Senior EMA Official Joins CBI as Visiting Scholar

Hans-Georg Eichler, European Medicines Agency
Joins MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation and MIT Center for International Studies

(November 18, 2010)

The MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation (CBI) and the MIT Center for International Studies (CIS)  announced today that Dr. Hans-Georg Eichler of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will join the MIT community in 2011 holding a joint position as CBI Visiting Scholar and a Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow.

Dr. Eichler is the Senior Medical Officer of EMA, responsible for coordinating activities between the Agency’s scientific committees and giving advice on scientific and public health issues.   As a Wilhelm Fellow, he will collaborate with the MIT community in research, seminars, conferences, and other intellectual projects.  As a CBI Visiting Scholar, Dr. Eichler will participate in the New Drug Development Paradigms (NEWDIGS) initiative on behalf of EMA, collaborating with key stakeholders in the global healthcare industry to improve the environment for innovation in the industry.

Dr. Eichler’s research will focus on the critical issue of how to best support the efficient development of safe and effective drugs, with emphasis on how to incorporate values most important to patients into the process.  Dr. Eichler’s joint appointment with CIS and CBI, and the close partnership between the two Centers are mirrored in his work, which will be cutting across national boundaries and biomedical industry stakeholders.

“The Center for International Studies is delighted to be the home for one of Europe’s most distinguished and innovative policymakers,”said Richard Samuels, Director of CIS and Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT. “As the Center’s Wilhelm Fellow, Dr. Eichler’s collaborative research will be a logical extension of  our tradition of focusing on issues where science and engineering intersect with foreign affairs and public policy. By sharing his experience at the EMA and extensive knowledge of European healthcare policy, his presence and engagement in our intellectual life will make us all better students of world affairs.”

“The Center for Biomedical Innovation is pleased to welcome Dr. Eichler to work with us on the NEWDIGS initiative, exploring ways to transform how new drugs are tested and approved, with an eye toward enhancing innovation,” said Gigi Hirsch, Executive Director of CBI. ‘This project will require an unprecedented level of collaboration, and Dr. Eichler’s international credibility and diverse experience in academia, industry, and government will be critical to weaving together the disparate interests of stakeholders.”

“Dr. Eichler’s perspectives will greatly enrich research and educational activities within the MIT community that are focused on advancing regulatory science across the global healthcare industry,” added Anthony Sinskey, Faculty Director of CBI and Professor of Biology at MIT.

Prior to joining the European Medicines Agency, Dr. Eichler was at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria for 15 years, where he was vice-rector for Research and International Relations and Professor and Chair of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology.  He also served as President of the Vienna School of Clinical Research and Co-Chair of the Austrian Social Security Association Committee on Reimbursement of Drugs.  His industry experience includes work with Ciba-Geigy Research Labs and Outcomes Research at Merck & Company.   Dr. Eichler graduated with an M.D. from Vienna University Medical School and a Master of Science degree in Toxicology from the University of Surrey in Guildford, U.K. He trained in internal medicine and clinical pharmacology at the Vienna University Hospital and Stanford University.

About the Robert E. Wilhelm Fellowship at CIS
A generous gift from Robert E. Wilhelm supports the Center for International Studies Wilhelm fellowship. The fellowship is awarded to individuals who have held senior positions in public life and is open, for example, to heads of non-profit agencies, senior officials at the State Department or other government agencies, including ambassadors, or senior officials from the UN or other multilateral agencies.  Previous Wilhelm Fellows include Ambassador Barbara Bodine, Foreign Sudanese Foreign Minister Francis Deng, and Admiral William Fallon. (USN-ret.).