Global Health Network

Global and European Health Symposium 2013

1 October 2013

On October 10th, 2013, Maastricht Global and European Health annual symposium will take place in Maastricht University, Universiteitssingel 40. This year's theme is 'Global benefit of personalized medicine? Worldwide perspectives and the role of Europe'.

Personalized Medicine (PM) is often seen as the breakthrough in medicine with which we will be able  to make real progress in fighting disease on a worldwide scale. It is assumed that based on genomic and molecular data individual differences in susceptibility for disease and in (non-)responsiveness to pharmaceuticals can be identified. These insights enable us to become far more effective in diagnosing illness, and in tailoring therapy and prevention to the individual. Although it is acknowledged that challenges in global health are highly influenced by the socio-political- and economic status quo, clinical pharmacology and individualized medicine are seen as creative solutions that can contribute to solve the health crises of the most vulnerable citizens in resource poor areas of the world. 

However, the promises of PM are at the same time highly controversial. It is questioned whether these promises are realistic in the foreseeable future. Furthermore, the databanks needed for PM create ethical and juridical problems that need to be addressed. Finally, it is not only questioned whether it is feasible to implement such high tech innovations in resource poor areas, but the preference for  such solutions above addressing socio-economic and political causes is highly contested as well. Thus, PM is an important topic on the national, European and global agenda. The symposium is going to be an excellent opportunity to debate with experts on the promises and
perils of PM in a global context.

The Catherina Pijls key note lecture will be provided by Dr. Richard Tutton, Lancaster University, UK. Further contributions to this symposium include: John Bowis, Chair of the European Alliance for Personalized Medicine, Fernand Sauer, Honorary Director General of the European Commission, Prof.  Angela Brand, Institute for Public Health Genomics, Maastricht University, and representatives of pharmaceutical industry and globally active NGOs (tba). 
Supported by the Master Global Health, the Bachelor EPH programme, the Master EPH programme, Department Health,
Ethics & Society, Department of International Health, Institute for Public Health Genomics and Caphri, FHML, Maastricht
University and Catharina PijlsStichting.