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NIH director set for Discovery Lecture

May. 21, 2015, 10:21 AM

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., will deliver a special Discovery Lecture at Vanderbilt University Medical Center next Thursday, May 28.

Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

His lecture, entitled “Exceptional Opportunities in Biomedical Research,” will begin at 3 p.m. in 208 Light Hall.

Collins also will address a workshop May 28-29 convened at Vanderbilt by the Precision Medicine Initiative Working Group of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director. The agenda: how to build a national research “cohort” numbering a million volunteers or more.

Cohort members will share genomic and clinical findings from their electronic health records, as well as biological specimens, lifestyle information and environmental exposures tracked through mobile health devices. The data will help researchers understand how genomic variations and other health factors affect the development of disease.

The workshop will focus on the challenge of designing and organizing such a huge biomedical research endeavor in a way that preserves the privacy of cohort volunteers.

Workshop speakers include three Vanderbilt faculty members in Biomedical Informatics: Josh Denny, M.D., M.S., a member of the Precision Medicine Initiative Working Group; Mark Frisse, M.D., M.S., MBA, Accenture Professor in the Center for Better Health; and Bradley Malin, Ph.D., director of the Health Information Privacy Laboratory.

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