DNA Interpretation- A Complex Process – Genetically Guided Prescribing By A/Prof Ajeet Singh

Posted on: August 20, 2019
Last Updated: September 12, 2019

Prof Ajeet Singh is an academic private psychiatrist whose research has focused on genetically guided prescribing (pharmacogenetics) of antidepressants, particularly the role of the blood-brain-barrier. Dr Singh is the Founder of CNSDose, an academic member of the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC), and member of the Genetic Tests in Psychiatry Taskforce, International Society of Psychiatric Genetics (ISPG).

Author Quotes  

The cost of sequencing genes has dropped far faster than prices predicted by Moore’s Law.

This is happening now, many institutes globally have these machines, principally in the UK and USA, churning through clinical datasets to see if they can help clinical outcomes.


Dr Singh begins this short video with an introduction to the company Illumina, and how they have been instrumental in reducing the cost of genetic testing. 

He explains how the interpretation of DNA is a complex process, the use of super-computers in genomics with the aim of improving outcomes, and the increase in GP awareness of how genomic influences affect an individual’s ability to metabolise particular drugs. 

He ends the presentation with a discussion on how genome sequencing can assist in eliminating trial and error prescribing in therapeutics with a long gestation between implementation and outcome. For example, drugs activated in the liver can have different outcomes in different individuals according to their ability to metabolise the drug, and codeine is not always efficiently metabolised to morphine. 

Take-Home Points  

  • The dramatic reduction in the cost of gene sequencing is correlated with the startup of Illumina – a genome testing company in the US. 
  • Genome sequencing may change clinical care through RCT comparative trials. 
  • Genome sequencing could be useful for therapeutics with a long gestation between implementation and outcome to reduce the period of trial and error. 


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