Precision Medicine Initiative

About PMI

The PMI, or Precision Medicine Initiative, is a program established within the Auckland Academic Health Alliance. It aims to bring cutting-edge precision medicine practices to patients through clinical genomics and research.

The program focuses on delivering benefits to current patients through immediate clinical applications, as well as to future patients through the development of new genomics tests and research. The PMI is dedicated to national leadership, equity, local expertise, and a “by-New-Zealand, for-New-Zealand” approach to precision medicine.

PMI’s goals

The Precision Medicine Programme at the University of Auckland began in 2021 with two key aims:

  • Enable our key partner, Grafton Clinical Genomics to provide accurate molecular diagnoses and individualised treatments for New Zealanders with cancer. This leads to a near future where each patient has real-time access to the genome analysis of their tumour to find the best treatment.
  • Create a sustainable, scalable, and functional translational research and clinical precision medicine platform for northern New Zealand with potential for national growth.


Key activities

Philanthropic support has enabled PMI to:

  • Appoint a full-time project manager and bioinformatician while formally involving a senior variant curator, variant curator, senior bioinformatician and clinical biologist.
  • Relocate the critically important genomic sequencer into a fully clinically-accredited facility – Grafton Clinical Genomics – and to fund the specialised training of medical laboratory scientists from the University and from Auckland Hospital to run it.
  • Assist and enable Grafton Clinical Genomics with the process of clinically validating its first pan-cancer genomics panel. This will be the largest and most comprehensive panel of its kind in New Zealand – a huge step towards building local solutions and expertise.
  • Transfer the myeloid panel, developed and currently run by Professor Stefan Bohlander as a research project, into the Grafton Clinical Genomics Centre. The long-term goal is to clinically accredit the test so that it can be run routinely, increasing its reach and moving it a step closer to being standard-of-care in New Zealand.
  • Formalise the support and structure required to share resources, strategy and expertise between the University and Auckland Hospital. This will deliver an efficient joint clinical and research service well equipped to meet the emerging diagnostic genetics needs of Auckland and New Zealand.


Looking ahead

PMI is currently considering the purchase of a new high-throughput genetic sequencer as well as servers that will improve capabilities, significantly drive down operating costs, and allow the University of Auckland to operate at a scale not possible so far.


For any inquiries or questions about the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), please feel free to email Wesley Larkan, PMI Project Manager,