Queen's Policy Engagement

Highlighting a route to a healthier world

Professor Mark Lawler addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York on precision medicine and personalised health.

Highlighting a route to a healthier world

I recently addressed the United Nations (UN) General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York to highlight how precision and personalised health can help contribute to the development of a healthier world for the estimated 7.4 billion people who inhabit this planet.

Speaking in the special European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) session entitled “Science for Development”, I indicated the important role that science, innovation and education can play in improving outcomes in a killer disease such as cancer, which claims over 8 million lives worldwide each year.

I also emphasised the need for a global equality agenda to ensure that all citizens, not just those in the developed world, can benefit from patient informed, precision-based preventative or therapeutic interventions. Discovery science, both at individual and population levels, has yielded significant insights into how common diseases such as cancer develop, and provides us with precision tools that can help prevent, predict or treat disease. But it is incumbent on us to ensure that personalised health is available to all, not just those who can afford to pay for it.

Denis Horgan, CEO of the EAPM, who hosted the event at the UN said. “We are delighted to be highlighting the role that advances in personalised and precision medicine can play in combating disease. Hosting this event at the UN allows us to develop partnerships to help embed personalised and precision medicine at a global level.”

“I’m also pleased to announced that Belfast has been chosen as the venue for the EAPM Conference “Personalising Your Health: A Global Imperative” which will take place at the Waterfront in November 2017.”


The featured image in this article has been used thanks to a Creative Commons licence.

Professor Mark Lawler
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Mark Lawler is a Professor in the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen's University Belfast. He is Chair in Translational Cancer Genomics and Dean of Education of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, at Queen’s.

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