance predictive and targeted therapies on a national scale.
The annual PMC award recognizes the contributions of a visionary individual whose actions in science, business, or policy have advanced the frontier of personalized medicine. Snyderman accepted the award at the Harvard Medical School– Partners HealthCare Center for Genetics and Genomics and Harvard Business School conference, “Personalized Medicine: A Call for Action.”
“The PMC Leadership in Personalized Medicine Award publicly recognizes those individuals who support and contribute to the innovative and deeply collaborative nature of personalized medicine,” said Mara G. Aspinall, president of Genzyme Genetics and chair of the committee that selected Snyderman. “Dr. Snyderman has helped advance the frontier of personalized medicine across a broad front, including clinical care, business, and as an outspoken supporter of the new paradigm.”
Personalized medicine is the use of molecular analysis to better manage a patient’s disease or predisposition to disease to achieve optimal clinical outcomes by helping physicians and patients choose the approaches best suited to the patient’s genetic and environmental profile.
As the Chancellor of Health Affairs at Duke from 1989 to 2004, Dr. Snyderman drew on his experience in biotechnology and healthcare delivery to conceive, pioneer, and implement a comprehensive healthcare approach based on the concept of “prospective health care.”
The foundation of this healthcare approach is strategic, personalized, and predictive health planning, rather than reactive treatment. Part of the Duke Health System for the past six years, Duke Prospective Health uses technology to provide individualized and integrated healthcare for patients. This approach, led by Dr. Snyderman, has made the Duke Health System one of the leading academic health systems in the United States and has firmly placed it at the leading edge of personalized medicine.
In addition to his pioneering work at Duke, Dr. Snyderman has worked continually to put personalized medicine on the national agenda by developing concepts for its implementation and by convening key leaders of the major stakeholders in healthcare—payers, legislators, patients, physicians, and economists—and engaging them in a dialogue about this new trend in medicine. Dr. Snyderman also made individualized healthcare a focus of his tenure as both the chairman of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) Council of Deans (1999–2000) and chair of the AAMC (2000–2001).