UF Health Clinical Services & Patient Resources

PMP Team photo

UF Health Personalized Medicine team, left to right: Larisa H. Cavallari, Pharm.D., Associate Program Director; Kristin Weitzel, Pharm.D., Associate Program Director; Teresa Vo, Pharm.D., PGY2 Pharmacogenomic Resident (2013-2014); Ben Kong, Pharm.D., PGY2 Pharmacogenomic Resident (2013-2014); Amanda R. Elsey, MHA, Assistant Director; and Julie A. Johnson, Pharm.D., Program Director.

The UF Health Personalized Medicine Program partners with health professionals and patients at UF Health and across the state to develop, implement, study and refine methods that allow genetic information to be used as a routine part of patient care. Our initial focus is on pharmacogenetic testing, or testing for genetic variations that are known to influence how the body responds to a medication. Our work is guided by the best available scientific evidence, U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisories, physician requests, and other factors. The program is led by UF College of Pharmacy faculty and is part of the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

How Genes Influence Medications

Genes are made of DNA and act as the instruction manual for making all proteins in the body. Differences in genes can affect proteins that process certain medications. Screening for specific genetic variations can help patients receive the proper dose, experience fewer side effects, or avoid drugs that might not work well.

How We Integrate Genetic Information into Patient Care

The UF Health Personalized Medicine Program identifies medications for which it is beneficial to perform a pharmacogenetic test. We present the scientific evidence supporting clinical use of a pharmacogenetic test to our hospital’s Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee for approval.

Once a proposed test is approved, we work with the clinical service to add it to their patient care process. For patients, this means a health care provider will draw a small amount of blood for processing in the lab. Blood samples are processed by UF Health Pathology Laboratories, which translates and sends the genetic test results directly to a patient’s UF Health electronic medical record—typically within three days of receiving samples in the lab.

If the results suggest a specific medication is not the preferred treatment option for an individual patient, and a prescription for that medication is written, the electronic medical record system will alert the patient’s doctor and recommend alternate drugs. We provide ongoing training and consultation to support health care providers as they interpret and act on genetic test results.

Genetic testing we have implemented and are supporting to date at UF Health includes:

Patient Resources