UCSF's Hauser appointed by President Obama to Bioethics Commission

By Jennifer O'Brien

Stephen L. Hauser, MD, the Robert A. Fishman Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at UCSF, has been appointed by President Barack Obama to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

The White House announced the intent of the President to appoint Hauser and nine others to the Commission late yesterday, Wednesday, April 7, 2010. The candidates will join current Chair Amy Gutmann and Vice-Chair James Wagner as members on the Commission.

According to the White House, the Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues will advise the President on bioethical issues that may emerge from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology. It will work with the goal of identifying and promoting policies and practices to ensure that scientific research, health care delivery, and technological innovation are conducted in an ethically responsible manner.

“I’m delighted and honored by this appointment,” says Hauser. “We have entered an extremely exciting period in the history of the medical sciences, in terms of potential advances in treating diseases. My fellow appointees and I will have the opportunity to carefully consider the many ethical issues related to biomedical research and health care delivery.”

“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,” the President said in a White House news release.

A neuroimmunologist, Hauser’s research focuses on the genetic basis, immune mechanisms and treatment of multiple sclerosis. As chair of the UCSF Department of Neurology, he oversees one of the premier such departments in the United States, made up of basic scientists, clinical researchers and clinicians studying and treating the broad range of neurological conditions, such as migraine, epilepsy, pain, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, all forms of dementia, including frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and neurovascular conditions such as stroke.

Related links:

Hauser biography: http://bioethics.gov/about/hauser.html

White House news release: http://bioethics.gov/documents/White-House-Announcement-on-New-Bioethics-Commission-Members-04.07.10.pdf

Media coverage:

WhiteHouse.gov blog: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/04/08/president-announces-choices-new-bioethics-commission

Daily News: http://www.whittierdailynews.com/california/ci_14869538

Inside Higher Ed: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/04/09/qt/obama_names_academics_to_bioethics_panel

Science Insider: http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2010/04/white-house-bioethicists-named.html

World Magazine: http://www.worldmag.com/webextra/16633


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