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Academy eBriefing Writing Test 2020

Please choose assignment A, B, or C. Each assignment includes links to media recordings of past Academy presentations. Please watch the videos and write a 300-400-word summary of the content. In addition to an explanation of the science, the summary should provide context and relate the individual presentations to the major theme of the conference.

Select an assignment in the field most closely related to the subject(s) you would like to write about for the Academy. Please note that your summary should only include the presentation/discussion specified in the assignment.

When you are finished with the summary, please also write two suggested tweets that would encourage social media users to read it.

Assignment A: Life and Medical Sciences

Event: Advances in the Neurobiology of Mental Illness

Event Description: Mental health is an integral part of an individual’s health and well-being. Yet, millions of healthy years of life are lost to mental illness worldwide. The CDC reports that nearly 50% of U.S. adults will suffer from at least one mental illness in their lifetime. According to the WHO, depression alone accounts for 4.3% of the global burden of diseases and is among the largest single causes of disability worldwide. Mental illnesses present a major health, social, and economic burden and affected individuals experience disproportionately higher rates of both disability and mortality.

This symposium will bring together scientists, clinicians, other healthcare professionals, and policymakers across academia, industry, and government sectors to discuss the latest advances in understanding the underlying neurobiology of mental illness — including epigenetic, molecular, and neuroimmunological mechanisms. Speakers will discuss research on topics such as molecular overlap in brain disorders, stigma, the neuroimmunology of mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicidal behavior, and bipolar disorder. In addition to exploring the basic science underlying these illnesses, the symposium will also focus on the translations of these findings into improved pharmacological, psychotherapeutic, and other interventions for mental health.

Please find the following video presentation in the first session of The Neurobiology of Mental Illness eBriefing

  • Transcriptional and Epigenetic Mechanisms of Depression

Assignment B: Environmental Science and Nutrition 

Event: Improving Birth Outcomes: What’s Next on Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation

Event Description: Many women around the world in low- and middle-income countries struggle to meet the increased dietary demands for a health pregnancy through diet alone — leading to heightened risk of diminished health and even death for millions of women and children. In 2016, the World Health Organization established antenatal care guidelines recommending iron-folic acid supplementation but advised that countries with high rates of nutritional deficiencies could consider multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMS) instead. At the time, outstanding questions remained on the benefits, risks, and cost-effectiveness of MMS. To help countries determine whether to implement MMS, the Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science convened a task force to review and interpret the latest evidence on MMS in pregnancy. This free webinar will present the task force’s findings, which have been recently published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Please find the following video presentation in the second session of the Improving Birth Outcomes eBriefing

  • Clinical Trials, MMS Adherence, and Adverse Birth Outcomes

Assignment C: Science Education, Professional Development, and Public Policy

Event Description: This webinar will focus on funding and resources for researchers and entrepreneurs, with an emphasis  on advancing translational research and technologies that will improve disease prevention, detection, and treatment.

There are many benefits to securing federal SBIR or STTR funding: The capital is non-dilutive, predictable, and stable; it is not a loan. In addition, small businesses retain intellectual property rights, and NIH’s rigorous peer-review provides recognition, validation, and visibility to early-stage companies.

The webinar will feature:

  • An overview of SBIR and STTR programs and funding opportunities
  • Examples and case studies of founders of bio- and healthcare technology early-stage businesses
  • Tips and tools for applying for funding
  • Additional resources available for researchers, entrepreneurs, students and others seeking seed funding for a small business

Please find the following video presentation in the Securing Seed Funding eBriefing

Securing Seed Funding: Support for Biotech Entrepreneurs and Researchers