Theodore Friedmann, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has been appointed to the Muriel Jeannette Whitehill Chair for Biomedical Ethics at the school. Friedmann, who has been at UC-San Diego since 1969, has focused his research efforts on the genetic mechanisms underlying disease and the development of methods to correct genetic defects.

In a benchmark 1972 essay in Science (175:949-55), Friedmann introduced the phrase "gene therapy" to describe the potential of treating genetic diseases by replacing defective genes with normal ones. In the same essay, he also posed a series of ethical questions that today are used as discussion guidelines by those who conduct and monitor biomedical research.

As Whitehill professor, Friedmann will continue his collaboration with other UC-San Diego faculty who are applying genetics to the understanding and, potentially, the treatment of heart disease, cancer, and neurological disorders such...

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