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Phoenix Children’s Hospital launches genomics research institute

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Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014

By Bethany Reed


ANALISE ORTIZ/CRONKITE NEWS: Researchers here in Phoenix will soon be trying to map cancer cells to see how the disease develops. They’ll be part of the new Chan Soon-Shiong Children’s Precision Medicine Institute that’s at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. As Bethany Reed reports, the role of the institute will be developing genomic testing.

BETHANY REED/CRONKITE NEWS: Hospitals have started using genomic testing to understand what causes diseases like cancer by mapping gene sequences of many different people.

ROBERT L. MEYER/CEO PHOENIX CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL: Some of those genes mutate or they don’t work appropriately and they cause cancer, they cause birth defects, they cause a variety of congenital diseases.

MELISSA WILSON SAYRES/ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY ASSISTANT PROFESSOR: We can sequence every child that comes in to the hospital. We can start to get a better handle on how much variation is there and how much of it is probably leading to some of the diseases that these children have.

BETHANY REED/CRONKITE NEWS: Phoenix Children’s Hospital is one of the first to heavily focus genomics testing on children. The equipment will be fully functional by the second quarter of 2015. The hospital has partnered with Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong to create the testing center.

ROBERT L. MEYER/CEO PHOENIX CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL: He’s got a vision to develop a genomic one-size or one-shop stop for everything you would need for genomic medicine, from the sequencing to the informatics, the interpretation, the access to various pharmaceuticals, chemotherapy agents, etc.

BETHANY REED/CRONKITE NEWS: While the testing won’t cure cancer, it provides something he says is more valuable for parents.