After a long time of thinking about it (and a long time spent procrastinating), I've decided to resurrect the blog. So I've slapped on a new coat of paint, added a few new gew-gaws, and I'm off to the races.
The blog is now actually an experiment of sorts. I'm waist-deep in writing my thesis, which is a risk prediction system that is able to sit at the heart of a personalized medicine system. It's fascinating work and I'm learning incredible amounts both about the mechanism of making a prediction and about what extra steps are necessary to make an algorithm clinically relevant and doctor friendly.
But the prediction side isn't the only part of personalized medicine that's fascinating. It has the potential to drastically change the way medical care is delivered, but there are a number of hurdles to clear first. Some of those are technological, and some of those are at the heart of my thesis project. But other hurdles are policy issues, economic issues, ethical issues, and privacy issues. I have no way of addressing them (other than VERY briefly) in my thesis, both because they're too far afield, and because I have little expertise in those areas.
I like to think broadly about things, however, and I think that this topic is too important to be considered in isolation. This is something that needs to be discussed publicly, both to allay people's fears and also to take advantage of their wisdom. So that's what I'll be trying to do. I'm going to begin by defining some terms and then we'll see where that takes me.
As I said, this is an experiment, so this will be a little different than a typical blog. The posts will tend to be longer and somewhat less frequent. For now the plan is to publish on Mondays and Thursday, but that may change in the future. For me this blog is going to serve two purposes: 1) to keeping up writing while I'm actually doing the work of the thesis (I've just spent a month writing the first two chapters of my thesis, and I know how much constant practice improves writing, so I want to give myself that practice), and 2) to serve as a testing grounds for ideas to put into a publication on the policy of personalized medicine. I'd love to hear input and comments, so please send me an email (my address is in the sidebar).
Reagan Kelly is a PhD student at University of Michigan studying bioinformatics. His thesis is focused on risk prediction algorithms for personalized medicine systems, and he is also interested in the policy and societal implications of individualized healthcare.You can read his CV for more information about him. If you would like to contact him, please send an email to reagank -at- reagank.com