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