Kenneth L. Brigham, MD, has been appointed Associate Vice President at Emory University and Director of its Predictive Health Initiative. Dr. Brigham has led the Predictive Health Initiative since it was established last year as a new model of healthcare that focuses on health maintenance rather than treatment of disease. Predictive Health and Society also is one of the crosscutting, university-wide initiatives in Emory's strategic plan.
Emory will host the second annual Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Symposium on Dec. 18 and 19 at the Emory Conference Center (http://www.emory.edu/CME).
Dr. Brigham joined the Emory University School of Medicine faculty in 2002 as vice chair for research in the Department of Medicine, director of the Center for Translational Research of the Lung, and associate director for research in the McKelvey Lung Transplant Center, Emory University School of Medicine.
"Dr. Brigham has led Emory's efforts to launch predictive health--a critical component of our new vision for transforming health and keeping people healthy," said Michael M.E. Johns, MD, CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center and chairman of Emory Healthcare. "We are confident he will continue to move this initiative forward as we launch new research and clinical programs in this new paradigm of health and healing for the 21st century."
Dr. Brigham is internationally recognized for his pioneering work in the pathogenesis of lung injury, gene therapy technology, and the application of gene therapy to a spectrum of inherited and acquired lung disorders. He received his medical degree from Vanderbilt University, and after training in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins and in pulmonary research at the University of California at San Francisco, he returned to the faculty at Vanderbilt in 1973, where he remained until 2002.
He is author or coauthor of more than 200 papers and book chapters on pulmonary disease and acute lung injury and has edited several books, most notably Gene Therapy for Diseases of the Lung (Marcel Dekker, 1997). He has served and advised numerous medical societies and organizations during his career, including the National Institutes of Health, and has served on the board of directors for both the American Lung Association and the American Thoracic Society and as president of the American Thoracic Society. He served as principal investigator of a SCOR in acute lung injury for 20 years and of an institutional training grant for 25 years. He is the founder of geneRx+, a biotechnology company.
The Predictive Health Initiative will combine a research core with a clinical testing ground for new predictive biomarkers of health, disease risk and prognosis aimed at keeping people healthy. The research program links the expertise of the systems biology program at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory, and the new Emory program in computational and life sciences. More than 20 research projects already are underway in predictive health, including biomarkers to predict risk of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, prediction of drug treatment toxicity, and predictive health modeling in early infancy.
"Existing and emerging science and technology make it possible for us to understand health and how to maintain it at a level that we could not image even a decade ago," said Dr. Brigham. "Although we are learning how to live longer and better, translating that knowledge into practice poses challenges that will require major changes in biomedical practice by physicians and scientists, and behavioral changes by all individuals."