News from Upstate

January 28, 2011
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Professor named to board of Mayo’s social media center

Robert West, Ph.D., an associate professor of medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., has been named to the advisory board of the Center for Social Media at the Mayo Clinic.

West is a molecular biologist and geneticist by training, and has taught medical students for the past 26 years. He currently serves as a co-director for a first-year medical student course at SUNY Upstate called Molecular and Cellular Principles of Medicine. He also serves as an advisory dean to 40 first- and second-year medical students, and as a member of several campus-wide committees dedicated to medical student education.

Most recently, his mission has involved educating medical students in the areas of genomic and personalized medicine. A SUNY Upstate medical elective devoted to this topic (BIOC1205: “Personalized Medicine 101: Digitizing Diagnosis for Doctors”), offered for the first time in the Fall of 2009, was among the first in the nation to offer training to budding physicians that incorporates genomic and personalized medicine into the existing curriculum. He advocates a 21st century healthcare that is predictive, preventive, personalized, and participatory for patients. While a scientist and educator by training, West is also a staunch supporter of patient advocacy, and an ardent e-Patient.

The center’s mission is to accelerate adoption of social media for health-related purposes, starting at Mayo and then within health care more broadly. Through this work, Mayo Clinic looks to help improve health literacy, health care delivery and population health worldwide.

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