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Personalized Medicine: Progress, Promises and Limitations

Monday, Oct. 23 | 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

This event last occurred Oct. 23, 2017

Experts from the School of Life Sciences and the College of Health Solutions will describe the rapidly growing field of personalized medicine.

Some key topics they will address will be the definitions and current capabilities of personalized medicine and who benefits most from this new field of medical research and practice. They will also discuss the major barriers that must be addressed in order to make personalized medicine accessible to everyone, and the ethics that guide the development and implementation of the resulting emerging technologies.

Life Sciences Café seminar series. Light food and beverage provided.


Corrie Whisner:
Assistant professor, College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University

Corrie M. Whisner is an assistant professor of nutrition in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion. After receiving both her Bachelor of Science and doctorate in nutrition science from Purdue University, she was a USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University.

Whisner’s research at ASU focuses on nutrient metabolism in pediatric populations and optimizing the gut microbome for sustained and optimal health throughout life. She studies the effects of prebiotic (novel dietary fiber) supplementation on calcium absorption and the gut microbiome in healthy adolescent boys and girls. She also has research expertise that includes studying the effects of maternal diet on prenatal bone loss and fetal programming among pregnant adolescents.

Currently, Whisner’s research focuses on the intricate relationships between lifestyle factors and intestinal microbial communities. Her work includes observational studies which aim to identify dietary factors that impact the intestinal microbiome and supplementation trials to alter systemic metabolic health via intestinal microbial functions.

Specific areas of systemic health that she has expertise in include osteoporosis and obesity. Most recently, Whisner has completed a longitudinal study of college freshmen to assess how changes in lifestyle behaviors (diet, exercise and stress) impact the intestinal microbiome and subsequent weight-related outcomes.

Whisner is a member of the American Society for Nutrition and has served on the ASN Public Information Committee. She has also been a contributor to the ASN blog. In June 2015, Whisner was one of 20 early career professional inductees into the Dannon Institute’s Nutrition Leadership Institute and was a recipient of a “Diamond of the Department” award from Purdue's Nutrition Science Department in May 2016.

Beate Peter:
CCC-SLP; assistant professor, Department of Speech and Hearing Science, Arizona State University

Beate Peter is an assistant professor of Speech and Hearing Science at ASU and adjunct assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders at Saint Louis University. She holds an Master of Science in speech-language pathology and a doctorate in speech and hearing sciences, both from the University of Washington.

Following two years of clinical experience as a school-based speech-language pathologist, Peter gained cross-training in molecular and statistical genetics at the University of Washington, where she became the first and only clinical linguist to complete the Graduate Certificate in Statistical Genetics. With NIH funding, she went on to head the Speech/Language Genetics lab at the UW.

Now at ASU, her research focuses on identifying genetic etiologies of speech, language and reading disorders. Peter’s interests in translational genetics have led her to launch a study of preventative therapy in infants at known genetic risk for severe communication disorders (“Babble Boot Camp”). She is the architect of ASU’s new doctoral concentration, Translational Genetics of Communication Abilities.

Stephen Johnston:
Director, Biodesign Center for Innovations in Medicine

Stephen Albert Johnston is currently the director for the Center for Innovations in Medicine, a professor in the School of Life Sciences and director of the Biological Design Graduate Program at The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. The CIM and Johnston's current work focuses on innovative solutions to fundamental problems in biomedicine.

The CIM is unique in that it has brought together a group of interdisciplinary scientists who first identify a problem, analyze the physical economy basis of the related issues and then come up with an inventive solution.  Current major projects include:

  • Cancer Eradication: The focus is on developing a universal, preventative cancer vaccine
  • Health Futures: The aim is to produce a diagnostic system that allows  continuous monitoring of the health status of healthy people — helping in the revolution to pre-symptomatic medicine.  

Johnston has experience in basic science, notably first cloning the Gal4 gene, showing that proteins have separable functional domains, and discovering the AAA proteins and their role in transcription. His focus now is in translational sciences and technology development.

He was co-inventor/innovator of pathogen derived resistance, organelle transformation, the gene gun, genetic immunization, TEV protease system, expression library immunization, linear expression elements, synbodies and immunosignaturing. He is author of over 150 journal articles, has over 20 patents and has garnered approximately $85M in grant support including large programs from DARPA, NIAID and NHLBI. 


Hourly paid parking is available at the following locations:

  • Fulton Center Garage: 300 E. University Dr. Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Apache Blvd. Garage: 1230 Normal Ave. Tempe, AZ 85281

Life Sciences C-Wing, room 202

Event Map: 

For More Information Contact:

Heather Bean
ASU School of Life Sciences