Saturday, January 25, 2020 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Jacob Appel / Brown University
The future of medicine is both amazing and terrifying. For the first time in human history, individual scientists and clinicians have the power to alter radically ways in which we live that were never before possible.
In China, a geneticist edits the genes of embryos in an effort to prevent HIV. An Italian surgeon recruits critically-ill patients as candidates for the first human brain transplant. Authorities in California use DNA profiles to capture a notorious serial killer. A Swiss religious sect attempts to clone its own members. Medical technology is advancing at unprecedented speeds—raising the prospect of personalized therapies and cures for diseases like cancer, but also concerns that legal standards and ethical norms have not kept pace with scientific “progress.”
This presentation explores some of the most exciting recent developments in medicine that promise to help us live longer, healthier, more fulfilling lives, ranging from novel reproductive technologies and cutting edge immunotherapies to the harvesting of “big data” and the implementation of new systems of information exchange. We will also address both the ethical challenges that arise when these technologies work as promised, such as who should pay for a drug that costs $1.25 million per dose, and what safeguards, if any, exist for keeping these technologies away from those whose rogue actions could cause irreparable damage to us all.
Jacob Appel is an American author, bioethicist, physician, lawyer and social critic. He is best known for his short stories, his work as a playwright, and his writing in the fields of reproductive ethics, organ donation, neuroethics and euthanasia. Appel’s novel, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Prize in 2012. He has taught medical ethics at New York University, Columbia University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Brown University’s Alpert Medical School.
Jill Helms / Stanford University
Longevity: the ambition of kings, super villains – and pretty much all of us that enjoy waking up each morning. It's also become a focus for biotechnology companies interested in making a big impact on healthcare. According to Professor Jill Helms, questions of this magnitude require "moonshot thinking" and some extreme team science. In this lecture, she will explain how her Stanford group is working to better understand why we age, and translating that knowledge into strategies that slow this natural process. We will learn about scientific insights and potential therapies they've discovered that can help us learn how to age better.
Jill Helms is a Professor of Surgery at Stanford University. Before Stanford, she taught at the University of California at San Francisco, where she was the Director of the Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. She is the Former President of the American Society of Craniofacial Genetics, and has received numerous awards, such as the IADR Distinguished Scientist Award for Craniofacial Biology Research, the ADA Student Researcher of the Year award, and the Howmedica Research Award.