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Reform US research

Bigwigs urge new infrastructure and focus on finding and delivering health applications.

Paula Park(ppark@the-scientist.com)

DENVER, CO — Access to health care in the United States and delivery of new therapies pose the next challenges in life-sciences research, according to two top science policy officials.

Elias Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Floyd Bloom, president of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), speaking at the AAAS annual meeting, urged scientists to upgrade medical and research systems to realize the benefits of genomics and proteomics research advancements.

Scientists have traditionally believed the health-care delivery system would implement their discoveries once the research results merit clinical application, Bloom said during his keynote speech. But the "collapsed" US health care system fails to deliver today's medicine effectively, and cannot begin to translate complex research data into public benefits.

"There's a feeling that the solutions of genomic medicine are not going to be converted into practical health care measures any time soon,"...

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