About David Bick
David Bick, MD
Location: 601 Genome Way, Huntsville, AL 35806
David Bick, MD, wants to change the way clinicians practice medicine.
In the current healthcare model, Bick says, a doctor sees a sick patient and orders tests that relate to the patient’s symptoms. If those tests fail, the physician may move to deeper screening, which could include DNA testing, an MRI or blood tests. Sometimes even those tests do not provide a diagnosis. Bick, a faculty investigator with the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and the medical director of the new genomic medicine clinic, wants to replace all of that screening with whole genome testing to improve the clinical approach, especially for patients with rare, undiagnosed conditions.
“With genome testing, you can turn up another 25 percent of diagnoses where you had failed in the past,” Bick says. “So take 20 kids. For five of them, you’re going to find a slam-dunk diagnosis, the answer they may have looked for years to find.”
Bick joined HudsonAlpha in 2015. He earned his medical doctorate from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and completed his residency in pediatrics at Yale New Haven Hospital and his postdoctoral research at Yale University School of Medicine, both in New Haven, Conn. He joined the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee in 2002, becoming a professor in the departments of pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology in 2008.
Concern for patients drives Bick’s work. And while a faster diagnosis with genome testing would change many patients’ lives, Bick envisions more. He is driven to create a streamlined process for genomic screening that drastically lowers the cost of the process as well.
From the moment somebody thinks about a genome to the moment they get the answer,” Bick says, “that whole process from contacting us to getting on our registration portal to getting in the door to getting blood drawn to getting the sequence analyzed to getting it reported and getting that information understood by the patient and the physician — we want to reduce the cost of that whole process and create a better experience for patients and their doctors.”