The future of medicine is already here. Dr. Euan Ashley, Stanford professor of medicine and genetics, leads the charge with his contributions to the practice of precision medicine, a concept that has already sparked massive improvements in the way doctors diagnose, treat, and prevent disease, and will continue to make a meaningful difference for anyone dealing with serious illness.
In The Genome Odyssey, Dr. Ashley brings to vivid life the advancements his team has made in the field of genetic medicine. He shares the real diagnostic journeys of patients as their incredibly rare diseases are identified and effective treatment plans determined.
The secret to Dr. Ashley’s breakthroughs? His team was the first to successfully analyze a complete human genome. In fact, they hold the world record for the fastest genome sequencing at five hours and two minutes. With this capability to analyze their patients’ full genetic makeup, Dr. Ashley’s team is able to predict a patient’s genetic future and to diagnose and, in some cases, prevent disease before it even begins.
The Genome Odyssey unfolds like a thrilling medical mystery and points us towards a future where genome sequencing is available for all, where medicine can be tailored to treat specific diseases and to decode pathogens like viruses at the genomic level, and where our medical system as we know it has been completely revolutionized.
Destined to become a classic work of modern science, The Genome Odyssey illustrates the groundbreaking hunt to prevent, predict, and possibly even defeat disease.
Euan Ashley is a Professor of Medicine and Genetics at Stanford University. He was born in Scotland and graduated from the University of Glasgow. He attended Oxford University, completing a PhD there before moving to Stanford University where he trained in Cardiology. He joined the Stanford faculty, where he led the team that carried out the first medical interpretation of a human genome and holds the Roger and Joelle Burnell Chair in Genomics and Precision Health. Ashley has received awards from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. He was recognized by the Obama White House and received the Medal of Honor from the American Heart Association.
His articles have appeared in the many journals, including Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Nature and Cell. He appears regularly on local and national radio and TV. He is the founder of three companies and advisor to several Silicon Valley companies. With three young children, he spends his spare time trying to understand American football, playing the saxophone, and conducting research on the health benefits of single malt Scotch whisky.
“This wonderful page-turner captures the excitement, peril, wonder and anticipation of the so-called “genomics” era — the era that has begun us to allow us to sequence the entirety of DNA carried within our bodies, and to understand the functions of parts of this genome. Dr Ashley, one of the pioneers of gene sequencing technologies, writes with authority, elegance and simplicity to enable an in-depth understanding of the most exciting scientific developments of our times. Every curious reader must read this book.”
—Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Emperor of Maladies and The Gene
“The Genome Odyssey is destined to be a landmark narrative in the canon of modern science. Like Ulysses, Ashley has had a front row seat on this journey by virtue of his own scientific work which has been instrumental in bringing us to this place of great precision in diagnosis. Ashley's prose is brilliant and makes for compelling reading."
—Abraham Verghese, New York Times bestselling author of Cutting for Stone, Professor and Senior Associate Chair of Internal Medicine, Stanford University
"Cracking the genome's code to solve medical mysteries requires a special kind of detective work, and The Genome Odyssey walks us through the most nerve-wracking, heart-in-your-throat cases to show us how it's done. With a storyteller's flair and a doctor's devotion, Euan Ashley explains a host of astonishing breakthroughs, each accomplished with human lives on the line. Taken together, his and his colleagues' work will leave you breathless."
—Robert Kolker, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Valley Road
"Dr. Euan Ashley's book opens a window into the future of medicine and shows us firsthand how genetic information is transforming lives. In The Genome Odyssey, he shares compelling stories of real patients facing rare diseases and the life-changing breakthroughs made possible by decoding their full genetic makeup."
—Anne Wojcicki, Co-founder and CEO of 23andMe
“I have known first-hand the heart ache wrought by rare and undiagnosed disease. I have also seen up close the power of the human genome to provide answers and, in time, treatments to families affected with genetic disease. In this book, one of the world’s foremost experts lays out the astonishing advances in our application of the human genome to medicine. The science is thrilling. The hope and compassion Professor Ashley brings to his patients and to his subject matter are compelling. Political leaders should take note if they want to ensure their countries harness the power of the human genome and stay in the vanguard.”
—The Right Honourable David Cameron, Former Prime Minister, United Kingdom, and Initiator of 100,000 Genomes Project, Genomics England