About the Author
Tom Grigliatti's research work has encompassed a variety of topics and organisms. His very early work, where he created conditional paralytic mutants in the fruit fly, Drosophila, helped establish the field of neurogenetics. Later, he turned his attention to identifying genes and mutations in chromatin remodeling proteins, and this work help found the now rapidly expanding field of epigenetics. In the last 7 or 8 years he's used functional genomics and proteomics to focus on several different areas of human health. Along the way, he developed technology that allows the functional reconstruction of virtually any portion of the human proteome in cells grown in tissue culture. In addition to defining the genes/proteins that are both necessary and sufficient for the function any specific physiological pathway or process and how naturally occurring mutations in these genes alter the outcome, the technology serves as a platform for drug discovery and development.
Dr. Grigliatti came to UBC in 1977. In addition to being a Professor in the Life Sciences Institute, he is an Associate Member of both the Dept. of Medical Genetics (Fac. of Medicine), and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He is a member of several international research consortia, including the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries, the Centre for Complex Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders-CARC, and the Centre for Drug Discovery and Development. He has also been an advisor to NASA and the Canadian Space Agency for design and research on the space station.
About the Talk
For decades, the pharmaceutical industry has taken the "one drug fits all" approach. These days, we are barraged with advertisements that encourage us to consult with our doctor about a drug that might help us cope with some ailment, but following some testimonials about the drug's utility, there is a litany of potential side effects. Can it be true that in doctors' offices world-wide, patients are given medications that either don't work for them, or cause severe adverse effects? Additionally, with a number of different drugs available for each ailment, many patients must return to their doctor several times until they find, by trial and error, a drug that works for them. Pharmacogenetics promises a day when, using your personal genotype, your doctor eliminates drugs from which you would derive little or no benefit, and/or those for which you may have adverse effects, and instead finds a drug that benefits you, with very minor or no adverse effects. Is this promise probable or fanciful?