Robert M. Cook-Deegan, M.D., a leading expert on science policy-making and social issues involving genomics, has been selected director of the Center for Genome Ethics, Law and Policy (GELP) at Duke University, effective July 1.

The author of “The Gene Wars: Science, Politics, and the Human Genome” and other books and studies, Cook-Deegan will lead the center in bringing together biomedical researchers, ethicists, legal scholars and others to consider how advances in genomics will affect society. GELP encourages interdisciplinary research and promotes public debate about genomics and is one of five centers that comprise the $200 million Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy at Duke

Cook-Deegan currently directs the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellowship program at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences. He is also a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Investigator at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics of Georgetown University.

Cook-Deegan recently directed a world survey of genomics research and currently is writing a book of case studies on how national policy decisions are made about health research. Previously, he was a Cecil and Ida Green Fellow at the University of Texas, Dallas; director of the IOM’s Division of Biobehavioral Sciences and Mental Disorders; an adviser to the National Center for Human Genome Research; and acting executive director of the Biomedical Ethics Advisory Committee of the U.S. Congress.

“I look forward to joining the Duke family,” Cook-Deegan said in a press release. “I hope the center will draw on faculty across the university-from the law school, the Fuqua School of Business, the medical school and campus, the Sanford Institute of Public Policy, the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences and various departments in Arts & Sciences.”

Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy: