Children's Hospital Colorado
A toddler with brown hair sits in a doctor's office while a doctor examines him with a stethoscope.

There’s no other child like yours. So if they have a unique medical issue, why should they get the exact same treatment as every other child? Our Precision Medicine Institute uses decades of medical expertise and advanced technology to answer this question.

What is precision medicine?

Precision medicine (sometimes called personalized medicine or genomic medicine) uses the most up-to-date information to determine the best care for each individual patient. It’s about treating each child as an individual. By personalizing care based on your child’s genetics, we can help them get better faster — and with fewer side effects.

At Children’s Hospital Colorado, we’ve always taken a personalized approach. But we now have new and better technologies to help us take personalized care to another level.

Precision medicine allows us to use your child’s genetic information to target the root cause of their disease. For example, we may be able to target and alter a gene that’s causing tumors to grow or the brain to not develop properly. Or it can help us create a type of chemotherapy specifically designed to kill your child’s unique cancer cells.

When appropriate, we start with a process called genetic sequencing. These tests give us a detailed picture of your child’s unique DNA. By identifying small gene changes (variants) that impact your child’s health, we’re able to better understand how the disease will affect them and which treatment will be most effective.

Our precision medicine specialists understand that a one-size-fits-all treatment approach doesn’t provide the best outcomes for all patients. By creating treatments targeted to each child’s specific disease-causing genetic variations, we can heal more children, more precisely.

How we use precision medicine

At Children’s Colorado, we are at the forefront of pediatric precision medicine. Our specialists are already using precision medicine to improve many kids’ lives. And we continue to research new ways to harness the power of genomic medicine to help more children live healthier lives.

Precision diagnosis helps our doctors understand the prognosis for patients with thousands of rare diseases and ensure they receive complete care. Our specialists are pioneering novel precision medicine treatments for numerous childhood diseases such as rare neurodegenerative diseases, cystic fibrosis, cardiomyopathy, neuromuscular conditions, genetic and metabolic disease, inflammatory bowel disease and others.

One of the most promising uses of precision medicine is treating childhood cancer. Traditional cancer treatments (like chemotherapy) kill cancer cells, but also affect healthy cells. That can cause side effects and health complications for children long after their treatment ends.

Precision medicine provides new approaches to pediatric cancer treatment. Genetic testing helps us understand each patient’s unique genetic makeup and tumor mutations. We use this information to predict which treatments or drug combinations will work best. The result is treatments with higher cure rates and fewer side effects.

Precision Medicine Genomics

Our precision medicine laboratory, research and data analysis teams are vital to diagnosing and treating kids and improving our care over time. Learn about the areas where we advance this work.

Precision medicine clinical laboratory

Our Precision Diagnostics Laboratory specializes in advanced genetic testing for kids and adolescents. Through various types of tests, we can help families:

  • Confirm a diagnosis or get a more accurate diagnosis
  • Understand their prognosis
  • Monitor a child’s condition over time
  • Diagnose a rare condition if they’ve struggled to get a clear diagnosis

As genetic conditions often impact the entire family, we can evaluate multiple family members so you have a full picture of your family’s health and risks. We can do this when we assess your child or in a follow-up appointment. When appropriate, we also offer home collection kits for convenience.

Our state-of-the-art lab allows us to process and analyze results quickly, accurately and securely. You’ll have the support of professionally trained experts in genetics, medical technology, data and quality assurance.

Genomic research

Research is a vital part of improving care for kids — both now and in the future. We support and empower researchers so they can better understand the cause of genetic conditions and discover new treatments. We also help them bring these life-saving innovations to our patients sooner.

Technology and innovation lab 

We bring the same focus to technical innovation that we do to discovering new treatments. Our experts continually use and develop new technologies, applications and data processes. We ensure they are valid and safe, and then bring them to our providers to improve our care.

Improving diagnoses with data

Utilizing large amounts of data helps improve our precision medicine care. Thanks to advanced techniques and our experienced team, we can use data to more accurately diagnose kids in search of answers.

Why choose us for precision medicine

When you come to our Precision Medicine Institute, you can expect the best, most advanced diagnosis and treatment options for your child. We are a leader in using precision medicine to help heal children with all kinds of childhood diseases.

At the Children’s Colorado Precision Medicine Institute, you’ll find:

  • Expert team: The physician-scientists who lead our Institute are nationally recognized for their groundbreaking discoveries and treatments. Together, they are leading the way for innovative therapies for children with a variety of complex and rare conditions.
  • Next-generation sequencing: Our advanced genetic testing methods provide faster, more accurate information about each patient to help provide the most accurate diagnosis. This allows us to quickly customize treatment that’s targeted to your child’s genes and disease.
  • Discovery and development: Since this is still an emerging field, research is key to finding effective new treatments. These include clinical trials and programs for new drug development. Our researchers are working to better understand how gene variations affect diseases and using that information to customize treatments.
  • Better outcomes: Thanks to precision medicine, we can heal more children. These targeted treatments improve survival rates, reduce side effects and lower risks of complications.

Contact the Precision Medicine Institute

For more information about our program, email us at precisionmedicine@childrenscolorado.org.

Learn more about what we’re doing at the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation to advance our understanding and use of precision medicine.

Precision medicine at Children's Colorado

At Children’s Colorado, we have precision medicine experts across our organization. Not only do we have providers at the forefront of this field leading our Precision Medicine Institute, but many of our care teams have been providing precision medicine care in their specialties for years. Genetic counselors, nurses, lab technicians, researchers, doctors, pharmacists and many other caregivers practice precision medicine in their respective areas with help from our Institute. Meet some of the hundreds of providers who help bring specialized care to families.

Meet our precision medicine experts

Brian Jackson, MD

Brian Jackson, MD

Critical Care - Pediatric, Pediatrics

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Elizabeth Fenstermacher, MD

Elizabeth Fenstermacher, MD

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychiatry

Mindy Cohen, MD

Mindy Cohen, MD

Anesthesiology, Anesthesiology

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Chris McKinney, MD

Chris McKinney, MD

Hematology/Oncology - Pediatric, Pediatrics

Get to know our precision medicine leaders

The precision medicine leadership team at Children’s Colorado includes top experts in this emerging field. The team brings together physicians and scientists who work together to advance our understanding of genomic medicine and create new treatments.

Our precision medicine leadership team includes:

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