The article, entitled 'Applying Bioinformatics to Precision Medicine’ summarizes her scientific career and highlights the future of personalized medicine applied to cancer
The scientific researcher Fátima Al-Shahrour, head of the Translational Bioinformatics Unit in the Clinical Research program at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), is the focus of an article in the latest edition of the journal Science, in its Science Careers section, aimed at providing role models to young scientists.
The article, entitled Applying Bioinformatics to Precision Medicine, summarizes her scientific career and highlights the future of personalized medicine applied to cancer, an area in which bioinformatics plays a decisive role.
“Someday, it should be possible for doctors to send individual cancer patients in for a genomic analysis and, based on the results, prescribe the drug they know will be the most effective”, starts out the text.
It continues by saying that while the common use of this type of medicine is still to come, Al-Shahrour is already working in this direction at the CNIO, “interpreting the genomes of individual cancer patients and searching for clues to how they will respond to various treatments”.
“Medicine is going into that direction, so every hospital, every clinician, every laboratory in the future is going to need people who can interpret those results,” she says, pointing the way to the youngest scientists.
The article also explains the work which Al-Shahrour does in the CNIO with so called Mouse Avatar, a concept coined at the center. This experimental technique involves inplanting the tumor of a given patient into a number of mice, testing them with the available treatments and, depending on the outcome, deciding which will work better for that particular patient.
The full link to see the article in the online edition of ‘Science’ is: http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_magazine/previous_issues/articles/2013_03_29/caredit.a1300050