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Precision Medicine: How Far We’ve Come

October 30, 2019

A decade ago, precision medicine was little more than an idea and a phrase. The term was coined in 2011 by the National Research Council, a non-government agency that advises the government on scientific matters. That year, the NRC issued a report calling for a new “data network” to bring together emerging disease research on the molecular underpinnings of disease, using clinical data on individual patients to create “precision” diagnoses and treatments. One of the report’s authors compared this project to the building of Europe’s great cathedrals, a project of such significance and scale that it required several generations to complete.