According to the a recent Washington Post article, more than 20 companies today offer personalized genomics tests that promise to help you determine what diseases you may get and gain insight into your personality and behavior.

Such tests are the foundation of personalized medicine. Personalized medicine involves extrapolating data from an individual’s genome, selecting an appropriate medication, and administering a treatment or a therapy that is suitable for a particular patient. As you can imagine, personalized medicine sparks a lot of debate regarding policy, ethics, and research. These areas are explored by experts in a new series of podcasts on SAGE Crossroads. SAGE Crossroads is an online forum, maintained by the Alliance for Aging Research, where experts confront pros, cons, obstacles, and dilemmas that confront scientists and policy makers in advancing aging related science. The most recent series of “sagecasts” (#29-#34) unearth the business, policy, and scientific hurdles that must be overcome in order for personalized medicine to truly thrive. Some of the experts featured include Dr. Gregory Downing from the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Raju Kucherlapati from the Harvard Medical School’s Partners Center for Genomics and Genetics, and David Merritt from the Center for Health Transformation. Check out www.sagecrossroads.net to listen to all of the the sagecasts, both past and present. New sagecasts are being added every week. The next area of focus will be longevity science.

This post was written by Valerie Hagan, former Health Programs Coordinator at the Alliance.