National Academy of Medicine President to Speak on Genome Editing

Victor J. Dzau, MD

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The president of the National Academy of Medicine will present a state-of-the-art address entitled “Human Genome Editing: Responsible Pathway Forward.” The address is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 22.

Victor J. Dzau, MD, is also vice chair of the National Research Council. He is chancellor emeritus and James B. Duke Professor of Medicine at Duke University and the former CEO of the Duke University Health System. His previous positions include serving as chair of medicine at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and chair of the department of medicine at Stanford University.

Dr. Dzau is an internationally acclaimed scientist whose work has improved healthcare in the United States and globally. His seminal work in cardiovascular medicine and genetics laid the foundation for the development of the ACE inhibitors class of drugs to treat hypertension and heart failure. Dr. Dzau also pioneered gene therapy for vascular disease and was the first to introduce DNA decoy molecules to block transcriptions in humans in vivo. His groundbreaking research in cardiac regeneration led to the paracrine hypothesis of stem cell action and his recent strategy of direct cardiac reprogramming using microRNA. He maintains an active National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded research laboratory.

Dr. Dzau has led efforts in innovation to improve health, including the development of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute, the Duke Global Health Institute, the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School, and the Duke Institute for Health Innovation. He has served as a member of the advisory committee to the NIH director, chaired the NIH cardiovascular disease advisory committee, and currently chairs the NIH Cardiovascular Stem Cell Biology and Translational Consortia.

He chairs the international scientific advisory committee of the Qatar Genome Project, the scientific board of the cardiac center at the University of Toronto, and the scientific board of the cardiovascular institute at the University of Glasgow.

During his tenure at the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Dzau has designed and led important initiatives, including the Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future, the Human Gene Editing Initiative, and Vital Directions for Health and Health Care.

His many honors include the Max Delbruck Medal from the Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, the distinguished scientist award from the American Heart Association, the Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research, and a public service medal from the president of Singapore. He has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and Academia Sinica.

He received his MD from McGill University in Montreal followed by an internship in internal medicine at Cornell University, a residency in pathology at Children’s Hospital in Boston, a clinical fellowship in medicine at Harvard University, a postdoctoral research fellowship in physiology at Harvard University, and a fellowship in cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

October-November 2020 (Vol. 12, Number 10 & 11)