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Personalized Medicine

“Variability is the law of life, and as no two faces are the same, so no two bodies are alike, and no two individuals react alike and behave alike under the abnormal conditions which we know as disease” – Sir William Osler

Personalized medicine aims to provide an adequate and desirable response to diversity; to differences among people rather than similarities. In our vision, it is more than genetic or otherwise technical tailoring of a certain treatment to an individual. In personalized medicine, ideally all aspects shown below are taken into account by health care professional(s) at different stages of care.

For tailoring we rely on existing approaches (e.g. prediction modelling) but will also develop new techniques for risk profiling, classifying and stratifying patients and other clients, to predict benefit or harm from diagnostics and interventions. We implement and evaluate guidelines and interventions that build on and effectively respond to biological and social axes of diversity, including genetic factors and intersectionality. We study how future healthcare professionals can be better trained to be receptive and effective to differences in patient diversity, presentation, needs and goals, for example by improving care providers’ skills in Shared Decision Making.

Adequate personalization can make healthcare more valuable by improving uptake and increasing effectiveness of procedures/treatment(s), better commitment, better adherence and more patient satisfaction.

Program leaders

Meike Bartels Meike Bartels

Dick Willems Dick Willems


Program leaders: Meike Bartels (VU) & Dick Willems (AMC)

Program secretary: Alice Karsten