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A native of Illinois, he graduated from Greenville College, Greenville, Illinois with a B.A. with Honors in Chemistry. Following medical school at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, he completed training programs in Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Medical Oncology at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, and is Board Certified in all three areas by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Upon completing his training he joined the staff in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville. There he created the Hospital Ethics Committee and Consultation Service at St. Luke's Hospital. He also founded the Greater Jacksonville Bioethics Forum.
In July, 1994, he returned to the Mayo Clinic Rochester and there serves as a consultant in the Division of Hematology and Internal Medicine and the Special Coagulation Laboratory, Chair of the Myeloproliferative Disorders Study Group and the MAP Clinic, and as Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Mayo Medical School. He is Director of Ethics Education for the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. He created the Mayo Medical Center Ethics Consultation Service, the Reproductive Medicine Advisory Board, the DNA Research Committee, and the Mayo Clinical Ethics Council, the last three of which he still chairs. He is presently putting together the Transplantation Ethics Advisory Board for Mayo. He is a Senior Fellow and member of the International Advisory Board of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity. Past responsibilities have included serving as Vice-chair of the Mayo Foundation Institutional Review Board. His work in the area of the ethics of genetic research led to an invitation to testify before the National Bioethics Advisory Commission in 1998. His experience with palliative care and end-of-life ethics led to an invitation to present a briefing to Senate staff concerning the Pain Relief Promotion Act.
Dr. Hook is presently working to initiate The Project on Future Ethics, a large-scale, cooperative, prospective study to evaluate the ethical questions and challenges of coming technologies, and to provide careful, reasoned recommendations for their use. In this regard he has a special interest in the fields of nanotechnology, cybernetics and artificial intelligence.
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