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The Tug of War for Better Health Care

The sixth annual GoldLab Symposium focuses on the scientific and the social components of health care. In addition to the usual interesting science, humor, clinical information, medical research, and quality-of-life issues, we once again come together to think, learn, and laugh in hopes that we can turn our discussions into actions for improving health care and healthy living for all.

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  • Opening Welcome

    • One to Five, Six to Ten

      Transitions always are frightening, and this is a transitional year. We have done five symposia so far, and I have looked backward at what we’ve done with pleasure—almost 80 presentations about so many things that matter. I learned a lot, which is as good as it gets for me, and I got to laugh, deeply.

      Now we are seeking...

  • Cancers and Health

    • Exploring the Evolutionary Forces Driving Tumor Development

      Cancer genome sequencing has identified a level of complexity unimaginable only a few years ago. We now know that cancer often develops through a step-wise but non-linear process of clonal evolution, generating a bewidlering array of inter- and intra-tumor heterogenetiy, with only a limited number of driver mutations shared among tumors of even the same histological subtype. We also know...

    • Malignant Melanoma: The Tumor That Used to Give Cancer a Bad Name

      Malignant melanoma is more than just a skin cancer. It is primarily the result of damage to the melanocytes from intense sun exposure in childhood and adolescence. These transformed melanocytes have the capacity to invade the blood and lymphatic system and spread widely, if not caught early. Unlike many other cancers, once melanoma had spread beyond the skin, standard treatment...

    • How 140 Characters Are Changing Health Care

      Digital tools are auspiciously changing health care forever. It's a novel time when it comes to seeking advice about your health. While widespread social media and evolving online networks change access to information for patients and their families, they also dramatically shift physician and provider responsibilities. Improved communication is the future of smarter health care. With the change emerging technologies...

    • Transposable Elements Modulate Human RNA Abundance

      Transposable elements (TEs) have significantly influenced the evolution of transcriptional regulatory networks in the human genome. Post-transcriptional regulation of human genes by TE-derived sequences has been observed in specific contexts, but has yet to be systematically and comprehensively investigated. Here, we study a collection of 75 CLIP-Seq experiments mapping the RNA binding sites for a diverse set of 51 human...

  • Musical Comedy

  • Big Data, Big Problems

  • Day One Wrap Up

  • Rare Diseases, Reductionism, and Death

    • One of a Kind: What Do You Do When You’re the First?

      The widespread availability of sequencing is creating an explosion of “one of a kind” disorders. Patients are being told in record numbers: “You are the first and only we’ve ever seen.” Not long ago, the diagnosis and discovery of these "n=1" disorders would have been devastating. But, social media and precision medicine are making it possible to fight and win...

    • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: A Not-So-Rare Disease

      Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a rare and devastating muscle disease caused by mutations in the X-linked dystrophin gene, DMD. Since the first identification of the disease in the 1800’s, the clinical course of this complex disease has not changed; however, clinicians, scientists, and patients worked to improve the natural history of these patients. Together, we still continue to learn...

    • Is Reductionism Killing Biomedical Research?

      Biomedical research has been increasingly informed by the reductionist notion that genotype=phenotype. This view persists even though the “common-disease common-variant” hypothesis has been rejected as an unintended and unexpected finding of the Human Genome Project. It also reflects deep ignorance of ideas from fields like integrative physiology and epidemiology on biological redundancy and the nature of human phenotypic variation.

    • Having the Conversation: Is It Really That Important?

      Too many people are dying in a way they wouldn’t choose, and too many of their loved ones are left feeling bereaved, guilty, and uncertain. It’s time to transform our culture so we shift from not talking about dying to talking about it. It’s time to share the way we want to live at the end of our lives. And...

  • Wellness at Every Level

  • Day Two Wrap Up

  • Closing Remarks