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Renowned Geneticist and Ethicist Robert Cook-Deegan Joins FasterCures as Senior Fellow

Oct. 11, 2013

FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, today announced that Robert Cook-Deegan, renowned geneticist and ethicist, has joined the team as one of its senior fellows.

Cook-Deegan joins the FasterCures fellow roster comprised of science policy expert Kathi Hanna, biopharmaceutical industry leader Bernard Munos, and open science champion John Wilbanks. Fellows will work on projects that will help FasterCures build consensus around innovative solutions to important public policy challenges in the life sciences industry and medical research and development (R&D) ecosystem.

“We are delighted to welcome Bob to the team,” said Margaret Anderson, executive director of FasterCures. “As we move toward precision medicine, we are more aware than ever about the need to have a deep understanding of the latest scientific developments, the policies that must be in place to advance the science, and the ethical considerations that must be part of the value equation for any new medical solution.”

"FasterCures plays a key role in driving the medical innovation conversation to focus on what’s best for patients,” said Cook-Deegan. “I look forward to working with the team to advance these conversations and bringing forth more meaningful medical solutions.”

Dr. Robert Cook-Deegan is Research Professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy, Duke University. He is the author of The Gene Wars: Science, Politics, and the Human Genome (New York: Norton, 1994 & 1996; tr. Korean, Japanese) and an author on over 200 articles. His most recent research interest has been the Myriad Genetics case and gene patenting.  From 1991-2002, Cook-Deegan worked at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Academy of Sciences in various capacities, including director of the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship program and the National Cancer Policy Board.  During his final three years at the National Academies, he was also a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Investigator at Georgetown University (1999-2002), and a seminar leader at Stanford-in-Washington (1996-2003). He also worked for the National Center for Human Genome Research in its first year, and was a AAAS Congressional Science & Engineering Fellow and spent six years at the congressional Office of Technology Assessment. He received his MD degree from the University of Colorado in 1979 and his bachelor' s degree in chemistry, magna cum laude, in 1975 from Harvard College.

About FasterCures

FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, is an action tank, determined to remove barriers to medical progress. We have only one goal: to save lives as rapidly as possible. We work to improve the medical research system—so that we can speed up the time it takes to get important new medicines from discovery to patients. (

About the Milken Institute

A nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, the Milken Institute believes in the power of capital markets to solve urgent social and economic challenges. Its mission is to improve lives around the world by advancing innovative economic and policy solutions that create jobs, widen access to capital, and enhance health. (


Cecilia Arradaza, Director of Policy and Communications
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