Scientific director hopes to have the next pandemic vaccine ready within 100 days

Is New White House Scientific Advisor Wants to have a vaccine ready to fight the next pandemic within just 100 days of recognizing the potential outbreak of the virus.

In the first interview after sworn on Wednesday, Eric Lander America’s new focus on science not only prepares for the next pandemic with plug-and-play vaccines, but also changes the way medicine fights illness, treats patients, controls climate change, and explores space. Draws a rosy near future. He even mentioned “Star Trek”.

“This is a moment when we can rethink our basic assumptions about what is possible, not just for health, but for climate, energy, and many other areas,” Lander told The Associated Press. Told.

Lander has taken the oath of office on a fragment of the Earth 500 years ago. MishnahAn ancient Jewish document that documents oral traditions and law.Is the first director of Office of Science and Technology Policy Promoted to cabinet level.

Lander is President Joe Biden’s Science post height Is a symbolic show that “science should get to the table”, but you can also have high-level discussions with top executives from various institutions on policymaking.

Lander is a mathematician and a geneticist. Human Genome Mapping Project He led the Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard. He said he wasn’t particularly focused on this pandemic, but that he was preparing for the next pandemic with the lessons learned from this pandemic.

“It was surprising at one level that we were able to produce a very effective vaccine in less than a year, but from another perspective, we would say,’Boy, a year is long,'” Lander said. It will take 3 or 4 years. “We want to achieve this within 100 days to really make a difference, so many of us have talked about the goal of 100 days from the perception of a potentially pandemic virus. . “

“If that happened this time, it would have been vaccinated in early April 2020,” Lander said. “I’m awakened for a moment, but it’s perfectly feasible. . “

Scientists have been working on so-called all-purpose, ready-to-use platform technologies for vaccines long before the pandemic. They are considered “plug and play”. Instead of using the bacterium itself to create a vaccine, messenger RNA is used to add the bacterium’s genetic code. That’s what happened with Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 shots.

Lander is not only optimistic about confronting future pandemics, but also thinking about their impact on cancer prevention.

“Perhaps the same kind of experience of moving much faster than we thought might apply to cancer,” Lander said. Presidential Science and Technology Advisory Board. One company is already working on it.

Moreover, with pandemics and telemedicine, doctors have somehow faced patients. Lander says “a world of reorganizing a lot” to get more patient-centric health care, such as local health care workers checking people every few weeks for blood pressure, blood sugar, and other chronic problems. He said he was rethinking.

Two of Lander’s predecessors praised him.President Bill Clinton’s scientific adviser Neil Lane said Lander was pandemicly “perfect” because of the need for strategy and international agreements. President Obama’s science director John Holden called him “Renaissance Man.” I called

Lander’s nomination was delayed by a few months, but Senator sought further information about a meeting with the late Jeffrey Epstein, a financial firm charged with apparently sexual trafficking before committing suicide. Lander said he met Epstein only twice in 2012 and never requested or received funding from Epstein or his foundation. Lander said he had an approval hearing. So, I apologize for the 2016 article that downplayed the work of the two 2016 Nobel Prize-winning female scientists.

Lander, who visited Greenland on a refreshing day with temperatures of 72 degrees Celsius, told the Associated Press that climate change was “in many ways a very serious threat to the planet.”

Still, Lander said he and others are now more optimistic than they were ten years ago because “there’s a way to do something about it.”

Lander noted that the cost of solar and wind energy has fallen by about 90%, making it as cheap as fossil fuels that cause climate change. But he also needed an “explosive increase in ideas” to extend battery life and provide weather-independent carbon-free energy. These innovations require federal incentives that are part of Mr Biden’s employment package, he said.

Lander added that reducing methane is the key to combating climate change, but first needs to improve technology to identify where methane is leaking.

As for space, Lander said it was too new to comment on whether heading to the moon or to Mars was the goal. The Obama administration said it was from the Bush era plan to send astronauts back to the moon. He turned NASA and aimed more at Mars and asteroids. The Trump administration not only returned to the moon, but also set a goal for a new lunar lander in 2024.

“Are you going to the moon, Mars, or Jupiter’s moons? I know. The exact order I think is perfect for thinking and talking,” Lander said.

When asked if Captain James T. Kirk’s love interest came from space, he quoted “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.” He replied, “I’m from Iowa and only work in space.”

Lander adds: “That was an interesting line in Star Trek IV, but the people of Iowa would really say so.”


AP Medical writer Lauran Neergaard contributed to this report.


Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter: @borenbears.


The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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