Peter Piot: Advisor on Bioethical Issues to Obama
The Belgian scientist and doctor Peter Piot has been selected as a member of the International Research Panel, which will focus on the effectiveness of the present US regulations and international standards for the protection of people acting as test subjects in scientific studies supported by the federal authorities. The panel must ensure that these standards prevent people acting in tests from being treated in a harmful or unethical way. The International Research Panel was established after a request was made by the US president, Barack Obama, to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (or simply the Bioethical Commission) to compile a report on this matter. The International Research Panel is made up of experts in the fields of medical ethics, sciences and clinical research from the academic, public and industrial worlds. The members of the panel will act in their personal capacity, and not as official representatives for their countries, and will offer a valuable international perspective on the issue.
Dr Peter Piot is presently the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, before which he was a deputy secretary-general of the United Nations where he set up UNAIDS and became its first executive director. He was also an associate director of the World Health Organisation’s global aids programme. In 1976 he was one of the scientists to discoverer the Ebola.
Piot graduated as a medical doctor in 1974 at the University of Ghent, obtained a doctorate from the University of Antwerp in 1980 in microbiology and then worked at the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp.
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