As the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health embarks on its strategic plan to build a world-class, state-of-the-art precision medicine and genomics center, it has begun the process by choosing its first director.
Dr. Stephen Meyn, professor of molecular genetics and pediatrics at the University of Toronto and a member of their Institute for Medical Sciences, will be the first director of the UW Center for Human Genomics and Precision Medicine.
“Dr. Meyn enjoys an international reputation as a genetics researcher whose work has spanned the continuum of basic, clinical, and translational science,” said Dr. Robert Golden, dean of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. “He has considerable administrative experience, and will lead us forward in creating platforms for advancing our new initiative in clinical, scientific, and training programs in precision medicine.”
Precision medicine is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The new center will be located next to the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research on Highland Avenue, on the School of Medicine and Public Health campus. Construction on the project is scheduled to start in the summer of 2018, and be completed by 2020. It will employ more than 100 staff, including 16 faculty members.
The center will comprise two sections. One will be a new building, the other a remodeled section of University Hospital. The new building will house the center's research component, while the remodeled area will be home to advanced diagnostic facilities that will support the entire academic health center campus.
Meyn’s role will be to develop a strategic vision for the center and guide the formation of its clinical and academic programs, as well as lead the center in its long-term mission to become an innovative global leader in genome-based precision medicine.
Meyn received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his MD and PhD degrees from New York University. After completing his pediatrics residency at University of California-San Francisco, he undertook fellowship training in medical genetics at the National Institutes of Health.
He served on the faculty of the Departments of Genetics and Pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine for more than a decade prior to his recruitment to the University of Toronto. While in Toronto, Meyn has served as head of the Hospital for Sick Children’s Program in Genetics and Genome Biology, and currently co-leads the Hospital’s Cancer Genetics Program and Genome Clinic Project, which has pioneered the use of diagnostic and predictive whole genome sequencing in children.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Meyn and look forward to his leadership in advancing one of the very top strategic priorities of our school and our academic health system,” Golden said.