News & AnalysisNewsmaker Interview: Joe Selby

Sifting Medical Records to Determine Which Therapies Work Best

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Science  07 Oct 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6052, pp. 28
DOI: 10.1126/science.334.6052.28

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Joe Selby is preparing to launch the best-funded new medical research institute you may never have heard of: PCORI, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. PCORI already has a few assets that would make any agency head salivate: a mandate from Congress to scale up, a trust partly financed by insurance fees that will provide about $500 million a year, independent status, and an almost open agenda. Its task is mind-bogglingly broad: to discover what kinds of therapies work best for patients. Selby met with Science last week to talk about PCORI's agenda, the tension in its mandate, and plans to involve patients in designing and reviewing research.