Eric Topol

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed dire shortcomings in national public health infrastructure while also catalyzing extraordinary innovation in vaccine development and treatment. But how will the greatest health crisis in a century transform the future of medicine?

To discuss the evolution of the COVID response in the United States and system changes necessary to prepare for future emergencies, as well as the promise of genomics and artificial intelligence to transform medical research and practice, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Better Tomorrow Speaker Series will feature a live online conversation with cardiologist, researcher and bestselling author Eric Topol.

The livestream interview, COVID-19 and the Future of Medicine, moderated by Aimee Malia Grace, director of UH‘s Office of Strategic Health Initiatives, will be held on December 17 at 8 a.m. The interview will highlight the lightning-paced efforts to develop treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19, as well as the campaign Topol led to resist White House pressure to politicize the timeline. Looking beyond the current pandemic, Topol will also explain how new technologies—from mRNA drugs to artificial intelligence—promise to transform medicine in the coming decades.

Topol and Grace will also be joined by Hawaiʻi Lt. Gov. Josh Green and UH Cancer Center Director Randall Holcombe.

The livestream event is open to the public. Submit questions and register here.

“On behalf of Hawaiʻi, we are honored to have Dr. Topol share his insights with our community, particularly our students,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green. “In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to forget we are dealing with a novel coronavirus and much of our understanding of the virus has developed only in the past few months. We’ve made great progress in many areas, but we no doubt will continue to study this for years to come. I look forward to an engaging conversation with Dr. Topol on the topic and what this pandemic means for the future of medicine.”

UH President David Lassner added that COVID-19 has revealed both weaknesses and strengths in our healthcare and research systems. “The tragedy of COVID-19 shows how desperately we need robust public health infrastructure,” he said. “We are fortunate that the pandemic has also demonstrated how quickly and effectively academic researchers and health sciences companies can work together in a crisis. At UH, we’re determined to push these advances forward.”

More on Topol

Topol is the founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. An expert in genomic and digital tools to individualize medicine, he is a lead researcher on the National Institutes for Health’s Precision Medicine Initiative and principal investigator of a flagship grant to promote medical innovation. Topol is one of the most cited authorities in medicine and the author of three bestselling books: The Creative Destruction of Medicine, The Patient Will See You Now and Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again.

The Better Tomorrow Speaker Series is a joint venture of the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, Kamehameha Schools and UH. Event sponsors include: Kanu Hawaiʻi, UH Alumni Relations and UH Cancer Center.

For more on information, visit the UH Mānoa Better Tomorrow Speaker Series website or email: btss@hawaii.edu.