Dr. Daniel Von Hoff was presented this month with the Scripps Genomic Medicine Award for his “pioneering efforts” in sequencing, or spelling out, the DNA of patients with rare cancers.

Dr. Von Hoff’s research and clinical work advances the art of using the fully sequenced genomes of cancer patients, spelling out all 3 billion letters of their DNA, to help determine the best course of treatment.

“I am extremely humbled and honored to receive this award on behalf of all the institutes, medical centers and oncology groups I’m associated with. Through this work, we are trying to improve things for every patient,” said Dr. Von Hoff, who holds the titles of Physician-in-Chief and Distinguished Professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen); Professor of Medicine at both Mayo Clinic and at the University of Arizona College of Medicine; and Chief Scientific Officer at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare and at US Oncology.

Dr. Von Hoff is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on pancreatic cancer. Some of his most recent work involves the comparative analysis of the fully sequenced genomes of patients with rare cancers and with triple-negative breast cancer, identifying the mutations in the DNA of the patients’ tumors and using that information to help guide future treatment of this rare and challenging disease.

Dr. Eric J. Topol, Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI), presented the Genomic Medicine award to Dr. Von Hoff, citing his “pioneering efforts” in whole genome sequencing as a tool for matching a patient’s genetic makeup with treatments that will provide the best quality of life.

“Dr. Von Hoff’s work represents the future of medicine, in which information gleaned from the complex assemblage of an individual’s DNA can be used to target deadly tumors, even among patients with rare cancers,” said Dr. Topol, who also is Chief Academic Officer of Scripps Health, and Professor of Translational Genomics at the Scripps Research Institute.

The award was presented to Dr. Von Hoff during the Future of Genomic Medicine IV conference, March 3-4, at the Robert Paine Scripps Forum for Science, Society and the Environment, Samuel H. Scripps Auditorium, in La Jolla, Calif.

Physicians, health care professional, human geneticists, genomic scientists and researchers attended the conference.  This fourth installment of the Future of Genomic Medicine conference focused on the extraordinary advances occurring in the field, including whole genome and exome sequencing, new gene expression tests for routine medical practice, and consumer genomics. The overarching goal of the annual conference is to spearhead efforts to change medicine by using genomics.

Like all who work with Dr. Von Hoff, the STSI aims to replace the status quo of one-size-fits-all-medicine with individualized health care that is based on the known genetic factors influencing health and disease.

Under the leadership of Dr. Topol, one of the world’s premier cardiologists and physician/scientists, STSI has created major programs in both research and education-training that bridge science with medicine, and academia with industry.