Professor Eric Topol of the Scripps Institute joins the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

26 July 2018
Professor Eric Topol

One the world’s foremost experts in digital medicine and esteemed academic in the US is to take up a position at the University of Auckland.

Professor Eric Topol will start a fractional appointment in the National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI) in the School of Population Health headed by Professor Chris Bullen. 

Professor Topol is a US cardiologist based at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, the Gary and Mary West Endowed Chair of Innovative Medicine, and the Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute.  He is one of the world’s leading authorities on digital medicine and personalised healthcare and currently leads a significant part (with a $207 million grant award) of the Precision Medicine (All of Us Research) Initiative funded by the National Institute of Health that prospectively follows the impact of genomic and digital technologies on 1 million Americans.  

He visited the faculty last February and presented an outstanding public lecture on the impact of the digital age on personalised medicine. 

Professor John Fraser, Dean of FMHS, says Professor Topol’s joint appointment is hugely significant to Auckland as it provides us with an extraordinary link to his undeniable world-class expertise in digital medicine and the impact that digital medicine and personalised devices is already having on the US healthcare system.

“I am truly delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Eric Topol to the faculty as a joint appointment with the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego and University of Auckland,” Professor Fraser says. 

“His experience will be invaluable to us in the faculty as we seek to understand how the same technologies and knowledge can be applied to the context of New Zealand’s health system, an area in which Professor Topol has a real interest because of the differences in health systems in New Zealand and the US.”

Professor Topol is an internationally acclaimed cardiologist and formally Chief of Cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic, where he founded a new medical school. He published a book in 2012 called The Creative Destruction of Medicine which examined the impact of both the genomic and wireless revolutions on the health care system. His most recent book The Patient Will See You Now, published in 2015, explores how smartphones, big data, and technology are combining to democratise health care. In 2019, he will publish Deep Medicine: How AI Can Revolutionize Health Care—and Make It More Humane.

Professor Topol’s research has pioneered many medications that are now routinely used in medical practice including t-PA, Plavix, Angiomax, and ReoPro.  He continues to be interested in new medications and the application of genomics in personalised medicine. 

Professor Bullen, Director of NIHI says “Professor Topol is undoubtedly the leading thinker in digital health today. I am very excited about the opportunities his appointment will open to us in New Zealand – not only to guide our cutting-edge research to improve our understanding of population health and healthcare locally, but potentially to also lead and collaborate internationally.”

Professor Topol will officially began his appointment this month.

Anna Kellett | Senior Media Adviser
Communications Office

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