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  • Academy eBriefings

  • eBriefing

    Toward Evidence-based Nutrition Policy

    Methods, Implementation, and Political Reality

    Keynote Speakers: Sonia Angell (NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) and Rogan Kersh (Wake Forest University)

    This eBriefing looks at current evidence in nutrition policy making, including assessments of recent public policy interventions intended to improve nutrition and reduce obesity.

    In this eBriefing

    • Evidence- and systems-based approaches to design nutrition policies
    • Big data and modeling to predict how public policies will affect behavior
    • Policy efforts such as menu labeling and nutrient-specific taxes
  • Recent eBriefings 

    February 2, 2016

    Alzheimer's Disease and Tau: Pathogenic Mechanisms and Therapeutic Approaches

    Organizers: Robert Martone (St. Jude Children's Research Hospital) and Sonya Dougal (The New York Academy of Sciences)

    Tau pathology is a hallmark of many devastating neurological disorders, including frontotemporal dementia, TBI, Down syndrome, focal cortical dysplasia, and Alzheimer's disease. This eBriefing explores tau-related mechanisms of neurodegeneration and emerging therapeutic strategies focused on tau.

    January 28, 2016

    Toward Evidence-based Nutrition Policy: Methods, Implementation, and Political Reality

    Keynote Speakers: Sonia Angell (NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) and Rogan Kersh (Wake Forest University)

    Public policy for nutrition aims to assist people in making healthier food choices. This eBriefing looks at current evidence in nutrition policy making, including assessments of recent public policy interventions intended to improve nutrition and reduce obesity.

    January 25, 2016

    Pre-Approval Access: Can Compassion, Business, and Medicine Coexist?

    Organizers: Alison Bateman-House (NYU School of Medicine), Melanie Brickman Stynes (The New York Academy of Sciences), Arthur Caplan (NYU School of Medicine), Brooke Grindlinger (The New York Academy of Sciences), and Erick Tatro (The New York Academy of Sciences)

    This eBriefing explores pre-approval access to investigational medicines, the prospective benefits of which may outweigh the potential risks for critically ill patients. In a series of debates, representatives of governments, pharmaceutical companies, patient groups, NGOs, and foundations discussed ethical and safety challenges for pre-approval access and compassionate use programs.

    January 22, 2016

    Current Evidence on Noncaloric Sweeteners and their Health Implications

    Speakers: Gary D. Foster (Weight Watchers International Inc.), John Glendinning (Barnard College), and Rick Mattes (Purdue University)

    This eBriefing examines the current research on noncaloric sweeteners approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in foods and beverages in the United States, particularly studies assessing how the compounds affect weight management and health.

    January 13, 2016

    Grantsmanship for Postdocs: Navigating the K99/R00 Award

    Speaker: Jaime S. Rubin (Columbia University)

    This eBriefing reviews grant writing for the NIH K99/R00 career transition award, which helps PhDs and physician-scientists move from postdoc to independent research.

    January 12, 2016

    Phenotypic and Biomarker-based Drug Discovery

    Organizers: Michael Foley (Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute), Ralph Garippa (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center), David Mark (F. Hoffmann-La Roche), Lorenz Mayr (Astra Zeneca), John Moffat (Genentech), Marco Prunotto (F. Hoffmann-La Roche), and Sonya Dougal (The New York Academy of Sciences)

    This eBriefing considers the merits of phenotypic drug discovery, which is experiencing a renaissance of interest. The method aims to find therapeutically useful compounds by screening thousands of substances for functional cellular outputs.

    December 22, 2015

    Advances in Human Microbiome Science: Intestinal Diseases

    Organizers: Mercedes Beyna (Pfizer), John Hambor (Boehringer Ingelheim), Nilufer Seth (Pfizer), Erick Young (Boehringer Ingelheim), and Sonya Dougal (The New York Academy of Sciences)
    Keynote Speaker: Stanislav Dusko Ehrlich (French National Institute for Agricultural Research; King's College London)

    The human colon microbiota form one of the densest bacterial ecosystems, with 100 trillion microorganisms. This eBriefing focuses on the causal relationships between gut microbiota and intestinal health and disease.

    December 15, 2015

    Mobile Health: The Power of Wearables, Sensors, and Apps to Transform Clinical Trials

    Organizers: Glen de Vries (Medidata Solutions), John J. Mastrototaro (Medtronic), Bernard Munos (FasterCures), Fiorenzo Omenetto (Tufts University), Leonard Sacks (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), Melanie Brickman Stynes (The New York Academy of Sciences), Brooke Grindlinger (The New York Academy of Sciences), and Daniel Radiloff (The New York Academy of Sciences)

    Continuous health monitoring via wearable sensors, mobile devices, and apps is now possible. This eBriefing considers the use of real-time biometric data obtained from these technologies in medical care and clinical trials and looks at security and regulatory issues for health data.

    November 25, 2015

    From Tumor Suppressors to Oncogenic Dynamics: The 2015 Dr. Paul Janssen Award Symposium

    Featured Speaker: Bert Vogelstein (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Howard Hughes Medical Institute)

    This eBriefing features Bert Vogelstein, recipient of the 2015 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research for his work characterizing the underlying mechanisms of cancer and for his discoveries' clinical applications. Topics at the forefront of precision medicine are also described.

    October 27, 2015

    The 2015 Blavatnik Science Symposium

    Keynote Speakers: Michal Lipson (Columbia University) and Carl Zimmer (The New York Times)

    The second annual Blavatnik Science Symposium showcased the work of the winners and finalists of the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists. The symposium also featured keynote lectures and panels on communicating science, artificial intelligence, career reinvention, and the future of computing.

    September 29, 2015

    Leveraging Big Data and Predictive Knowledge to Fight Disease

    Organizers: Walter Jessen (Covance Inc.), Robert Martone (St. Jude Children's Research Hospital), and Sonya Dougal (The New York Academy of Sciences)
    Keynote Speaker: Niven R. Narain (Berg Pharma)

    High-throughput measurements and powerful computing allow researchers to interrogate vast quantities of data; precision medicine relies on such data analyses to develop targeted therapeutics. This eBriefing explores how big data and predictive knowledge are used to guide drug development and clinical trials.

    September 10, 2015

    Harnessing Cell Signaling to Treat Cancer: The 2015 Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine

    Speakers: José Baselga (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center) and Lewis C. Cantley (Weill Cornell Medical College)

    This eBriefing features Lewis C. Cantley, recipient of the 2015 Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine for his discoveries of signaling pathways in cancer cells. Recent work to advance precision medicine in cancer is also described.

    September 3, 2015

    Learning from Cancer to Advance Drug Development for Neurodegeneration

    Organizers: Howard Fillit (Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation), Diana Shineman (Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation), and Sonya Dougal (The New York Academy of Sciences)

    There is evidence of an inverse relationship between cancer and neurodegenerative disease, and many cancer drug targets overlap with targets for neurodegeneration. This eBriefing explores related research in both disciplines and insights from cancer biology that may advance new therapeutic development for neurodegenerative diseases.

    August 31, 2015

    Using Phylogenetics to Enhance the HIV Response

    Organizers: Ade Fakoya (The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria), Peter Godfrey-Faussett (UNAIDS), Tulio de Oliveira (Wellcome Trust Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, South Africa), Morgane Rolland (Walter Reed Army Institute of Research), and Sonya Dougal (The New York Academy of Sciences)

    Rapid advances in molecular genetics and bioinformatics allow scientists to track infectious diseases in ever greater detail. This eBriefing explores the science and ethics of using phylogenetic and network data in HIV research and prevention programs.

    August 14, 2015

    Cancer Cell Metabolism: Unique Features Inform New Therapeutic Opportunities

    Organizers: Lydia Finley (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center), Steven S. Gross (Weill Cornell Medical College), Costas A. Lyssiotis (Weill Cornell Medical College), and Sonya Dougal (The New York Academy of Sciences)
    Keynote Speaker: Craig B. Thompson (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)

    There is resurgent interest in cancer cell metabolism as researchers seek to understand how metabolic pathways are altered in cancer and how these alterations can be exploited for therapeutic gain. This eBriefing discusses advances in the field.

    July 31, 2015

    Human Health in the Face of Climate Change: Science, Medicine, and Adaptation

    Keynote Speakers: Christopher Dye (World Health Organization) and Elisabet Lindgren (Stockholm University, Sweden)

    This eBriefing explores health risks associated with climate change and strategies for adapting to its effects. It also discusses the use of statistics and modeling in efforts to protect vulnerable populations and to design interventions to offset climate disruption.

    July 14, 2015

    Non-motor Symptoms: Unraveling the "Invisible" Face of Parkinson's Disease

    Organizers: Nathalie Breysse (Lundbeck Research USA), Elena Dale (Lundbeck Research USA), and Sonya Dougal (The New York Academy of Sciences)

    Non-motor symptoms are common but often overlooked in Parkinson's disease. This eBriefing examines new approaches to studying disease mechanisms, which could lead to a better understanding of pathogenesis and to the development of new therapies.

    June 30, 2015

    Nutrition and Disease Prevention: A Systems Approach to Metabolic Health

    Keynote Speaker: Frank Hu (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)

    Systems-based approaches to nutrition research can elucidate the complex ways nutrition influences chronic diseases. This eBriefing explores research on metabolic health from several disciplines and looks at how different types of data combine to explain physiology and disease.

    May 29, 2015

    The Role of Nutrition in Dementia Prevention and Management

    Keynote Speakers: Miia Kivipelto (Karolinska Institute, Sweden), Irwin H. Rosenberg (Tufts University), and A. David Smith (University of Oxford, UK)

    This eBriefing discusses epidemiological evidence for the role of diet in cognitive function and looks at nutritional and lifestyle strategies to delay or prevent dementia.

    April 28, 2015

    Policies that Influence Gender Balance in STEM

    Moderator: Bamini Jayabalasingham (Association for Women in Science; City University of New York)
    Speakers: Kelly Mack (Association of American Colleges & Universities), Sandra K. Masur (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai), Beth McCormick (Pfizer), and Eric Sweet (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; NY Citywide Postdoc Council)

    Panelists discussed the effectiveness of policy initiatives that aim to support gender balance in STEM fields.