The Ronald A Matricaria Institute of Molecular Medicine at Phoenix Children's Hospital was established to help combat the growing number of rare diseases found in children. By using a patient's specific genetic information, researchers hope to be able to identify what makes them susceptible to disease. Further, they will use this information to gauge the patient's response to a particular drug and match them with their own personalized therapy. An initial major focus of the work is to develop and test molecularly and functional guided individualized therapy for children with advanced and treatment refractory cancers.
Molecular Medicine, also called personalized medicine, helps doctors to treat rare disease by mapping a patient's genome. This allows them to identify the genetic cause of the disease, especially ones generally inherited and not acquired. By sequencing and analyzing a person's genome, doctors will be able to efficiently identify the problems with a patient's genes. Thus, they can more effectively treat them. According to the institute's namesake, this research will, "...not only change the face of medicine, but outcomes for children who may not be responding to treatments."
With the strong backing of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, the institute will be a powerful tool for the further advancement of this type research.