As an MN-LHS Scholar, Mroz Focuses on Pharmacogenomics

LMP assistant professor Pawel Mroz is one of nine current M Health Fairview Learning Health System Scholars (MN-LHS).  The MN-LHS scholar training program is a collaboration between the University’s Office of Academic Clinical Affairs and School of Public Health, M Health Fairview, the Mayo Clinic, Hennepin Healthcare, and six additional collaborative clinical sites.  The goal of the program is to support the training of researchers to conduct patient-centered outcomes research within learning health systems. 

“The MN-LHS program is a fantastic opportunity to directly connect with and learn from M Health Fairview as well as Mayo Clinic leaders and meet talented people passionate about LHS-oriented research,” Mroz said. “By participating in discussions and workshops I hope to learn from highly accomplished academics and continue to develop my research and leadership skills as well as expand my horizons and develop new areas of interests and expertise.”  

The MN-LHS training program is intended to foster a knowledge base of successful implementation of innovative practices in health care organizations.  Mroz is involved in just such a project.  He has been tasked with developing and validating pharmacogenomics (PGx) testing capabilities in the M Health Fairview Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory. PGx is a field of research that studies how a person’s genes affect how he or she responds to medications. Its long-term goal is to help doctors select the drugs and doses best suited for each person.  “Although PGx shows great promise, there are several barriers that must be overcome to achieve successful clinical implementation, including testing-related, knowledge, evidence, and ethical/legal/social barriers,” Mroz said. “The MN-LHS scholar training program offers the opportunity to focus my efforts and gain necessary skills and experience to better design and execute the ongoing implementation of the PGx program.”  The ultimate goal, he said, is to be capable of systematically generating, applying, and translating PGx results quickly within M Health Fairview to improve personalization, quality, equity, and outcomes of care and reduce waste and adverse drug reactions.

Mroz’s MN-LHS program primary mentor is LMP associate professor Bharat Thyagarajan.   Pamala Jacobson, Distinguished Professor with tenure in the College of Pharmacy’s Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, is also a mentor and an advisor.

Mroz is excited and energized about his foray into PGx, one of the most important dimensions of the new precision medicine.  “I hope that through rigorous, competency-based training in the design and conduct of high-quality LHS research I will acquire necessary skills to successfully implement the Pharmacogenomic Program at M Health Fairview,” he said.  “The MN-LHS program offers experiential learning opportunities and externships as well as extensive multidisciplinary mentoring support that I hope will benefit my current and future academic endeavors.”

Mroz expects the MN-LHS program will also open new avenues and opportunities for future patient-centered outcomes research within learning systems that he will be able to translate to pursue independent, externally funded research projects.

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