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  • Academy eBriefings

  • eBriefing

    The Biology of Aging

    Novel Drug Targets for Neurodegenerative Disease

    Organizers: Howard Fillit (Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation), Kevin J. Lee (Lawrence Ellison Foundation), and Jennifer Henry (The New York Academy of Sciences)

    This eBriefing explores advances in the science of aging and in drug discovery for Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

    In this eBriefing

    • Pathways in the biology of aging as targets of disease-modifying drugs
    • Basic biology of aging-related pathways: major circuits and novel targets and pathways
    • Drug development programs for neurodegenerative disease based on research on autophagy, mitochondrial health, inflammation, and protein homeostasis
  • Recent eBriefings 

    July 17, 2014

    The Biology of Aging: Novel Drug Targets for Neurodegenerative Disease

    Organizers: Howard Fillit (Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation), Kevin J. Lee (Lawrence Ellison Foundation), and Jennifer Henry (The New York Academy of Sciences)

    Age is the major risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, and key pathways in aging biology offer targets for novel drugs. This eBriefing explores advances in the science of aging and in drug discovery for Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

    July 15, 2014

    HIV 2014: Science, Community, and Policy for Key Vulnerable Populations

    Organizers: Chris Beyrer (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health), Peter Godfrey-Faussett (UNAIDS), Ani Shakarishvili (UNAIDS), Yegor Voronin (Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise), and Jennifer Henry (The New York Academy of Sciences)

    The UNAIDS vision of zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero discrimination calls for a global approach to HIV research and policy. This eBriefing focuses on improving outcomes for HIV in key vulnerable populations.

    July 3, 2014

    Malaria 2014: Advances in Pathophysiology, Biology, and Drug Development

    Organizers: Johanna P. Daily (Albert Einstein College of Medicine), David A. Fidock (Columbia University Medical Center), and Jennifer Henry (The New York Academy of Sciences)
    Keynote Speakers: Jane M. Carlton (New York University), Rick M. Fairhurst (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH), and Terrie E. Taylor (Michigan State University)

    Despite a 25% reduction in global malaria mortality since 2000, around half the world's population lives in areas where malaria is endemic. This eBriefing highlights a symposium held on World Malaria Day to examine breakthroughs in pathophysiology, drug development, and pre-erythrocytic and liver-stage biology.

    June 20, 2014

    Affective Disorders: Qatar Clinical Neuroscience Conference

    Chairs: Matthew E. Fink (Weill Cornell Medical College), Javaid I. Sheikh (Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar), Melanie Brickman Stynes (The New York Academy of Sciences), and Brooke Grindlinger (The New York Academy of Sciences)

    This eBriefing highlights research on affective disorders, debilitating mood-related psychiatric illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorder that result from an intrinsic or chronic dysfunction of the brain, either within the cells or in their connectivity. Topics include animal models, translational medicine, advances in neuropsychiatry, and clinical approaches based on new understanding of disease heterogeneity.

    June 20, 2014

    Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury: Qatar Clinical Neuroscience Conference

    Chairs: Matthew E. Fink (Weill Cornell Medical College), Javaid I. Sheikh (Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar), Melanie Brickman Stynes (The New York Academy of Sciences), and Brooke Grindlinger (The New York Academy of Sciences)

    This eBriefing highlights research on brain disorders caused by external conditions such as cerebrovascular disease, stroke, and TBI, which result in the damage or death of healthy, functioning cells and brain tissue. Topics include pathophysiology, therapeutic insights, and clinical care to treat dysfunction and damage.

    June 6, 2014

    Consumer Behavior and Food Science Innovations for Optimal Nutrition

    Keynote Speaker: Joanne Guthrie (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

    This eBriefing looks at how research on consumer behavior can be applied to advance healthy and sustainable nutrition. It discusses consumer food choice, policy making, dietary diversity, food design and food form, product development, physiology and psychology, social influence, and technology.

    May 29, 2014

    An Introduction to Teaching Science Online

    Speakers: Vincent Racaniello (Columbia University Medical Center) and David Randle (American Museum of Natural History)

    This eBriefing provides an introduction to teaching science online, with an overview of online teaching platforms and strategies for designing courses and engaging, assessing, and retaining students.

    May 28, 2014

    Lung Cancer: Advances in Current Treatment Modalities and Patient Classification

    Organizers: Magdalena Alonso-Galicia (Forest Research Institute), Shashidhar S. Jatiani (Forest Research Institute), Huiping Jiang (Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals), George Zavoico (HC Wainwright), and Jennifer Henry (The New York Academy of Sciences)
    Speakers: Rolf Brekken (UT Southwestern Medical Center), Jessica S. Donington (NYU Langone Medical Center), Balazs Halmos (Columbia University Medical Center), Roy S. Herbst (Yale School of Medicine), and Suresh S. Ramalingam (Emory University)

    Recent treatment advances in lung cancer supported by a better understanding of genetic heterogeneity may increase survival rates. This eBriefing features updates on common mutations and intraoperative chemotherapy, as well as insights from clinical trials.

    May 16, 2014

    Clinical and Economic Outcomes of Nutrition Interventions across the Continuum of Care

    Keynote Speaker: Kelly Tappenden (University of Illinois)

    This eBriefing focuses on the clinical and economic impacts of nutritional interventions across the continuum of care. It explores the role nutrition plays in clinical and home care settings, as well as new approaches to integrated care and the delivery of interventions.

    May 2, 2014

    Systems Biology Approaches to Secondary Metabolites and Metabonomics

    Organizers: Manuel X. Duval (Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals; University of New Haven), Thomas B. Freeman (Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals), and Jennifer Henry (The New York Academy of Sciences)
    Speakers: Sean F. Brady (The Rockefeller University), Steven Edgar (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Justin Nodwell (University of Toronto, Canada), and Kang Zhou (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

    Secondary metabolites, or idiolites, play many roles in biological systems, including communication, defense, and signaling. This eBriefing explores a systems biology approach to secondary metabolites and their networks, looking at their biological effects and potential benefits for human health.

    April 25, 2014

    How to Make Eggs in Space

    Moderator: Dave Mosher (Popular Science)
    Panelists: Charles Camarda (NASA) and Sara Zwart (NASA)

    The first event of the Academy's Mis/Adventures in Science series offered an insider's perspective on some of the less discussed challenges of life in space, such as what to eat for dinner and how to eat it in zero gravity.

    April 18, 2014

    Fast-tracking Alzheimer's Research: Global Alzheimer's Platform Design Workshop

    Team Leaders: Paul Aisen (University of California, San Diego), Russell L. Barton (Eli Lilly and Company), Randall J. Bateman (Washington University), Howard Feldman (University of British Columbia, Canada), Michael T. Ropacki (Janssen Research & Development), Andrew Satlin (Eisai Inc.), Eric R. Siemers (Eli Lilly and Company), Reisa A. Sperling (Harvard Medical School), and Luc Truyen (Johnson & Johnson)

    The Global Alzheimer's Platform (GAP) aims to establish a drug discovery process to expedite AD research. This eBriefing documents a workshop convened to plan how to build the platform.

    April 11, 2014

    Nanomedicines: Addressing the Scientific and Regulatory Gap

    Organizers: Raj Bawa (Bawa Biotech LLC; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Scott E. McNeil (Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory – Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research), Stefan Mühlebach (Vifor Pharma Ltd.; University of Basel, Switzerland), Melanie Brickman Stynes (The New York Academy of Sciences), and Melinda Miller (The New York Academy of Sciences)
    Keynote Speaker: Sally Tinkle (Science and Technology Policy Institute, IDA)

    This eBriefing explores regulatory challenges in the nascent field of nanomedicines, focusing on the relevance and adequacy of existing frameworks, the availability and expertise of regulators, and safety concerns.

    March 19, 2014

    Perspectives in STEM: An Evening with Laurie Leshin

    Speaker: Laurie Leshin (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

    Laurie Leshin, Dean of the School of Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and former NASA executive, related her career in science and technology, discussed career development and the future of STEM, and provided updates from the Mars Curiosity rover mission.

    March 17, 2014

    Alzheimer's Disease Summit: The Path to 2025

    Keynote Speakers: Yuko Harayama (Council for Science and Technology Policy, Cabinet Office, Japan), Richard J. Hodes (National Institute on Aging, NIH), Jan M. Lundberg (Eli Lilly and Company), and Bengt Winblad (Karolinska Institute, Sweden)

    This eBriefing outlines a research agenda crafted by leading industry, academic, and government stakeholders to advance the goals of the U.S. National Alzheimer's Plan, which aims to achieve effective prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease by 2025.

    March 6, 2014

    Frontiers in Agricultural Sustainability: Studying the Protein Supply Chain to Improve Dietary Quality

    Keynote Speaker: Barbara Burlingame (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)

    This eBriefing looks at how to improve the protein supply chain, especially through programs designed to increase access to a high-quality diet for malnourished populations.

    February 19, 2014

    Venomics: Drug Discovery from Nature's Deadliest

    Organizers: Mandë Holford (Hunter College, CUNY; American Museum of Natural History), Steven Gross (Weill Cornell Medical College), and Jennifer Henry (The New York Academy of Sciences)
    Keynote Speaker: Baldomero M. Olivera (University of Utah)

    Venomous animals, including spiders, snakes, scorpions, sea snails, leeches, and others, produce millions of bioactive compounds, offering enormous potential for venom-based drug discovery. This eBriefing investigates genomic, proteomic, and transcriptomic approaches to harness venom compounds.

    February 11, 2014

    Dendritic Cell Therapies for Cancer: Biotech's Bumpy Road to the Market

    Organizers: John E. Hambor (Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals) and Jennifer Henry (The New York Academy of Sciences)

    Dendritic cells offer promise in the development of cancer vaccines; yet despite the recent approval of Provenge, this therapeutic approach has not been fully realized. This eBriefing highlights recent clinical trial results and remaining challenges.

    February 10, 2014

    Hats Off to Bacteria!

    Moderator: Christine Gorman (Scientific American)
    Speakers: Martin Blaser (New York University), Lawrence Brandt (Albert Einstein College of Medicine), and Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello (New York University)

    A panel discussed the impact on health care of new knowledge about human microbial ecology, highlighting the role bacteria play in childbirth, in diseases such as diabetes and obesity, and in general health and wellness.

    January 28, 2014

    Unlocking the Secret of Global Health Victories

    Moderator: Ko-Yung Tung (Morrison & Foerster LLP)
    Featuring: Kiyoshi Kurokawa (GHIT Fund), Peter Piot (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK), B.T. Slingsby (GHIT Fund), Mel Spigelman (Global Alliance for TB Drug Development), and Ann M. Veneman (formerly of UNICEF)

    Infectious diseases afflict one in seven people; yet both effective medications and investment in drug development are lacking. Experts met to discuss recent successes and setbacks in global health and to explore how partnerships can drive progress. This eBriefing documents their perspectives on how to move a vaccine, cure, or diagnostic from development into the field.