Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently released the statement below:
I am very pleased to announce the selection of Eric Dishman as Director of the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program. Eric will lead NIH’s effort to build the PMI landmark longitudinal research study of 1 million or more American volunteers to expand our ability to improve health and treat disease through precision medicine. Eric comes to NIH with a deep understanding of the initiative, having played a critical role as a member of the PMI Working Group that deliberated intensively for several months last year to develop the design for this audacious study.
Eric brings a wealth of health innovation experience to the PMI effort—as a social scientist and researcher; entrepreneur and business leader; patient and patient advocate; and policy advocate and thought leader. He has pioneered and cofounded some of the nation’s first and largest research/policy programs focused on telehealth; personal health records; independent living technologies for seniors; and behavioral markers for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and heart disease. He is widely recognized as a global leader on home and community-based care and personalized care, as well as for inventing innovation techniques that incorporate ethnography and other social methods into the design and development of new technologies.
Most recently, Eric has served as Vice President and Intel Fellow of Intel Corporation’s Health & Life Sciences Group, responsible for global strategy, research, platform development, and policy in key areas like health information technology; genomics and personalized medicine; consumer wellness; and care coordination technologies. For more than 15 years, he has led Intel’s healthcare strategy & research, including the creation and distribution of Intel’s open platforms and open-source tools to help researchers accelerate scientific discovery ranging from wearable and in-home technologies for movement disorders to big data platforms for cancer genomics.
Finally, and most importantly, Eric brings the patient experience to the heart of innovation and science. After battling a rare form of kidney cancer for 23 years—and advocating personally for more than 1,000 other cancer patients along the way—he became cancer-free thanks to early access to precision medicine that clarified the right treatment plan for him. These experiences and perspectives are crucial to the PMI Cohort Program, which, in addition to advancing health and improving treatments for disease, will also pioneer a new model of research in which participants will be partners in the research process and actively engaged and informed. As Eric recently told me, “I have been put on this earth—and survived a seemingly impossible cancer journey—to help bring precision medicine to everyone.” ■