Eros Lazzerini Denchi PhD, Associate Professor, The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) talks about his exciting discovery of a protein that fine-tunes the cellular clock and impacts aging and the development of cancer. The novel protein TZAP binds the ends of chromosomes and controls a process called telomere trimming. Eros provides a little perspective about the long journey in our understanding of telomeres and telomerase and the intriguing questions that this new discovery opens up.
TZAP: A telomere-associated protein involved in telomere length control Science January 12, 2017 Eros Lazzerini Denchi and Julia Su Zhou Li
Elizabeth Blackburn PhD was trained as a molecular biologist and is currently the President of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. She is the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize for her groundbreaking discovery of telomeres that protect the end of chromosomes and the enzyme telomerase that produces the telomeres' DNA.
Liz and her co-author Elissa Epel, PhD have translated this basic research into a book The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer that provides a way for the general consumer to understand the science of telomeres and genetics and how lifestyle choices can impact the health of the cells in the body.
Originally from Tasmania, Australia Liz also reflects on whether there is a genetic predisposition for becoming a scientist.
Brian Pak Yan Leung, neuroscience PhD candidate in the neuroscience graduate program at the University of Southern California. He is also a PhD student at the University of Zurich in the Department of Experimental Immunology. Brian talks about how those with a variety of backgrounds are drawn to the USC interdisciplinary neuroscience program and the upside down approach that makes classes so exciting.
Tony Ricci, PhD, Director of Neuroscience Graduate Training Program at the Stanford University School of Medicine talks about how most of their students are new to neuroscience and the program's emphasis on interaction and collaboration between students and teachers. He also reflects on how the field of neuroscience is getting broader and how the prefix 'neuro' could be put in front of just about any field.
Michael Rowling, COO, ProtoKinetics explains that measuring and evaluating how someone is walking can be an early predictor for diseases. He notes that wearables are limited in their ability to measure differences in those who are slowing down. Gait mat technology and associated software evaluates gait and balance by directly measuring footsteps for better diagnosis of such conditions as Parkinson's and stroke and can be used to help prevent falls.
Dr. Jon Pierce-Shimomura, Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Texas Austin talks about their unique program that pairs neuroscience graduate students with those that suffer from neurological diseases to better understand the whole patient and provide opportunities for everyone to learn about treating the ill and disabled.
Renee Cockerham PhD is the Neuroscience Program Manager at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. I talked with Renee at the annual meeting of the Society of Neuroscience about how enthusiasm for science is hard to teach but other skills can be learned. She also emphasizes that diverse backgrounds are needed in the growing field of neuroscience as they prepare the next generation of scientists.
Greg Gage, CEO and Co-Founder, Backyard Brains talks about bringing affordable neuroscience tools to kids and classrooms to stimulate thinking about how our brain communicates with our senses. I met Greg at the recent annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience where his fun experiments were a stark contrast to the high tech expensive equipment on the show floor being sold for clinical research.
Kim Walpole, co-founder and CEO, Trials.ai an EvoNexus portfolio company that is replacing paper based clinical trial systems with digital access to the hundreds of data points from participants, leveraging artificial intelligence to allow for more efficient trials, and providing transparency for patients and researchers.
Robin Smith, CEO, Orig3n, a genomics company that is bringing personalized genetic analysis to consumers to inform about lifestyle choices and risks. With a broader mission to get a snapshot of humanity to support regenerative medicine efforts and find clues to rare diseases, they are collecting genetic material from cheek swabs and blood samples from a wide range of groups. My sample was collected at the recent Exponential Medicine conference and opened a door into a whole new kind of conversation about health and wellness.
Arnon Zamir, Chief Change Maker, Tikkun Olam Makers talks about creating virtual and physical communities to address the neglected problems of the disabled. With a mission to use available technology and to openly share the results, volunteers come together with those with disabilities in Makeathons to come up with creative solutions. Arnon is most excited about 3-D printing which can empower people in remote places to replicate designs and add their own innovations.
Dexter Ang, CEO, Pison Technology, an MIT start-up is developing breakthrough technology using electromyography or EMG to detect nerve signals with sensors that allow command of compatible devices. Dexter began his quest to address the needs of ALS patients by placing sensors on their bodies that use wi-fi to control a computer, phone or wheelchair by having the patient think about the muscle movement. The possibilities for all humans are endless.
Nadeem Sarwar PhD, President, Eisai AiM Institute talks about the dramatic changes taking place in the development of targeted theraputics because of the introduction of human genomic data rather than just relying on animal testing, building more sophisticated drug discovery models, and how the timing of intervention is shifting to earlier in the disease cycle.
Edwin Chau Senior Sales Manager Affymetrix eBioscience was exhibiting at the Festival of Genomics California and took the time to talk about their ground-breaking microarray solutions and other tools that are helping researchers increase their efficiency and get a better picture of disease.
David Winternheimer, PhD Business Development, DxTerity talks to me from the show floor of the recent Festival of Genomics California where he demonstrates how easy it is for patients to get a blood sample to participate in research initiatives that are using rich diagnostic data from their genomic testing to investigate a wide range of diseases.
Ali Torkamani, PhD Director of Genome Informatics and Drug Discovery,The Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) and Assistant Professor of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology, The Scripps Research Institute is the co-author of a study on the Wellderly--those over 80 who have never suffered any major disease. The focus on healthspan and not just lifespan is being enhanced by exploring genomic data of the Wellderly phenotype as well as lifestyle choices and environment.
Dr. Ezra Cohen, Professor Division of Hematology/Oncology Department of Medicine University of California San Diego and Associate Director for Translational Science at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center shines light on the newest innovations in immunotheraphy for treating cancer, using precise cellular therapies and check point inhibitors to reactivate the immune system to attack cancer cells, and the promise of being able to prevent cancer using personalized vaccines.
Dr. Tom Cowan, holistic physician and founder of Dr. Cowan's Garden Powders talks about how vegetable powders were first seen as a gourmet seasoning and now are being used to provide more diversity and nutrition for a wide audience. He also talks about harvesting and dehydrating sea vegetables like nori to make them more accessible, and why calories don't matter.
Kevin Stewart, Managing Partner State and Local Government, GIS Inc. talks about technology that is in place in cities and states to track and control vector borne diseases like the Zika virus, how important citizen engagement is for reporting problems, and value of maps for raising awareness and educating populations at risk.
Dr. Steve Steinhubl Director of Digital Medicine, the Scripps Translational Science Institute talks about the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program that will be officially launched this fall to recruit 1 million people in the most ambitious medical research program in US history. The goal is to create a rich data base feed by genetic information and patient data collected using smart phones and sensors to help define the new model for the future of healthcare.
Go here to register to receive more information from NIH:
Jonathan Dotson host of The Ability Show talks about the impact of the Paralympics in London 2012 and the anticipation for the upcoming Paralympics in Rio in September. Jonathan is wheel-chair bound and knows how important participation in competitive sports is for those who are disabled.
Penny Wing, CEO and Founder, Brojure talks about her start-up that gives hospice patients the ability to create multi-media presentations that can be shared and enhanced by friends and family.
John Audette, Co-Founder and President, Amplion talks about how biomarkers are starting to be used by pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies to create more effective drug treatments and tests that use liquid biopsies for early detection of cancer.
Sonny Beech, Senior Business Development, GIS Inc. talks about the reasons indoor navigation has been slow to catch on, how the technology that tracks sensors or smart phones indoors is being used for emergency response training, and innovative uses for tracking patients and caregivers in care facilities to spot troubling trends and ways to improve service.
Eric Klasson, CEO, Snaptrends talks about listening to social media to look for smarter ways to deploy first response resources in times of emergency. He also talks about social media tracking and Esri GIS tools that are being put into place to track the spread of the Zika virus through people who attend the Olympics in Rio.