It was, in fact, the third time in less than three years that he has launched a high-profile effort to solve a complex biomedical problem.
A year ago, in his 2015 State of the Union address, Obama announced the Precision Medicine Initiative, which is intended to usher in what he called “a new era of medicine — one that delivers the right treatment at the right time.”
“Think about what we could do once we do crack this code,” Obama said. “Imagine if no family had to feel helpless watching a loved one disappear behind the mask of Parkinson’s or struggle in the grip of epilepsy. Imagine if we could reverse traumatic brain injury or PTSD for our veterans who are coming home.”
Previous presidents earned headlines of their own by announcing major scientific projects. But it’s hard to think of another president who scored a similar biomedical hat trick.
“I think he’ll go down in history as one of the greatest presidents, and I think because of these things he’s doing,” said Azra Raza, a Columbia University oncologist who consulted with Vice President Joe Biden on the cancer moonshot.
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