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Obama names Indian American to White House bioethics panel

india Updated: Apr 10, 2010 12:35 IST

IANS
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President Barack Obama has named India-born Harvard geneticist Raju Kucherlapati, whose research focuses on gene mapping, gene modification and cloning disease genes, to a key White House panel on bioethics.

Kucherlapati, 67, who is the Director Emeritus and Paul C. Cabot Professor in the Harvard Medical School Department of Genetics, is among ten scholars named to the newly created Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

The commission will advise the President on bioethical issues that may emerge from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology, the White House announced.

It has been tasked to work with the goal of identifying and promoting policies and practices that ensure scientific research, health care delivery, and technological innovation are conducted in an ethically responsible manner.

Announcing the appointment of Kucherlapati and others, President Obama said: "I am grateful that these impressive individuals have decided to dedicate their talent and experience to this important Commission. I look forward to their recommendations in the coming months and years."

Kucherlapati, who is also a professor in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, was the first Scientific Director of the Harvard Medical School-Partners Healthcare Center for Genetics and Genomics.

From 1989-2001, Kucherlapati was the Lola and Saul Kramer Professor of Molecular Genetics and Chairman of the Department at the Yeshiva University Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

He was previously a professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of Illinois, College of Medicine. He began his research as an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemical Sciences at Princeton University.

Kucherlapati has chaired numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) committees and served on the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research and the NCI Mouce Models for Human Cancer Consortium.

Kucherlapati is also a member of the Cancer Genome Atlas project of the National Institutes of Health. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National academy of sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Kucherlapati received his BS and MS in Biology from universities in India, and he received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana, as well as conducting post-doctoral work at Yale University.