Academic medical centers as innovation ecosystems to address population -omics challenges in precision medicine

Patrick J. Silva, Valerie M. Schaibley, Kenneth S. Ramos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


While the promise of the Human Genome Project provided significant insights into the structure of the human genome, the complexities of disease at the individual level have made it difficult to utilize -omic information in clinical decision making. Some of the existing constraints have been minimized by technological advancements that have reduced the cost of sequencing to a rate far in excess of Moore's Law (a halving in cost per unit output every 18 months). The reduction in sequencing costs has made it economically feasible to create large data commons capturing the diversity of disease across populations. Until recently, these data have primarily been consumed in clinical research, but now increasingly being considered in clinical decision- making. Such advances are disrupting common diagnostic business models around which academic medical centers (AMCs) and molecular diagnostic companies have collaborated over the last decade. Proprietary biomarkers and patents on proprietary diagnostic content are no longer driving biomarker collaborations between industry and AMCs. Increasingly the scope of the data commons and biorepositories that AMCs can assemble through a nexus of academic and pharma collaborations is driving a virtuous cycle of precision medicine capabilities that make an AMC relevant and highly competitive. A rebalancing of proprietary strategies and open innovation strategies is warranted to enable institutional precision medicine asset portfolios. The scope of the AMC's clinical trial and research collaboration portfolios with industry are increasingly dependent on the currency of data, and less on patents. Intrapeneurial support of internal service offerings, clinical trials and clinical laboratory services for example, will be important new points of emphasis at the academic-industry interface. Streamlining these new models of industry collaboration for AMCs are a new area for technology transfer offices to offer partnerships and to add value beyond the traditional intellectual property offering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number28
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 15 2018


  • Biomarker collaboration
  • Data ecosystem
  • Diagnostic technology
  • Genomics
  • Industry alliance
  • Licensing
  • Open innovation
  • Precision medicine
  • Technology transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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