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Institute for Personalized Medicine

The mission of Penn State’s Institute for Personalized Medicine is to stimulate translational and clinical research into personalized health care at Penn State, facilitate the incorporation of this research into patient care, and educate and advocate for the practice of personalized health care.

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Learn More about Personalized Medicine

What is Personalized Medicine? Expand answer

Medicine has always been personalized – what has changed are the tools available that allow medical professionals to provide better care for those with specific conditions. The Institute for Personalized Medicine is Penn State College of Medicine’s commitment to advancing health care for the community through the use of modern technology and more effective tools.

In the past, doctors based treatments on research that studied broad groups of people, finding what was most likely to help a majority of patients. While this approach has been successful, it’s not always efficient, since each person is different. Genetics and biology are unique to the individual, so treatments that work best for one person may not work best for another.

Personalized medicine is the use of individual characteristics to tailor treatments to the person. For example, one person may respond to a medicine differently than another because of their genetics. By knowing what that genetic difference is, doctors can look for the same in future patients and prescribe medication accordingly – helping to recover faster.

Penn State Institute for Personalized Medicine gives scientists the tools to develop research studies seeking this information, and future therapies for patients.

Research Highlights Expand answer

The Institute for Personalized Medicine supports a variety of projects at Penn State College of Medicine, including:

See more IPM projects and grants here

Institute Leadership Expand answer

James Broach, PhD, is director of the Institute for Personalized Medicine and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State College of Medicine.

Appointed Inaugural Director of Penn State Institute for Personalized Medicine in February 2012, Dr. Broach is also Professor Emeritus of Princeton University. He completed his undergraduate studies in Chemistry at Yale University in 1969 and his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California – Berkeley in 1973, where he also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Medical Physics.

Dr. Broach served on the Scientific Review Board of the Frederick Cancer Center of the National Cancer Institute and has served as a member of both the Genetics and the Genomics Study Sections and Chair of the Genomics, Computational Biology and Technology Study Section of the National Institutes of Health. He was Co-Founder and Director of Research for Cadus Pharmaceuticals and sits on the Board of Directors of Cadus Corporation.

Dr. Broach was professor of molecular biology at Princeton University from 1984 to 2012, where he served as associate director of the Lewis Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics and Co-Director of the Center for Computational Biology. Dr. Broach is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the co-director of the Life Sciences Research Foundation, a private organization that provides postdoctoral fellowships in the life sciences. He is a member of the Science Board of the Food and Drug Administration and served as trustee of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and commissioner on the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research until 2012. He is a member of the executive committee of the Cancer Biology Training Consortium, a national organization promoting graduate and postdoctoral training in cancer biology.

Dr. Broach has published more than 150 articles in the area of molecular biology and holds a number of patents in drug discovery technologies.

Read more about Dr. Broach here

Contact the Institute

To speak to someone about the Institute for Personalized Medicine, call 855-369-3540 (toll-free) or email

The mailing address is:

Penn State Institute for Personalized Medicine
Mail Code H180
500 University Dr.
Hershey, PA 17033