Godwin and Soper Establishing The Kansas Institute for Precision Medicine


Profs. Andrew Godwin (KUMC) and Steven Soper (KU-L) are establishing the Kansas Institute for Precision Medicine, which seeks to generate mentoring and infrastructure support for young researchers (both basic science and clinical) engaged in discovering new markers for managing an array of complex diseases. Disease examples include cystic fibrosis, graft-versus-host disease, polycystic kidney disease, coronary artery vasculopathy, and triple negative breast cancer to name a few. The Institute seeks to assist in the discovery and validation of new biomarkers that can match patients to a treatment regimen that provides the best clinical outcome for those patients (Precision Medicine).

The Institute will build from 3 strong Cores including, Biomedical Engineering Core to generate enabling tools for isolating and analyzing biomarkers using transformative molecular assays, Bioinformatics Core to support data management needs, and a Biobanking and Biomarker Validation Core to provide clinical samples to support research efforts of participants and to develop assays to facilitate marker validation. The Institute is currently composing an NIH Phase I Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) letter of intent to support its evolution.

COBREs are thematic, multidisciplinary centers that augment and strengthen institutional biomedical research capacity. This is accomplished by expanding and developing biomedical faculty research capability and enhancing research infrastructure, including the establishment of core facilities needed to carry out the objectives of a multidisciplinary, collaborative program.

About the Directors: Prof. Godwin’s major research efforts are directed toward obtaining a molecular definition of a tumor to define its treatment-sensitive elements, which complement his extensive accomplishments in the areas of cancer genetics, molecular targeted therapies, predictive biomarkers, early detection, and biobanking.  He leads the Personalized Medicine initiative for the KU Health Systems.  Godwin is the Director of Molecular Oncology, deputy director of the NCI designated KU Cancer Center, the Biospecimen Repository Core Facility, and Chancellor’s Distinguished Chair of Biomedical Sciences. Prof. Soper is a KU Foundation Distinguished Professor and Biomedical Engineer whose research focuses on the development micro- and nanoscale tools for the analysis of rare biological markers including those comprising the liquid biopsy (circulating tumor cells, exosomes and cell free DNA). Soper is currently the Director of a National Resource for Biomedical Technology, which seeks to develop new tools for the analysis of liquid biopsy markers. He is also the founder of two startup companies, BioFluidica and Digital NanoGenetics.

Feb. 24, 2017