2009 Fink Bioscience Symposium Audio & Photos

View photo gallery of the 2009 Symposium.

Careers in Healthcare in the 21st Century: from Bench to Bedside

On Feb. 20-21, 2009, Amherst College conducted the first in an annual series of life science and health care symposiums named in honor of Gerald R. Fink ’62. Fink is a founder and former director of The Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass., and a nationally known figure in bioscience research. The symposium series has been funded by a group of his classmates. Hear audio from the symposium below.

Jan Dizard, the Charles Hamilton Houston Professor in American Culture: “Let’s Be Careful What We Wish For: Biomedical Advances and the End of Hope for Universal Health Care.” Biomedical advances are coming far faster than our health care systems can accommodate. The result will be a multi-tiered system of health care that will be politically volatile and may, in the end, be self-defeating.

Gerald R. Fink ’62: “Our National Commitment to Biomedical Research: Return on the Investment.” Our nation has supported biomedical research at our academic institutions. The remarkable achievements have been made by young scientists- graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who chose a research career after college. What are the prospects for new opportunities? How can these emerge from the research laboratory and into the clinic so these advances can improve the health of our nation?

Gerald Fink is a founder and former director of The Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass., and a nationally known figure in bioscience research.

David Lawrence ’62 M.D., M.P.H. “Getting Medical Science to Medical Consumers: The Challenges Ahead.”  The medical delivery system is badly broken and will need significant redesign before the remarkable advances in medical science and technology can be delivered to patients and consumers safely, effectively and affordably. The challenges are aggravated by major forces, demographics, global competition and shifting consumer expectations to name three, that will significantly increase demand on our already overburdened care system at a time when the supply of doctors and nurses is constrained. We will discuss options for addressing these challenges in the context of the current debate on health reform.

Dr. Lawrence is chairman and CEO (retired) of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals and a national spokesman on health care policy.

Robert A. Weinberg, Ph.D.: “How Modern Biology Has Revealed Many of the Mysteries of Cancer.” Recent discoveries concerning the metastasis of breast cancer.

Dr. Weinberg is a renowned cancer researcher and a colleague of Dr. Fink’s at The Whitehead Institute.

William L. Healy ’74 M.D.: “Innovation and Technology in Total Joint Arthroplasty: The Operation of the Century.” Presentation of demographic, clinical and economic information on total joint arthroplasty and discussion of new innovations and technology.

Dr. Healy is chief of orthopedic surgery and a trustee of the Lahey Clinic.

Michael E. Mendelsohn ’77 M.D.: “A Journey from Bench to Bedside to Boardroom in Academic Cardiology.” Studies exploring the molecular, cellular and in vivo mechanisms regulating blood vessel function will be described and how these are relevant to clinical cardiology and medicine will be discussed. In addition, the story of how a research institute was developed in an academic medical center will be told.

Dr. Mendelsohn is the founder and director of The Molecular Cardiology Research Institute at the Tufts Medical Center in Boston.