• Academy eBriefings

  • eBriefing

    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)

    This eBriefing explores the use of phylogenetic and network data in HIV research and prevention programs.

    In this eBriefing

    • Overview of the global response to HIV; advances in phylogenetics
    • Genetic tools to support HIV prevention research
    • Ethical and policy considerations for phylogenetic studies
  • Recent eBriefings 

    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.

    March 24, 2015

    Career Building in Nontraditional Postdoc Tracks

    Speakers: Susan D. Croll (Regeneron), Uzi de Haan (Cornell Tech), and Karen Hanson Widbin (Pfizer)

    This eBriefing looks at nontraditional postdoctoral tracks in drug discovery and applied research, considering the structure of postdoc programs in industry and opportunities for innovation and creativity.

    March 5, 2015

    Diabetic Kidney Disease: Drug Discovery and Clinical Development Challenges

    Organizers: Magdalena Alonso-Galicia (MAG Pharma Consulting LLC), Ken Jones (Allergan), Scott MacDonnell (Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals), and Jennifer Henry (formerly at The New York Academy of Sciences)

    With a poor understanding of its pathogenesis and few biomarkers, identifying and prosecuting drug targets for diabetic kidney disease is challenging. This eBriefing reviews targets for preventive or therapeutic interventions and discusses clinical development.

    March 3, 2015

    Innovative Funding Models for Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

    Organizers: Cynthia Duggan (The New York Academy of Sciences), Maike Stenull (Johnson & Johnson), and George Vradenburg (Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer's Disease)
    Keynote Speaker: Dennis Gillings (World Dementia Council)

    This eBriefing explores new public and private funding mechanisms to meet the challenges of financing AD research and care. It considers several investment models and policy initiatives and looks at how best to apply government funds.

    February 6, 2015

    Food Safety Considerations for Nutrition Science

    Keynote Speakers: Robert E. Brackett (Illinois Institute of Technology) and Frank Yiannas (Wal-Mart Stores Inc.)

    This eBriefing considers issues of food security, economics, policy, and communication related to food safety.

    January 30, 2015

    Shaping the Developing Brain: Spotlight on Nutrition and Brain Development

    Speakers: Maureen M. Black (University of Maryland School of Medicine), Edward A. Frongillo (University of South Carolina), Michael K. Georgieff (University of Minnesota), and Betsy Lozoff (University of Michigan)

    This eBriefing highlights research on nutrition and brain development presented at the Fifth Annual Aspen Brain Forum.

    January 30, 2015

    Shaping the Developing Brain: Fifth Annual Aspen Brain Forum

    Keynote Speaker: Thomas R. Insel (National Institute of Mental Health, NIH)

    In early life, massive changes take place in the connectivity and plasticity of the brain that determine the future success of a child. This eBriefing explores cognitive neuroscience research on early development; social, family, and nutritional factors that cause lasting changes in the brain; and intervention, education, and policy initiatives to help at-risk children.

    December 19, 2014

    New Frontiers in the Neurobiology of Mental Illness

    Keynote Speaker: The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy (Former U.S. Representative, Rhode Island; One Mind for Research; Kennedy Forum)

    This eBriefing explores the translation of neuroscience breakthroughs into therapies for mental illness. A keynote lecture looks at strategies to dispel stigma surrounding mental illness so that new treatments are accessible to all.

    December 16, 2014

    Early-life Influences on Obesity: Pre-conception to Adolescence

    Organizers: John G. Kral (SUNY Downstate Medical Center), Michael Gibney (University College Dublin), Blandine Laferrère (Columbia University), Andrew G. Swick (Metagenics), Karen Teff (National Institutes of Health), Mandana Arabi (The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science), and Amy Beaudreault (The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science)

    This eBriefing examines obesity risks that occur in early life and considers how to intervene to prevent and treat diabesity and related diseases. Topics include maternal nutrition, genetics, the microbiome, metabolic disorders, fetal development, generational effects, and early diet.

    December 9, 2014

    Grantsmanship for Graduate Students and Postdocs

    Speaker: Jaime S. Rubin (Columbia University)

    This eBriefing reviews grant writing at the graduate and postdoctoral levels, focusing on how to apply for research grants in the sciences, where to find resources, and how to avoid common mistakes.

    November 21, 2014

    Click Chemistry in Biology and Medicine

    Organizers: Peng Wu (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) and Jennifer Henry (formerly at The New York Academy of Sciences)
    Keynote Speakers: Jim Paulson (Scripps Research Institute) and K. Barry Sharpless (Scripps Research Institute)

    Click chemistry mimics the simplicity of reactions found in nature for synthesizing large complex molecules, proceeding via the stepwise addition of small building blocks with minimal toxic byproducts. This eBriefing explores recent developments in the search for click reactions with applications in disease diagnosis and therapy.

    November 12, 2014

    Elucidating GPCR Functional Selectivity for Drug Development

    Organizers: John A. Allen (Pfizer), Mercedes Beyna (Pfizer), Bryan L. Roth (University of North Carolina School of Medicine), and Jennifer Henry (formerly at The New York Academy of Sciences)

    This eBriefing looks at how to exploit biased ligand signaling at GPCRs to improve therapeutics for cardiovascular and CNS disorders. GPCRs signal via canonical pathways involving G proteins and via other signaling proteins, including β-arrestins. Discovering ligands with the desired signaling bias enables beneficial efficacy while reducing side effects.

    November 5, 2014

    From Bacterial Immunity to Genome Editing: The 2014 Dr. Paul Janssen Award Symposium

    Featured Speakers: Emmanuelle Charpentier (Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Hannover Medical School, Germany; Umeå University, Sweden) and Jennifer Doudna (University of California, Berkeley; Howard Hughes Medical Institute)

    This eBriefing features Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna, recipients of the 2014 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research for their role in understanding and adapting the CRISPR/Cas system for genome editing. Applications of the technique in human disease research and therapy are also described.

    October 14, 2014

    Fifty Years of the Genetic Code: Honoring the Legacy of Marshall Nirenberg

    Organizers: C. Thomas Caskey (Baylor College of Medicine), Brian Clark (University of Aarhus, Denmark), Gregory A. Petsko (Weill Cornell Medical College), and Jennifer Henry (formerly at The New York Academy of Sciences)

    The identification of the genetic code has offered many opportunities for further scientific discovery. This eBriefing documents a symposium that honored the legacy of Nobel laureate Marshall Nirenberg and showcased research in a range of therapeutic areas.