Individualized medicine from prewomb to tomb

Cell. 2014 Mar 27;157(1):241-53. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.02.012.


That each of us is truly biologically unique, extending to even monozygotic, "identical" twins, is not fully appreciated. Now that it is possible to perform a comprehensive "omic" assessment of an individual, including one's DNA and RNA sequence and at least some characterization of one's proteome, metabolome, microbiome, autoantibodies, and epigenome, it has become abundantly clear that each of us has truly one-of-a-kind biological content. Well beyond the allure of the matchless fingerprint or snowflake concept, these singular, individual data and information set up a remarkable and unprecedented opportunity to improve medical treatment and develop preventive strategies to preserve health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Genome, Human
  • Genomics*
  • Humans
  • Microbiota
  • Precision Medicine*
  • Single-Cell Analysis