NIH Director Francis Collins To Speak on Personalized Medicine, Health Care Reform at AAAS Event

As he begins his tenure as director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins will speak about the challenges of implementing personalized medicine and their implications for American health care in an October colloquium held at AAAS.

Collins and experts from the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Veterans Administration, along with leading university scientists, will discuss how some of the hot topics of the health care reform debate—from electronic health records to studies that compare the effectiveness of treatments—also play a central role in the future of personalized medicine.

Personalized medicine based on molecular biomarkers is poised to make an impact on the clinical treatment of lung cancer, heart attack, and HIV/AIDS, according to other colloquium presenters. At the same time, they caution, the legal, ethical and policy implications of therapies tailored for specific groups of patients are still uncertain.

The 26-27 October colloquium is the second in a series of three events organized by the Food and Drug Law Institute and AAAS on the topic of personalized medicine. Research and regulatory hurdles facing the field were the focus at the first event, held in June at AAAS. The third colloquium will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, on 8-9 March 2010.

The events are free and open to the public. Registration for the October event, as well as live-feed and archived webcasts of the colloquia are available from the AAAS Scientific Freedom, Responsibility and Law Program.