FORUM Sir Colin Dollery Lecture 2022: Pharmacogenomics, personalisation and public health

Thursday 13 October, time TBC

The 2022 FORUM Sir Colin Dollery Lecture will consider the public health benefits of pharmacogenomics. The Lecture will be followed by a panel discussion bringing together patient, industry, healthcare, and academic representatives to explore the potential and risks of pharmacogenomics.


Pharmacogenomics combines pharmacology – the science of drugs – with genomics – the study of the genome and its functions. Its aim is to use information about a person’s genomic make-up to identify the most effective drug for them, to minimise side effects and find the ideal dosage.

Pharmacogenomics not only presents benefits to the individual; these also translate to wider societal benefits such as reduced pressure on the healthcare system, reduced costs and improved cost effectiveness.

However, there are potential risks to implementing pharmacogenomics in the healthcare system. It can be challenging to prove cost effectiveness and gain regulatory approval. The data on which pharmacogenomic interventions are based are often not representative of the diversity of the population in terms of ethnicity and sometimes gender, so there is a risk that conclusions drawn about pharmacogenomics are not applicable to these groups. These factors and the difficulty of ensuring uniform access to genetic testing need to be carefully considered and mitigated for to avoid worsening health inequalities.

The first ever FORUM Annual Lecture on 'pharmacogenetics: personalised safety and segmented efficacy' in 2003, also explored some early developments in pharmacogenomics. Nearly 20 years on, this year's Lecture will look at the clinical impact that some of these innovations are now having, as well as the next generation breakthroughs in the field. The report of the first FORUM Annual Lecture can be downloaded on the right of this webpage.

The Lecture will take place as a 'hybrid' seminar, both online and in-person, on Thursday 13 October at the Victoria Gallery & Museum in Liverpool. The time of the Lecture and further details (including information about how to register to attend) will be confirmed shortly. The Lection will be free to attend and open to all.

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The FORUM Sir Colin Dollery Lecture is named in honor of Sir Colin Dollery FMedSci. In his role as Treasurer in 2003, Sir Colin was instrumental in the creation of the FORUM.

This Lecture will be organised through the Academy’s FORUM programme, which provides a neutral and independent platform for individuals from across academia, industry, the NHS and Government, and the wider healthcare sector, to meet and discuss opportunities, technology trends and strategic choices for healthcare.

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