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Evolution: From the Lab to the Living Room

The 8th annual symposium, “Evolution: From the Lab to the Livingroom,” included topics on health care and big data, infectious diseases & food innovations. Presentations were made by health care innovators, medical researchers, scientists, and thought leaders.

  • Welcome

    • 2017 Symposium Welcome

      Larry Gold, Ph.D. is the Founder and Chairman of the board, and past CEO of SomaLogic. Prior to SomaLogic, he founded NeXagen, Inc., which later became NeXstar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In 1999, NeXstar merged with Gilead Sciences, Inc. to form a global organization committed to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel products that treat infectious diseases. Before forming NeXagen, he...

  • Health Care and Big Data

  • Infectious Diseases: Modern and Historic Perspective

    • Antimicrobial Resistance: Newest Thugs without Drugs

      Alexander Fleming noted the importance of drug-resistant microbes when he accepted the Nobel Prize in 1945 for the discovery of the first "wonder drug"—penicillin. Since then, we have benefitted from the development of more than 100 antibacterial drugs and many other products that target viruses and fungi, but unfortunately, the emergence of drug resistance has stayed in lockstep with...

    • Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82

      Elizabeth Fenn tells the gruesome, riveting story of smallpox during the era of the American Revolution. Few people know that a terrible epidemic ravaged North America in these years, influencing the Revolutionary War, dashing the dreams of freedom-loving African Americans, and wreaking havoc on Native Americans across the continent. Elizabeth also addresses eighteenth-century biological warfare in her talk.

    • Frenemies: Microbial Interactions in Respiratory Diseases

      No microbe exists in isolation. When we become infected with a respiratory pathogen, like influenza, our bodies harbor not just the current influenza strain making the news; they share space with other drug-resistant variants and bacterial species. Together, these “bugs” set off a complex set of interactions that impact viral evolutionary dynamics and skew clinical outcome and can lead, for...

    • Zika, Ebola, and Dengue: Viruses Emerging from the Human – Animal Interface

      The 2012 MERS, 2013 Ebola, and 2015 Zika epidemics give testament to the increasing pace at which viruses are emerging from nature. The vast majority of new human viral diseases, including these three, emerge when humans come into contact with animal reservoirs. It has never been more important to rapidly characterize virus biology so that drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines can...

  • Horrible Diseases and Good Sex

    • Bioscience – Lost in Translation?

      Richard Barker will explore the mystery of our persistent failure in turning great advances in bioscience into lasting and affordable patient benefit. He will lay out five 'gaps in translation' and a strategy to overcome each—with precision medicine the golden thread that runs through his solutions. He believes we can improve the productivity of the medical innovation process by at least an order of magnitude, if we are prepared to challenge and change our innovation ecosystem.

    • Developing a Gene Therapy for Muscular Dystrophy

      Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe, progressive, fatal muscle disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in the DMD gene that leads to the absence of the dystrophin protein. Without dystrophin, the structural link between the actin cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix is broken and muscles are highly susceptible to contraction-induced damage. Direct dystrophin replacement has thus far been unsuccessful due to...

    • The Ambiguity of Sexual Fate Determination

      Dogma tells us that we become females if we have two XX chromosomes and males if we are XY. Dogma also tells us that this bimodal gender specification occurs early in life. Yet reality may not be so simple. My laboratory has investigated the molecular basis of sex determination in a small nematode worm, often thought of as...

    • Gender Re/Evolution: Navigating Developmental, Psychological and Social Facets of Pink and Blue in a Purple World

      How do you know your gender? From Time to People, cradle to grave, few aspects of human identity have exploded into our current collective and visible consciousness as transgender, gender variant, gender expansive, and gender creative identities across the human lifespan. Is this a new phenomenon in human development? Is it identity fad or phenomenon? What are we...

  • Innovators, Innovation and Food

    • Synthetic Genetics: Beyond DNA and RNA

      Synthetic biology seeks to probe fundamental aspects of biological form and function by construction (i.e. resynthesis) rather than deconstruction (analysis). Synthesis thus complements reductionist and analytic studies of life, and allows novel approaches towards fundamental biological questions.
      We have been exploiting the synthesis paradigm to explore the chemical etiology of the genetic apparatus shared by all life on earth....

    • Building an Innovation Nation

      The Chief Technology Officer at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is, in a lot of ways, the chief innovation officer, bringing a can-do, creative spirit to government. I will share stories about how the passion and tenacity we associate with startups can be found in every health care setting, from government labs to communities of people living...

    • The Anthropocene Chicken and the ‘Wicked’ Problem(s) of Contemporary Food

      Contemporary food provision presents a series of contradictions. Enormous increases in food production, as well as availability, over the last century have enabled populations to grow, becoming healthier, with longer lifespans and increased quality of life. Technological developments, often associated with food’s globalization, have all but rendered seasonality and Nature obsolete. It’s possible to not only supply food year round,...

    • Doped and Duped: Deviance, Coercion, and Irony in both Sport and Medicine

      Through my own experiences working as a coach and scientist on the Pro Cycling Tour for athletes like Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong, I will be discussing how the legal drugs the public are fed for better health are as dark, dirty, and ineffective as the illegal drugs used to enhance performance in sport. This discussion will be more human...