Biology and Beyond: A Panel Discussion About the Importance of Accounting for Biological, Environmental, and Social Factors in Personalized Medicine

On October 28, 2021, a steering committee of patients and patient advocates came together to support the launch of a Personalized Medicine Coalition educational platform that encourages patients to advocate for health care that is tailored to their biological characteristics, circumstances, and values. In an opinion essay published on November 16, 2021, in the Boston Globe’s health care affiliate, STAT, PMC Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Christopher J. Wells elaborated on the rationale for embracing a holistic definition of personalized medicine. With reference to the pandemic’s tragically uneven effects across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomically defined lines, Wells writes that “genetically guided prevention and treatment should be understood as part of a broader movement toward personalized health care that also accounts for the wide-ranging needs and preferences of diverse patient populations.”

What can patients do to help health care providers consider all of the variables that may influence how each patient experiences an encounter with the health system and any subsequent medical interventions?

The nationally recognized patient advocates leading the More Than A Number initiative will reflect on this timeless challenge.


  • Moderator

    Faswilla Sampson
    Chief Operating Officer, Personalized Medicine Coalition

  • Panelist

    Deanna Darlington
    President, Links2Equity

  • Panelist

    Candace Henley
    Founder, Blue Hat Foundation, Diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2003

  • Panelist

    Sarah Krüg
    Executive Director, Cancer101