Eric Topol, MD is a cardiologist and geneticist who directs the Scripps Translational Science Institute (La Jolla, CA, USA). He is also the Chief Academic Officer at Scripps Health, and a senior consultant at the Scripps Clinic’s Division of Cardiovascular Diseases. He is a professor of genomics in the Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, where his research focuses on individualised medicine and the interface of genomics and technology.
In 2012, Dr. Topol was named the Most Influential Physician Executive in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare for taking on the topic of how big data will revolutionise hospitals and healthcare in general.
In his 2012 book The Creative Destruction of Medicine, Dr. Topol addresses the topic of how healthcare stands to benefit from technology and the wireless age. The tools which are increasingly used by physicians and patients alike, such as mobile phones and pocket computers, are not only useful for their ability to connect doctors and patients. The greatest potential exists in their generation of health information that will serve researchers in ways that data from clinical trials cannot. Population-based studies are limited in the ways they can predict how patients respond to disease therapies, but personalised medicine that ultimately includes genomic sequencing and printing technology will change the way patients are diagnosed and treated.
Dr. Topol has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, and has received numerous awards including the European Society of Cardiology’s Andreas Gruntzig Award and the Thompson Scientific Award “Doctor of the Decade”. He is a two-time recipient of the American Heart Association’s Top 10 Research Advances, recognised in both 2001 and 2004.
Dr. Topol received his MD credentials from the University of Rochester (NY, USA) and performed his internal medicine residency at the University of California, San Francisco (CA, USA). Following a cardiology fellowship at Johns Hopkins, he became a tenured professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan.
From 1991 to 2006, he led the Cleveland Clinic as Chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, and served as the clinic’s Chief Academic officer from 2000 to 2005. He founded the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. While at the clinic, he became an early critic of rofecoxib (Vioxx), a cardiovascular drug which has since been taken off of the market due to its poor safety profile.
Professional activities include the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars, the American Association of Physicians, and the American Society of Clinical Investigation.
References: The Creative Destruction of Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, Wikipedia
Image Credit: Scripps