Virtual Reality, Real Science
Imagine having the choice to play a video game instead of taking a drug to improve your brain health. Envision using virtual reality to reduce the need for opioids during surgery. Come explore UCSF’s Neuroscape Lab, which uses cutting-edge technologies to optimize our cognition and memory and address the challenges of ADHD, autism, and depression. Use virtual reality to fly through a human brain, and witness how a surgeon will use augmented reality to visualize a patient’s tumor in real time to remove it safely and effectively.
- Helen Willsey, PhD is interested in understanding how Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)-associated genes function during neurodevelopment. Despite the genetic heterogeneity of ASD, several lines of evidence suggest that ASD-associated genes share common molecular underpinnings. To identify these common mechanisms, Helen leverages CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing with the diploid frog model Xenopus tropicalis. Due to the speed of frog development, Helen can rapidly study the loss of function phenotype of many ASD genes in parallel. Specifically, she injects Cas9 protein and a single guide RNA (sgRNA) against an ASD gene at the two-cell embryo stage, generating animals in which exactly half the body (separated by the midline) is mutant, allowing for direct comparison of mutant and control cells in the same animal. Helen uses a variety of techniques to identify ‘convergent phenotypes,’ including RNAseq, in situ hybridization, and immunostaining. In this way, Helen’s work is aimed at identifying phenotypes most relevant to ASD pathology to provide a path forward for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying ASD.
New Frontier Bio
“Have we the nerve and the will? Can we carry through in an age where we will witness not only new breakthroughs in weapons of destruction, but also a race for mastery of the sky and the rain, the ocean and the tides, the far side of space, and the inside of men’s minds? That is the question of the New Frontier.” – President John F. Kennedy
The Kennedy Family has been involved with healthcare innovation since the 1940s. They endowed the Chair of Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School, founded the National Center for Children and Families at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and created the Special Olympics, among other things. Ted Kennedy was responsible for overseeing funding for U.S. healthcare research for 40 years, and the family has an unparalleled network of contacts in academic medical centers nationwide. In addition, the family founded two of the largest and most influential nonprofits in neuroscience and healthcare policy innovation (The Kennedy Forum and One Mind for Research) and two very successful healthcare businesses: MEDCO, the nation’s first Plan Benefit Manager, and The Marwood Group, a premier healthcare regulatory and reimbursement risk consulting firm. New Frontier Bio, a holding company co-founded by Stephen Kennedy Smith and Corey McCann, leverages the long-term involvement of the Kennedy family in health care and academia to identify and commercialize transformative medical innovations that have the potential to achieve early stage validation, transform millions of lives, and become highly valuable businesses.
- Stephen Kennedy Smith is a principal at Park Agency – Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises, the Kennedy family office, and an investor and entrepreneur. He has served as a director or advisor to several companies, including Gridline Communication Holdings, Pear Therapeutics, Owl Biomedical, and LocoMobi. His current investment and business focus is scaling innovative healthcare, and neuroscience companies. Stephen is a board member of the John F. Kennedy Library< and The Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation. He also serves on the advisory board at INCAE Business School. He is cofounder and vice president of the World Leadership Alliance, an organization of business and political leaders that promotes, democracy, international understanding and trade. Stephen is currently a lecturer at the Sloan school of Management in the visionary investing program, as well as a fellow at the Connection Science Group at MIT. He holds an M.A. from Harvard University, a J.D. from Columbia University, and an M.A. Ed. from Harvard’s School for Education. He has served on the staff of the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committees and is a three-time recipient of the Danforth Award for Excellence in Teaching at Harvard University.
- Corey McCann, MD, PhD has background as a physician, scientist, entrepreneur, and healthcare investor. Previously, he was an investor with MPM Capital and with RiverVest Venture Partners, where he evaluated new investment opportunities, managed relationships with strategic partners, and oversaw board-level strategy and execution at portfolio companies. Prior to MPM, he was with McKinsey & Company, where he advised pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies on the acquisition, development, and commercialization of life science technologies. He also led McKinsey’s Central Nervous System (CNS) expertise group, serving clients across pharma and biotech. He is a founding member of multiple start-ups including Alcyone Lifesciences, a company developing technologies to deliver therapeutics to the brain. Dr. McCann’s post-graduate training was at Harvard University, Washington University in St Louis, and at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and he graduated summa cum laude from The Pennsylvania State University where he was an Evan Pugh Scholar.
- Robert Smith is the founder of ICV. He serves as Business Strategy Advisor to New Frontier Bio, a multi-asset holding company, which leverages the long-term involvement of the Kennedy family in healthcare, to identify, finance and develop novel medical technologies from inception through clinical proof of concept; he serves as a a member of the Presidential Advisory Board of Jefferson, the largest academic medical center in Philadelphia; Robert serves Senior Advisor for Fundraising and Partnerships to the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, a platform to consolidate peace efforts and strengthen global security, monitor and support the Nobel Peace Laureates, and engage the minds of young people and citizens on real matters that broaden vision and open up new horizons for more peaceful and compassionate thinking; and he serves as a member of the Advisory Council of Represent.Us, which brings the left and the right together to create positive change for American democracy. Robert drives philanthropy towards nonprofit organizations where he serves as a board member and trustee, including The Chaeli Foundation (USA), Childhood Cancer Kids, The Children’s Village, Tuesday’s Children, The Harmon Foundation.
Women Leaders in Healthcare
Championing women’s health, equality and empowerment, women leaders in healthcare will discuss health and economic empowerment, including productive resources and active participation in governance and decision-making.
“We’re in the midst of an extraordinary fight and we need every ounce of manpower we can muster, but the good news is, should we succeed, we’ll have turned the most awful paradigm that we know on it’s head… that is to say, the inevitability of death.”
– Laura Deming
- Laura Deming, is Partner of The Longevity Fund, which finds and funds companies that aim to extend the period of healthy human life and ameliorate age-related decline in physical function. Managed by former executives and fund managers with a track record of success in the pharma industry, the Fund seeks to capitalize on innovation-based opportunity wherever it finds it. When she was 8, Laura realized that we were all going to die of a disease called aging. Ever since, her driving passion has been to slow aging and eliminate age-related disease. She started working in a biogerontology lab when she was 12, and matriculated at MIT when she was 14. At 17, she was one of the youngest 20under20 fellows awarded $100,000 by Peter Thiel to pursue her venture full time. Laura is currently a full-time partner at The Longevity Fund, an early stage venture capital fund backing companies which target the aging process to treat disease, with investments in gene editing, small molecule therapeutics, and novel methods to treat disease.
- Deepa Pakianathan, PhD is Managing Member at Delphi Ventures and leads all of the firm’s biotechnology investment activities. She currently serves on the boards of Alder Biopharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ALDR), Calithera Biosciences (Nasdaq: CALA), ForSight: Vision5, Karyopharm Therapeutics (Nasdaq: KPTI) and Oncomed Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq OMED). Deepa previously served on the boards of Salmedix (acquired by Cephalon), Ilypsa (acquired by Amgen), Proteolix (acquired by Amgen), PTC Therapeutics (Nasdaq: PTCT) and Relypsa (Nasdaq: RYLP). She also led the investments in Cardeas Pharma, KAI Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Amgen), and PIPE investment in Seattle Genetics (Nasdaq: SGEN). Deepa joined Delpha in 2001 to build and lead the firm’s biotechnology investment practice which focuses on drug discovery and development platform technologies that have resulted in multiple novel drugs, including six that are commercially marketed. Prior to joining Delphi, Deepa was a Vice President in the healthcare group at J.P. Morgan where she was involved in several large healthcare M&A transactions and lead public offerings for biotechnology companies that raised over $9 billion. Prior to that, she was a biotechnology research analyst at Genesis Merchant Group. She worked as a postdoctoral scientist in the Immunology Department at Genentech Corporation from 1993 to 1997. She serves as Vice-Chair of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Board of Trustees. Deepa received her Ph.D. and MS from Wake Forest University and her MSc and BSc from the University of Bombay.
- Cami Samuels joined Venrock in 2014 and focuses on healthcare with an emphasis on biotech, medical devices, and consumer health. She currently serves on the board of Spirox Medical and Unity Biotechnology, and recently stepped off the board of REGENXBIO (RGNX). Prior to Venrock, Cami was a Managing Director at Versant Ventures for a decade where she led investments in Achaogen (AKAO), Kythera (KYTH), Novacardia (acquired by Merck), and ParAllele (acquired by Affymetrix), among others. She was also a board observer at several companies including Genomic Health (GHDX), Fluidigm (FLDM), and Syrrx (acquired by Takeda). Before Versant, she was responsible for business development at Tularik, Inc. (acquired by Amgen) where she in-licensed two of the company’s clinical-stage products and led Tularik’s Technology Acquisition Group. Before Tularik, Cami worked in corporate development at Genzyme and Millennium Predictive Medicine, and was a management consultant to healthcare and biotech companies at LEK Consulting. Cami earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Duke University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she graduated as a Baker Scholar. In 2002, The Aspen Institute named Camille a Henry Crown Fellow..
Maternal Health in the Era of the Sustainable Development Goals
Maternal mortality is one of the most pronounced health inequities between high income and resource constrained countries. For example, a woman in sub-Saharan Africa is 45 times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth than her counterpart in the developed world. Hear how the Sustainable Development Goals aim to reduce maternal mortality by more than 50% and new technologies and practices that will help to reach this target.
Reimagining Cancer Care
Less is more. That’s the philosophy earning fans (and foes) for Dr. Laura Esserman, director of the University of California— San Francisco’s Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center. The doctor has long preferred a less-invasive approach when treating the breast condition known as DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). Conventional treatment often means biopsy, surgery and radiation. Dr. Esserman favors a lighter touch—see the patient regularly, but hold off on surgery (and its side effects) in cases that aren’t likely to become life-threatening. Recent research indicates outcomes are similar. The doctor—known to sing patients requested songs as they go under anesthesia—is not new to crooning an unconventional tune: she was an early supporter of scaling back cancer screening to reduce overdiagnosis and unnecessary procedures. Again, new research backs her up. Now, she and others are conducting another study to find the best approach for tailored screening. New and novel is becoming familiar refrains for Esserman.
- Laura J. Esserman, MD is Professor, Departments of Surgery and Radiology, and Affiliate Faculty, Institute for Health Policy Studies, UCSF Director, Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center; Co-Leader, Breast Oncology Program, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her work in breast cancer spans the spectrum from public policy issues to basic science and the impact of both on the delivery of clinical care. In addition to being the Director of the Breast Care Center and the Clinical Leader of the NCI-designated Breast Oncology Program, I direct (as Principal Investigator) two large multicenter collaborations in my areas of interest. The I-SPY TRIAL (Investigating Serial Studies to Predict Your Therapeutic Response using Imaging And molecular analysis) is a correlative science study for women with stage II/III breast cancer receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy, where women receive serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and core biopsies during the course of their therapy. This role led to the development of the I-SPY 2 Trial (PI), a large-scale trial that involves a unique collaboration by scientists from the NCI, the FDA, and nearly 20 major cancer research centers across the country. A distinctive feature of the trial is that it will screen multiple drugs from multiple companies—up to 12 different cancer drugs over the course of the trial. I-SPY 2 has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of drug development and speed the process of screening drugs with the goal of bringing safe and effective new drugs to market more efficiently. The cancer center is developing tools to tailor treatment for fast and slow growing tumors.
Her role as former PI of the Biomarker Discovery Laboratory for the Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) led to the development of the ATHENA Breast Health Network, an integrated breast health network across the University of California campuses and the Sanford Medical Center. In this ambitious project, they are recruiting 150,000 women who are undergoing screening, and will follow them through any biopsy, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up. Importantly, this effort will serve to create an engine to provide and improve breast cancer prevention services.
Genes: Your Prescription For Cancer Care
Today’s cancer care looks beyond the organ in which a tumor arises by personalizing treatment to the unique genetic signature of each individual and tumor. Our cancer experts will teach you to use computational genomics sequencing techniques, which provide a road map for personal cancer treatment and prevention plans. Witness a live molecular tumor board and the multidisciplinary brain power engaged in solving the most complex cancer patient cases.
- Larry Fong, MD is Leader, Cancer Immunotherapy Program and Co-Leader of the Cancer Immunology Program at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is the Efim Guzik Distinguished Professor in Cancer Biology. He has focused on cancer immunotherapy throughout his career. After completing Oncology Fellowship at Stanford, he completed post-doctoral training with Drs. Ed Engleman and Mark Davis focused on tumor immunology. He then began his independent research program at UCSF and has continued to focus on how the immune system interacts with cancer as well as developing tumor immunotherapies in both mouse models and in patients. UCSF described the immunogenicity of prostate acid phosphatase (PAP), which is the target antigen for sipuleucel-T, now an FDA-approved immunotherapy for prostate cancer. UCSF was also involved with the first-in-man clinical trials with ipilimumab, an anti-CTLA4 antibody that is now FDA approved for melanoma. USCF continues to investigate how immunotherapies such as immune checkpoint inhibitors and cancer vaccines can enhance anti-tumor immunity in patients. Fong also served on multiple NIH study sections and on the NCI Steering Committees for Genitourinary Cancer (GUSC) and Investigational Drugs (IDSC)-Immunotherapy Task Force. He also served on the program committees for ASCO and AACR and on faculty for the AACR/ASCO Vail Methods in Clinical Research Workshop. Fong is the site PI at UCSF for the NCI-sponsored Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN).
The University of California at San Francisco Laboratory for Orthopaedic Bioengineering is directed by Jeffrey C. Lotz, Ph.D. The laboratory is located within the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and aims to understand the biomechanics and biology of the lumbar spine and intervertebral disc in both health and disease. A number of research programs in this area include: theoretical and experimental development of material laws for disc tissues; finite element simulations of disc and vertebral body response to in vivo loading; animal models to clarify the mechanisms of disc degeneration and repair; animal models to clarify the relationship between disc degeneration and pain; investigation of novel surgical interventions meant to treat back pain; and tissue engineering of fibro-cartilaginous tissues.
- Jeffrey Lotz, PhD holds the David S. Bradford, MD, Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery and vice chair for research. He has earned several awards for spine research, and serves as a deputy editor for the journal Spine. Dr. Lotz is the founding director of the UCSF Core Center for Musculoskeletal Biology in Medicine and the NSF Center for Disruptive Musculoskeletal Innovations, and corresponding PI for the newly-established Center for Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Tissue and Organ Regeneration (C-DOCTOR). He has expertise in spine biomechanics, intervertebral disc biology, and tissue engineering. His laboratory work focuses on identifying mechanisms of disc degeneration, developing novel diagnostics and therapies for low back pain, and the biomechanics of spinal instrumentation.
- David S. Bradford, MD is Professor and Chair Emeritus, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Bradford’s research interests include tissue engineering, tissue regeneration and biomaterials. His clinical interests include degenerative spine diseases, spondylolisthesis, kyphosis, scoliosis, and reconstructive spine surgery. He received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed his residency and a fellowship at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center/NY Orthopedic Hospital. Dr. Bradford has held leadership roles in some of the most prestigious spine societies and received awards for his research and clinical care throughout his career. Furthermore, he has served on the editorial boards of many noteworthy spine journals.
Organ Regeneration Using Stem Cells
The fountain of youth can be found in a UCSF lab, where researchers are exploring the biology of aging. From muscle to blood to neurons, scientists are finding the keys to understanding and ultimately reversing aging. Learn and experiment with the innovative scientists who explore how exercise reverses muscle aging, how women can better predict their reproductive age, and how factors in our bodies can be directed to preserve our brains.
- Sarah Knox, PhD is Associate Professor, Department of Cell and Tissue Biology of the UCSF School of Medicine. Her goal is to investigate how neuronal-epithelial interactions control organogenesis and regeneration. Her work primarily utilizes the mouse embryonic submandibular gland ex vivo model system to examine the role of the parasympathetic ganglion in epithelial branching morphogenesis and regeneration. The submandibular gland has an autonomic ganglion located in and around the glandular epithelium from the earliest stages of development, and remains with the gland after dissection for ex vivo organ culture. This makes the salivary gland an exceptional model for understanding the influence of the peripheral nervous system on organogenesis and repair processes.
When a patient shows up with a life-threatening infectious disease, the source could be one of hundreds of different agents or parasites, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and even amoebae. See firsthand how scientists use sequencing and big data to pinpoint the genomic signatures of a wide range of pathogens and solve these medical mysteries.
- Eric Chow, PhD is Director of the UCSF Center for Advanced Technology. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and Director of the Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) at UCSF. The CAT evaluates and brings new technologies top campus that are available to all UCSF labs and provides guidance for projects. Over the past decade, the CAT has been a hub for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) at UCSF and beyond, supporting the development of NGS-based non-invasive pre-natal testing and pathogen diagnostics. Dr. Chow also runs a research program to devise new applications for NGS and to develop rapid pathogen detection systems in resource poor settings. He received his BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and his PhD performing genomic research in Tuberculosis at UCSF.
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UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay
Address: 1825, 1855 and 1975 Fourth Street, San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-3000
Mission Bay is home to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, UCSF Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital and UCSF Bakar Cancer Hospital, in addition to numerous outpatient services for both children and adults.
||Registration & Breakfast
||Leadership Spotlight: Mark Laret, President and CEO of UCSF Health
||Untangling the Brain Circuits in Mental Illness
||New Pathways for Neurology
||Virtual Reality, Real Science
||Maternal Health in the Era of the SDGs
||Healing with Mindfulness and Integrative Medicine
||Life Extension; Using Biological Research to Reduce or Reverse the Effects of Aging
||Networking Luncheon | Speaker: Reimagining Cancer Care
||Genes: Your Prescription For Cancer Care
||Organ Regeneration Using Stem Cells
||New Frontier Bio
||Women Leaders in Healthcare
||Special Guest Speaker
|| Closing Remarks