Dish­man to lead NIH’s long-term study in pre­ci­sion medicine

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS MAKERS -

Who: Eric Dish­man, 48

New role: Di­rec­tor of the Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health’s Pre­ci­sion Medicine Ini­tia­tive Co­hort Pro­gram, a re­search study of 1 mil­lion Amer­i­cans that aims to find new in­sights into the bi­o­log­i­cal mech­a­nisms of dis­ease. He takes over for Dr. Josephine Briggs, who served as in­terim di­rec­tor. Dish­man will be­gin his new job by June.

Back­ground: Served as VP of In­tel Corp.’s Health and Life Sciences Group, lead­ing global strat­egy re­search and pol­icy de­vel­op­ment in health in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, ge­nomics and well­ness. Dish­man led In­tel’s health­care strat­egy and re­search team for more than 15 years.

Di­ver­sity in data: Dish­man was di­ag­nosed with a rare form of kid­ney can­cer at age 19, and at the time, his doc­tors had data sets of only el­derly pa­tients with the same can­cer. Af­ter bat­tling the dis­ease for 23 years, he was treated with a pre­ci­sion-medicine reg­i­men that has made him can­cer-free. In his new role, Dish­man said he will fo­cus on cre­at­ing di­verse data sets for a spec­trum of dis­eases. “Pre­ci­sion medicine is about the right treat­ment for you, com­pared against data from lots of other peo­ple.”

The long haul: The co­hort study will span decades, sim­i­lar to the Fram­ing­ham Heart Study, and will need to adapt to chang­ing tech­nolo­gies, he said. “We don’t know what will come along in the fu­ture. That’s tricky busi­ness.”

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