Precision Medicine Project Group Opens
The KU Medical Center leads the fourth industrial revolution for medical communities in Korea
The Precision Medicine Project Group, which will lead the future of Korea’s medicine, opened its door on the campus of Korea University. The Korea University Medical Center held an opening ceremony for the Project Group at KU’s College of Medicine’s Yugwangsa Hall on September 5 at 15:00.
The opening ceremony was attended by some 140 distinguished guests, including KU President Jaeho Yeom; KU Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, Hyo Myung Kim; Rep. Yung Jin Kim; Rep. Hae Cheol Jeon; Rep. Seung Hee You; and Vice Minister of Health and Welfare, Deok Chul Kwon. The event opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by congratulatory remarks, a project progress report, and the announcement on the vision of KU’s precision medicine.
The Precision Medicine Project Group, the first of its kind in Korea, was selected as a national strategic project by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Science and ICT and will be funded by the government for the next five years.
The Group consists of two sub-project groups, K-Master Project Group (precision medicine-based cancer diagnosis/treatment development project group) led by Prof. Yeol Hong Kim (Dept. of Oncology and Hematology, Korea University Anam Hospital) and P-HIS (Pharmaceutical Health Information System) Development Project Group led by Prof. Sang Heon Lee (Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vice Director of Korea University Anam Hospital). Prof. Kim also serves as the head of the Precision Medicine Project Group.
▲ Prof. Yeol Hong Kim at the College of Medicine, head of the K-Master Project Group
Precision medicine has recently drawn attention as a next-generation paradigm for medicine that provides optimum medical care (prevention, diagnosis, and treatment) for individual patients based on the information of genes, clinical data, living environment, and habits. As precision medicine is emerging as a future core area of the medical industry, many leading countries, such as the US and the UK, recognize its value and have begun to invest substantially in the area.
The success of KU’s Precision Medicine Project Group will make it possible to offer targeted therapy customized for Korean cancer patients and share medical data with other hospitals that use K-HIS. In addition, it promises to predict a person’s risk of developing diseases and provide optimum medical care, which is the ultimate goal of precision medicine.
“Universities can prove their value only when they leverage their research capacity to create new added value and contribute to society. KU and the KU Medical Center are expected to take the initiative in creating a ‘society free of diseases’ with the Precision Medicine Project Group based on their excellent research capabilities,” said KU President Jaeho Yeom.
“The Precision Medicine Project Group will provide a new paradigm for the future of Korea’s medicine, ushering in the era of the fourth industrial revolution. The KU Medical Center will contribute to promoting public health, create a new market, and lead the biomedical industry through the Project Group,” said Hyo Myung Kim, KU Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs.
“I’m committed to leading the Project Group and elevating the research capacity of the KU Medical Center, thereby helping the Center join the ranks of precision medicine institutions across the world. I will devote myself to pioneering the clinical test area for cancer genes and precision medicine in Korea, which will lead towards cancer treatments and a cure,” said Prof. Yeol Hong Kim, head of the Project Group.
“P-HIS will help promote bio-healthcare convergence research related to the fourth industrial revolution and build a new business model of precision medicine. This will lay the groundwork to expand the scope of P-HIS across the country and the world, thus contributing to the development of the national public healthcare industry. In doing so, all Korean people will be able to access a world-class healthcare service,” said Prof. Sang Heon Lee, head of P-HIS Development Project Group.
The Precision Medicine Project Group, selected as a national strategic project by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Science and ICT (previously the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning), will receive a funding of KRW 62.4 billion from the government over the next five years. The funds will be used to develop a new cancer treatment based on precision medicine and develop cloud-based P-HIS. These endeavors will help shift the paradigm of the national medical system and lead the fourth industrial revolution for local medical communities. KU and the KU Medical Center are focusing their capacities on making the Precision Medicine Project Group a success story.