This special panel has been organized by the Precision Medicine & Society program at Columbia University. We convened this panel to address a topical question of immediate relevance to the current moment: has the decades-long emphasis on tailoring treatment to the genetic profile of individuals (otherwise known as precision or personalized medicine [PM]) been a distraction and an obstacle in dealing with COVID-19, and has crowded out efforts to develop the population health approaches necessary for a pandemic? Or is this a false dichotomy, and the fundamental advances made by PM research can be adapted to inform public health initiatives? We believe that Columbia University, as a center of cutting-edge PM research, as well as the only institution with a thriving program dedicated to exploring the social, ethical, legal and economic aspects of PM, is ideally positioned to begin this conversation. To do so, we invited some of the most esteemed and influential leaders of bio-medical research, whether regulatory, clinical or academic.
Jack Rowe, Columbia University
Scott Gottlieb, New Enterprise Associates (former Commissioner of the FDA)
Teri Manolio, NHGRI
James Heath, Institute for Systems Biology
Amy Zhou, Barnard College