Personalized Medicine – The Goldilocks Genome

Around 2010, I was listening an interview with Irving Weissman, a leader in stem cell biology.  I was struck by his comment that fiction is how the lay public learns about science. I was frustrated with the lack of progress in personalized medicine. I wanted to write a book that combined what I loved about Michael Crichton, Dick Francis, Lawrence Sanders, and Kathy Reich novels. So, I played with the idea of using fiction to create awareness of personalized medicine.  Hence the idea for The Goldilocks Genome where pharmacology and genes have a deadly collision and it takes a head-strong epidemiologist heroine to solve the puzzle.

CLICK HERE for a good introduction to the scope of personalized medicine by McKinsey Consultants

Personalized medicine, sometimes called precision medicine, has made dramatic progress in oncology, when the therapy is matched to the genotype of the tumor.

When genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic data are incorporated into an individual’s medical record, patient outcomes will be better and medical costs should be reduced.

The idea for this book began with wanting to highlight our Neanderthal genetic heritage and how it affects drug metabolism. I explored a number of ways to get the importance of personalization of medicine across and first put fingers to my keyboard in 2013 in an online course with author Shelley Singer. I wrote the prologue in one sitting at my kitchen table after watching numerous YouTube videos about jumpers from the Golden Gate Bridge and then reading The Final Leap: Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge by John Bateson. In Shelley’s course and subsequent working group, I developed my first draft which took two years to write.