Emory creates a new institute for personalized medicine in brain health | Emory University
Atlanta – Emory University is expanding its efforts to understand the complexities of brain health by establishing the Brain Health Personalized Medicine Institute (BHPMI). Home to a dynamic research program to collect, integrate and analyze large sets of high-quality data, BHPMI will inform understanding of the biological, medical and lifestyle factors impacting brain health and disease.
Led by Allan Levey, MD, PhD, the institute will include members including professors from Emory University and the Emory Brain Health Center who share an interest in improving patient brain health outcomes through personalized medicine and to data science. Levey will step down from his current role as Chair of the Department of Neurology at the School of Medicine to become Director of BHPMI and report to Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs and CEO of Emory Healthcare. Jaffar Khan, MD, professor of neurology, will serve as interim chair of the Department of Neurology. Khan is also the Assistant Dean of the School of Medicine for Medical Education and Vice President for Education in the Department of Neurology.
Levey, a visionary leader recognized internationally for his work in neurodegenerative diseases, has served as head of the Department of Neurology for the past 18 years. He is the Goizueta Foundation Alzheimer’s Research Chair, Professor and Betty Gage Holland Chair, and Director of the Goizueta Alzheimer’s Research Center. Levey has also been central to the growth and success of the Emory Brain Health Center, partnering with leaders in neurosurgery, psychiatry, rehabilitative medicine and the Emory Sleep Center.
Through BHPMI, Emory will combine existing strengths in clinical neuroscience and research programs by integrating data obtained from Emory Healthcare with cutting-edge research capabilities in the Georgian community. From molecular detail to genetic, cellular and neural circulation, Emory’s new institute will seek to clarify the complexity of behavior and disease through large-scale data collection and analysis.
“Very few academic medical centers are as wealthy as Emory in terms of neuroscientists and health care providers in the field of brain health,” says Lewin. “The rich academic culture extends to partner institutions of Georgia Tech, Atlanta VA Medical Center and Georgia State University, making Atlanta one of the few cities in the world with a research community and of care in neuroscience as strong. “
Researchers have learned that across the spectrum of brain disease there is more in common than there are differences. Dementia, depression, ALS, autism, stroke, and other brain diseases have been treated as unrelated conditions. However, data from integrated research conducted at Emory’s Brain Health Center indicates that all of these diseases are more related than previously believed, and data science can help complete the puzzle.
“One of our goals with BHPMI is to accumulate data from and profile a large subset of people with brain disease,” says Levey. “These data will help us better understand the biological, medical and lifestyle factors impacting brain health and disease and promote new research approaches to improve patient care and ultimately , prevent common brain diseases.