publication date: Jan. 23, 2015

President Obama Launches Precision Medicine Initiative

By Conor Hale

President Barack Obama called for innovation in genetic medicine, through the launch of a new initiative, in his State of the Union address Jan. 20.

“Twenty-first century businesses will rely on American science and technology; research and development,” Obama said.

“I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine—one that delivers the right treatment at the right time. In some patients with cystic fibrosis, this approach has reversed a disease once thought unstoppable,” he said.

“So tonight, I’m launching a new precision medicine initiative, to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes, and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthy.”

His speech referenced a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama, William Elder Jr., who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was eight years old. Following a treatment regimen focused on his own genetic mutation, Elder is now 27 years old and a third-year medical student.

“In his State of the Union address, President Obama highlighted the important role of research and innovation in growing a more prosperous and healthier nation,” said Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley. “We’re pleased with the launch of the new Precision Medicine Initiative which comes at a time when the opportunity to combat disease has never been greater.

In his speech, Obama said the rate of U.S. healthcare inflation is at a 50-year low, and called for continued funding of federal research.

“A further reason, noted by the President, that we … Continue reading 41-03 President Obama Launches Precision Medicine Initiative

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