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September 12, 2012

JohannaDeStefanoCOLUMBUS, Ohio – Academic leaders, industry experts, government policymakers, healthcare providers and entrepreneurs from around the world will gather at The Ohio State University in October to share the latest developments in P4 Medicine and innovations in science.

P4 Medicine is a novel approach to individualized medical care that engages consumer participation, predicts and prevents disease, facilitates health, and creates a personalized life strategy wellness plan for each individual.

The 2012 Johanna and Ralph DeStefano Personalized Health Care International Conference will be held Oct. 3 – 4 at the Blackwell Inn, located at 2110 Tuttle Park Place, on the campus of The Ohio State University.

With a theme of “Advancing P4 Medicine Through Innovations in Science,” attendees will hear from experts about revolutionizing medicine and transforming healthcare delivery in a way which will result in more precise, cost-effective and higher quality health care for patients. Topics will focus on social connectedness, gamification, complex systems, innovations in science and advancements in P4 Medicine, and patient participation, as well as others.

“Ohio State has become a recognized leader in bringing P4 Medicine to the forefront, and this year’s conference is focusing on its advancements and innovations in science,” says Dr. Clay Marsh, executive director of the Center for Personalized Health Care at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center.  “Having Johanna DeStefano’s support of our national conference is a significant honor. She is a true visionary and community leader and we are pleased to reap the benefits of her passion and devotion to helping us deliver the highest quality care possible,” adds Marsh, who is also senior vice president for research in the Office of Health Sciences, and vice dean for research in the College of Medicine.

Leading the conference as first keynote speaker and discussing gamification and its impact on healthcare delivery is Jane McGonigal, a visionary game designer and futurist who is harnessing the power of Internet games in new ways to help solve some of the biggest challenges facing our world today and tomorrow. A designer of alternate reality games, McGonigal, in her book Reality is Broken – a New York Times best seller – makes the case that the gamer spirit is the greatest asset when facing social, economic and environmental problems of the 21st century.

McGonigal, director of game research and development at the Institute for the Future, and director of Social Chocolate, a company created to make reality games engaging, earned a doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley. In 2010, she was named by Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine as one of the twenty most inspiring women in the world; honored by Game Developer Magazine as one of the 50 people making the biggest impact in games; featured by The New York Times as one of 10 scientists with the best vision for what’s coming next in 2011; and among Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2009.

The meeting’s second keynote is Dr. Leroy Hood, a pioneer in the systems approach to biology and medicine. Hood, whose research focuses on the study of molecular immunology, biotechnology and genomics, will present on systems approaches to disease and the emergence of proactive P4 Medicine. Hood’s professional career began at Caltech, where he and colleagues developed the DNA gene sequencer and synthesizer and the protein synthesizer and sequencer – four instruments that paved the way for the successful mapping of the human genome. A pillar in the biotechnology field, Hood has played a role in founding more than fourteen biotechnology companies, including Amgen, Applied Biosystems, Darwin, The Accelerator and Integrated Diagnostics. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, the American Philosophical Society and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Hood, who holds 17 honorary degrees from around the world, is also a recipient of numerous awards including the Lasker Award for Studies of Immune Diversity, the Kyoto Prize in advanced technology, the Heinz Award for pioneering work in Systems Biology and, most recently, the coveted NAE 2011 Fritz J. and Delores H. Russ prize for automating DNA sequencing that revolutionized biomedicine and forensic science.

The final keynote address of the conference will be given by Dave Snowden, founder and chief scientific officer of Cognitive Edge, a research network focusing on the application of complexity theory in sense making. Snowden’s work is international in nature and covers government and industry looking at complex issues relating to strategy and organizational decision making. He has pioneered a science based approach to organizations drawing on anthropology, neuroscience and complex adaptive systems theory.

Well-known for his pragmatic cynicism and iconoclastic style, Snowden holds visiting Chairs at the Universities of Pretoria and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, as well as a visiting fellowship at the University of Warwick. He is a senior fellow at the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies at Nanyang University and the Civil Service College in Singapore. His paper with Boone on Leadership was the cover article for the Harvard Business Review in November 2007 and also won the Academy of Management award for the best practitioner paper in the same year. Snowden previously worked for IBM where he was director of the Institution for Knowledge Management and founded the Cynefin Centre for Organisational Complexity; during that period he was selected by IBM as one of six “on-demand” thinkers for a world-wide advertising campaign. Prior to that, he worked in a range of strategic and management roles in the service sector. 

Other speakers and panelists will discuss:
  • Connectedness and implications for personalized medicine
  • Protective and damaging effects of mediators of stress and adaptation: central role of the brain
  • Chronic stress and relationship to chronic disease
  • Power of preventive medicine
  • Predictive capabilities of P4 Medicine
  • Computerized protocols to aid in decision making and reduce variability
  • Encouraging patient participation by enhancing the patient environment

For more information about the conference program, registration, participating speakers and P4 Medicine, go to:


Contact: Sherri Kirk, Center for Personalized Health Care Public Relations, 614.366.3277, or