Eric Lander, the new science consultant for the White House, advises on the need for a ready vaccine for the next pandemic. In an interview, he explained the effect of such a move on the United States. With ready vaccines, the world would be better equipped to treat patients, fight illness, and overall explore the science space.
Eric Lander was sworn into office on a traditional Jewish text, Mishnah, recording oral laws and traditions. At the Cabinet level, Lander will be the first director to serve the Office of Tech and Science Policy. With the promotion of the science position, he believes that the current United States administration is off to a great start. It enables him to hold high-level discussions with leaders of several agencies.
About Eric Lander
By training, Eric Lander is both a geneticist and mathematician who participated in a project centered on human genome mapping. He has served as a director at Harvard as well as the Broad Institute at MIT. His focus is on preparing the world for the next pandemic by taking proactive steps. Even though effective vaccination production was done in under a year, this was a rather long time.
However, it was a fast timeline considering that in previous times it would have taken three or four years to get a vaccine. The new goal is to identify the potential of a virus that could result in a pandemic and come up with a vaccine within 100 days. With such a timeline, the world would have created a vaccine in the early days of April 2020. It may seem impossible, but Eric Lander believes it is a viable approach.
Before COVID-19 struck, researchers were working on vaccination platform technologies. Rather than use the virus itself to create a vaccine, scientists employ messenger RNA. They include the genetic composition of the virus. It was the approach adopted when creating the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.
Beyond remaining optimistic regarding future pandemics, Eric Lander considers cancer prevention. Perhaps the same fast rate on this front could be applied to cancer. The Advisory Council on Technology and Science is already working on this idea.
The telehealth industry has connected patients to doctors. According to Eric Lander, the goal is to create and promote a patient-centered healthcare system. That way, community health providers would offer to check up services every couple of weeks. People would be screened for chronic conditions, including the two types of diabetes and high blood pressure.