Matthew Might, PhD, a renowned computer scientist and strategic leader appointed to the White House Precision Medicine Initiative by former President Barack Obama, has been named the inaugural director of the Hugh Kaul Personalized Medicine Institute at the UAB School of Medicine.
Might comes to UAB from the University of Utah, where he is a Presidential Scholar and an associate professor in both computer science and pharmaceutical chemistry, and from Harvard Medical School, where he is a visiting professor of biomedical informatics. Might's research interests focus on the intersection of computation and medicine to advance precision medicine through personalized therapeutics.
Precision medicine is an emerging practice of conducting medicine that uses a comprehensive set of resources and information -- from an individual's family history and genetic profile to lifestyle and environment -- in order to guide decisions for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. It has attracted significant early attention for its promise in treating rare diseases and cancers at their root cause.
"Dr. Might is a passionate scientist, and I believe that his drive and strategic vision will make UAB a national leader in precision medicine," said Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., FACS, senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the UAB School of Medicine.
Might's shift into genetics and drug development was inspired by his son Bertrand, who was diagnosed in 2012 as the first case of NGLY1 deficiency, an ultra-rare genetic disorder. Might then pioneered the use of social media and search engine optimization to find other patients with the rare genetic condition in a successful effort to advance scientific research for the disease.
Might was recruited in January 2015 by former President Barack Obama to serve as an adviser to the then newly launched Precision Medicine Initiative. He took on a formal role with the Precision Medicine Initiative as a White House official in the Executive Office of the President in March 2016.