Prof. Dr. Alain van Gool
Radboud university medical center Nijmegen | Netherlands
We have reached a fantastic period in biomedical science. Exponential developments in molecular laboratory technologies such as next generation sequencing and mass spectrometry have enabled us to obtain increasing insights in the molecular components of human biology and their interactions. Novel personalized diagnostics and high precision therapies that modulate selected disease mechanisms are now driving the new paradigm of precision medicine. The parallel strong developments in digital biomarker platforms like wearables and apps further drive the personalized aspect of health management, even towards prevention of un-health. Collectively, we now aim to translate interdisciplinary research to knowledge, understanding and actionable decisions for people to maintain and/or improve health, both at the population as on the individual level.
However, while embarking on the road towards precision medicine and health, we are rediscovering that human physiology in combination with environmental factors is a highly complex system and that we need multiple viewing angles to begin to understand the complexity, identify its key nodes and define optimal therapeutic approaches. To innovate to the next level, we need to be fully aware of the many lessons learned thus far in population health and personalized health, and use these insights to translate novel capabilities to daily practice.