Synthesis by Jeffrey Bland
“ We need to listen to the patients' story and develop a response to it. The approach to complex syndromes may be much more profound than just trying to point a round peg into a square hole and get a singular diagnosis ”
Jeffrey S. Bland, PhD




Welcome! Dr. Bland has self-published his journal, Functional Medicine Update, for many years and his archive includes an amazing collection of interviews. Please enjoy this selection of audio issues that have been hand-picked by Dr. Bland to complement the 2015 article series, "Functional Medicine and Genomics: Is the Future Here?"

August 2015
Medicine for the Average Becomes Medicine for the Individual: We Are Much More Than Our DNA


In 2014, Dr. Bland interviewed Lee Hood, MD, PhD, who is the president and co-founder of the nonprofit Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) in Seattle, WA. Dr. Hood has had an extraordinary career that now spans five decades and has taken him from classrooms at Caltech and Johns Hopkins, to a Bill Gates-funded laboratory at the University of Washington, to an impressive assortment of biotech companies. The Institute for Systems Biology is in the process of beginning one of the most ambitious longitudinal studies every designed: the 100K Wellness Project. The initial pilot study will expand in phases, with the ultimate goal being 100,000 subjects monitored over 25 years.




To stream this audio file, click the icon above or this link.


September 2015
Genomic Testing: Is It Ready for Prime Time?

As a part of his 2014 interview series on genomics, Dr. Bland also interviewed Eric Schadt, PhD. Dr. Schadt is the Director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai Hospital. As part of his work at Mount Sinai, Dr. Schadt is leading a research effort called the Resilience Project in collaboration with Sage Bionetworks and partners around the world. This project seeks DNA donations from "healthy" individuals who carry the genes for serious illnesses. The goal is to better understand what is protecting these "resilient" people in order to make advances in treating or even preventing these diseases in the future.



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October 2015
Cancer: Is Genomics the Future of Cancer Care?

Genomic instability refers to chromosomal and molecular events that are causing a continuous and major change in the genome of a particular cell, and it is an important area of cancer research. In 2008, Dr. Bland interviewed Michael Fenech, PhD, who conducts research on genomic instability at the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Organisation (CSIRO), which is Australia's national science agency.



To stream this audio file, click the icon above or this link.


How are the cancer centers of today incorporating genomics and personalized medicine into their treatment models? Dr. Bland invites you to listen to this July 2015 interview with Thomas Brown, MD, MBA, who is the Executive Director of the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle, as well as a practicing medical oncologist.



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November 2015
Biointelligence and the N-of-1 Concept

How vast and diverse is the human microbiome? Its enormity really cannot be overstated. Since 2008, the Human Microbiome Project has examined the role of the microbiome in health and disease. In September 2015, Dr. Bland interviewed Dr. Martin J. Blaser, who heads the Human Microbiome Project at NYU and is the author of the book Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics is Fueling Our Modern Plagues. As we continue to learn more about the microbiome's influence on systemic health, analysis of microbial diversity promises to become a valuable tool in personalizing recommendations and treatment for individual patients.



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Have you joined the quantified self movement? Chances are that you have, because it can be as simple as tracking your daily steps with a pedometer or keeping a food journal. But there is an extreme edge of the quantified self movement, and it can be found in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Snyder, who leads the Stanford Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine at Stanford University. In 2010, Dr. Snyder and his team undertook an ambitious project (with Dr. Snyder himself as the study subject) called iPOP (Integrative Personal Omics Profiling). iPOP was a detailed and ongoing examination of Dr. Snyder's personal biochemistry. This work was groundbreaking and it has provided a new dimension to the era of Big Data and personal analytics. In October 2013, Dr. Bland interviewed Dr. Snyder about his experiences and about the impact iPOP had on his health and lifestyle choices.



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December 2015
Epigenetics: Redefining the Gene/Environment Connection


It
is very possible that future historians will one day refer to epigenetics as the concept that revolutionized scientific thinking in the early decades of the 21st century. Epigenetics is the process by which specific chemical marks are selectively placed either on the genes or on the nucleosomes that regulate the way genes are expressed. Researchers all over the world are dedicating their time and attention to unraveling and solving the mysteries of epigenetics and it is our great fortune that Dr. Bland has interviewed some of the key scientists working in this field. Access these interviews using the links below.

While at Duke University, Dr. Randy Jirtle was among the first researchers to receive international attention for his identification of epigenetic influences on the phenotypes of Agouti mice. Dr. Bland interviewed Dr. Jirtle in 2008 and then conducted a follow-up interview in 2010.



To stream the September 2008 audio file, click the icon above or this link.



To stream the September 2010 audio file, click the icon above or this link.


Dr. Michael Skinner of Washington State University is noted for his research into transgenerational inheritance of epigenetic traits. Dr. Bland interviewed Dr. Skinner in December 2008.



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And finally, no discussion of epigenetics is complete without a review of Dr. Moshe Szyf's important research. Dr. Szyf, of McGill University, studies how extreme environmental and social influences during pregnancy--war, famine, cold--can influence the phenotypes of offspring for several generations. Dr. Bland spoke with Dr. Szyf in November 2010.



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