(ABC 6 News) -- In the Med City, we are constantly surrounded by those in the health industry, and Mayo Clinic has such a presence downtown, we forget just how far their research branches out in Rochester.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and guest U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell were in the northwest side of town Friday to tour one of Mayo’s many research facilities.
At first glance of the warehouse, one would not think there is such extensive research being done inside. But through the doors, Mayo doctors and scientists are taking part in what they call “cutting edge research,” at the Mayo Clinic Biobank.
“To come to a place like Mayo, find their genomic make-up and then actually find the drug that can help them, or find out the drugs they’ve been taking that doesn’t help them,” said Klobuchar. “When you see all those test tubes there and you realize they all contain a DNA, they all contain a kind of magic for each person, a cure for diseases down the line, it’s really meaningful to see."
At the Biobank, one of the most important programs they are working on is studying tens of thousands of blood and DNA samples in what they call “advanced precision medicine” to find out how a person’s DNA influences how they react to certain medicines and treatments.
“What I think stands out is the leadership role this institution is playing, and their willingness to be a leader because I think that’s not always easy because you are first,” said Burwell about Mayo Clinic.
Burwell also mentioned that it’s important to witness and get hands with some of this research as she and Klobuchar look to make change for the American people in the health industry.
“It’s great to be, and see the work that we think about and talk about in Washington every day. And to hear the great work and the ideas and the innovation that is going on here today. I think about where our health system is as a nation and we’re in a critical point of transition in regard to improving access, affordability and quality,” Burwell said.
“And I think part of our job is to take these examples back to Washington, the stories as well as the medicine that’s going on,” Klobuchar added.