Eric Dishman, vice president and fellow of the Health and Life Sciences Group of Intel Corp., has been selected to lead the National Institutes of Health’s landmark longitudinal study of one million or more U.S. volunteers who will make genomic and other data available to researchers.

As director of the Precision Medicine Initiative cohort program, Dishman will lead a new model of research in which participants are at the center of the effort to advance health and improve treatments for disease, according to NIH.

Eric Dishman
Eric Dishman

In making the announcement, NIH Director Francis Collins praised Dishman for bringing a wealth of IT experience to the PMI cohort, which will leverage electronic health records and mobile healthcare technologies to gather data from one million or more Americans.

“He has pioneered and co-founded 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,” said Collins.

As head of Intel’s health and life sciences group, where he was responsible for global strategy, research, platform development, and policy in key areas like health IT, genomics and personalized medicine, consumer wellness, and care coordination technologies, Collins noted.

For the past 15 years, Dishman has led Intel’s healthcare strategy and research, including the creation and distribution of 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.

Genomic information is just one of many types of biological data that will be gathered as part of the research. PMI cohort participants will voluntarily enroll in the study to share a broad range of data, including their EHRs, health survey information, and mHealth data on lifestyle habits and environmental exposures over many years.

Volunteers will also undergo a standard baseline physical exam and provide a blood sample. The goal is to enroll 79,000 cohort participants by the end of 2016.

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