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    Zika, Alzheimer’s, and More: The Latest in Health Research

    Top leaders offered insights on high-profile health and medical initiatives at Research America’s 2016 National Health Research Forum on Sept. 8 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Featured speakers included Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf, MD; and Dr. Anne Schuchat of the CDC. Watch video highlights and read more about the event below.

    Hello everyone, and welcome. I’m Valarie Basheda, WebMD’s Director of News and Special Projects. Today we’ll be watching the National Health Research Forum, a once-a-year gathering of top leaders talking about innovations in health and medicine research.

    Writer Bara Vaida is at the Newseum for WebMD and will be sending updates during the event.

    The event features three expert panels, each followed with a Q&A from the audience. The first one will get underway about at 11:45 a.m., and will include Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; John W. Danaher, M.D., MBA, president, Elsevier Education; Albert A. Lauritano, director, strategic technology partnerships, BD; France A. Córdova, director, National Science Foundation;Donna Cryer, president and CEO, Global Liver Institute; and Keith Yamamoto, Ph.D., vice chancellor for science policy and strategy; vice dean for research, school of medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

    Dr. William N. Hait, global head, Janssen Research & Development LLC, gave a keynote address.

    The panels will be discussing topics such as the Zika virus,the Cancer Moonshot initiative, Alzheimer’s disease, antibiotic resistance and medical errors.

    Bara Vaida’s updates on Dr. Hait’s address and the first panel:

    • Hait: All of us are incubating some awful disease.
    • Hait: Our leaders don’t get it. They fail to see the importance of investing in biomedical research.
    • Anthony Fauci: I have a concern, that may not be a popular concern, that we don’t have enough biomedical research to be incubators for innovations of the future.
    • Donna Cryer: We don’t have the investment in surveillance data to see where our investments will have an impact.
    • Fauci : Historically biomedical research funding has been a partnership between the administration and Congress and something went wrong.. Something went wrong on the way to the forum.
    • Fauci: I don’t think it is the administration [that went wrong]. It’s Congress.
    • Keith Yamamoto: the president’s Personalized Medicine Initiative board recommended that scientists reclassify research away from the study of organs and diseases to studying the underlying mechanisms and biological processes of disease because there are cross underlying mechanisms between diseases.

    The second panel features Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director, CDC; Hortensia Amaro, Ph.D., associate vice provost for community research initiatives and dean’s professor of social work and preventative medicine, University of Southern California; Dr.Andrew B. Bindman, director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality;  Dr. Joe V. Selby, executive director, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute; and Dr. Stephen D. Silberstein, professor of neurology, director of the Jefferson Headache Center, Thomas Jefferson University.

    Bara Vaida’s updates from the second panel:

    • Anne Schuchat: Vaccines have prevented 300 million diseases but all we hear about are fears about vaccines.
    • Schuchat: Prevention isn’t sexy.
    • Hortensia Amaro: Social determinants are as much as 80% of health.
    • Joe Selby: If you can reduce obesity, you can reduce large numbers of various cancers and Alzheimer’s.
    • Schuchat: Re Zika: CDC is working 24/7 on this most complicated emergency we’ve ever had.
    • Schuchat: We need more mosquito control experts … If you want to talk about research gaps. We need more entomologists.
    • Schuchat: There will be more emerging threats like Ebola and Zika. It’s not a matter of if but when.
    • Andrew Bindman: There could be 12 million diagnostic errors every year.
    • Schuchat: With Zika, what a difference it would make to women if we had a diagnostic test for women to know if they could find out if they had Zika awhile ago? Think of how many pregnant women would be relieved.
    • Bindman: We need invest more in preventing medical errors, to treat it as important an investment as we do in the leading causes of death like heart disease.
    • Amaro: Income inequality is a major determiner of health.

    The next panel topic is “Future Forward.” Panelists include FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf; Sudip S. Parikh, senior vice president and managing director, DIA Global; The Honorable Kweisi Mfume, former U.S. Representative; Jean-Christophe Tellier, M.D., CEO and chairman of the Executive Committee, UCB; and Dr. Emil Kakkis, president and founder, EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases.

    WebMD News Editor Ashley Hayes provided updates on panel 3.

    • Califf: If you do a clinical trial in a real-life population that’s going to get treated and view their outcomes, you get “much better information”
    • Califf: Real-life clinical trials are becoming more feasible because of technology including electronic health records.
    • Emil Kakkis: In the rare disease world, the first treatment out is not the end of the game.
    • Kweisi Mfume: We shouldn’t assume “there are clinical trial police out there that are going to do the right thing. Because of events such as the 1930s Tuskegee syphilis study, members of the African-American community may mistrust medical research. That’s not predominant today, but those things cause people to pull back.
    • Kakkis: FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy program has been “enormously successful.”
    • Califf: More than 90% of drugs in Phase I trials don’t make it to market — they may not be effective, may have unknown toxicity or may have a manufacturing problem. “When we rush (drug research), we are taking a greater risk that one of the drugs that may cause harm gets there.”

    Thank you for joining us today. We appreciate you being with us and hope you found today’s event informative.


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