Evolution of Pharmacogenetic Prescribing

Posted on November 6, 2016

A/Prof Ajeet Singh is an academic private psychiatrist with interests in complex mood disorders, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and pharmacogenetics. In 2013, he was awarded a doctorate in blood-brain barrier pharmacogenetic prediction of antidepressant dosing. He is a co-founder of CNS Dose.

To understand the future you must understand the past

  • This clip walks us through the evolution of ‘genetic prescribing’ from 1866 to 2015. A/Prof Singh focuses on ­­­­six key moments in history. First, in 1983 they found the genetic basis of Huntington’s Disease; however, due to the minimal treatment implications a common thought is ‘genetics so what’; but clearly the story did not end in 1983.
  • In 1985 Kary Mullis developed a technology termed polymerase chain reaction (PCR); whereby, thousands to millions of copies of a particular DNA sequence are generated.
  • The Human Genome project began in 1990 and is one of the great feats in exploration history. This international scientific research project aims to identify and map all of the genes in the human genome.
  • In 1993, the ultra-rapid metaboliser was born. It identified that people have different types of metabolism based on their genetics, which in turn raised questions such as “how does this affect prescribing medication.” A/Prof Singh suggests that it was ‘the beginning of modern pharmacogenetics in some ways’.
  • The most recent evolution in genetic prescribing was in 2015, where Obama introduced the ‘Precision Medicine Initiative.’
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