2010 Bioscience Symposium Schedule

Friday, Feb. 19

6:30 p.m.  Reception (Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons, Valentine Hall)

7 p.m.  Dinner (Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons, Valentine Hall)

7:45 p.m. Talk by John Deutch '60. Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "When Does Scientific Advice Work?" (Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons, Valentine Hall)

Random thoughts and amusing stories of giving scientific advice to policy makers.  How to make a difference and how to deal with disappointment.

Saturday, Feb. 20

9:30 a.m. Buffet breakfast (Converse Hall Lobby)
10 a.m. Introductions by George W. Carmany III '62.
10:15 a.m. Talk by Gerald R. Fink '62. American Cancer Society Professor, Whitehead Institute/MIT.  "The Fruits of Basic Research: Should We Inject Them or Eat Them?" (Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall)
The national investment in basic research has transformed medicine and already improved public health. Modern biology coupled with advances in computer science has the potential to revolutionize the health care system.  Remarkably, modern plant biology has not bestowed the same health benefits despite the fact that genetically modified plants could ensure a bountiful and nutritious food supply. Why?
11 a.m. Talk by Julia F. Feldman '84. Consultant to the Center for Health, Law and Economics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; Of Counsel at the Boston law firm of Krokidas & Bluestein (on sabbatical). "Health Law in an Era of Reform: The Massachusetts Experience." (Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall)
What does it mean to practice "health law"? How has that experience been shaped by health reform initiatives, especially in Massachusetts?  Ms. Feldman will discuss some highlights from her experience, including implications of the landmark health reform law in Massachusetts (Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006) for health care providers, employers, health plans, and individuals.  She will also address some of the issues that remain unresolved after health reform, including under-reimbursement of hospitals serving a disproportionate share of indigent patients, care coordination challenges, and escalating health care costs.  Ms. Feldman will discuss some of the recent developments relating to these issues in both the public and private sectors.
11:45 a.m. Talk by Edward F. X. Hughes '62. Professor, Health Enterprise Management and Management & Strategy, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. "A Perspective on Health Reform." (Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall) 
Sound public policy should be based, to the maximum extent possible, on empiricism and informed judgment.  We will examine the current Health Care Initiative and its component parts analyzing the extent to which they are based on sound empiricism and discuss the potential consequences therein were they to be enacted. The session will be highly interactive, dynamic and seek to elucidate a path to the future.   
12:30 p.m. Lunch (Lewis Sebring Dining Commons, Valentine Hall)
2 p.m. Talk by Julia A. Segre '87. Senior Investigator, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH. "A Genetic Analysis of the Bacteria that Live on Human Skin in Health and Disease."  (Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall)
Human skin is an ecosystem, harboring microbial communities that live in a range of physiologically and topographically distinct niches.  For example, hairy, moist underarms lie a short distance from smooth dry forearms, but these two niches are as ecologically dissimilar as rainforests are to deserts.  As part of her role in the NIH Human Microbiome Project, Segre explore the role of skin bacteria in health and disease, including eczema.  She will also touch on the language of warfare used to describe our relationship with bacteria that live harmoniously in and on our bodies.  Finally, Segre will use the microbiome project to talk more broadly about how information is transferred from the laboratory bench to the patient bedside and back.
2:45 p.m. Talk by Kipp A. Weiskopf '07. M.Phil., Cambridge, M.D./Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University. "Case Studies in Biomedical Research; Translating Discoveries from the Bench to the Bedside and Back." (Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall)
"Now more than ever, researchers are focused on applying what they learn in the laboratory to improve patient outcomes in the clinic.  This talk will focus on inspirational case studies in biomedical research.  As a recent Amherst graduate, Weiskopf will discuss the path he has taken in pursuit of a career in translational research.  He will describe his experiences in undergraduate research programs, as a postgraduate fellowship recipient, and currently as both a medical and graduate student."
3:30 p.m. Round table discussion and Q & A (Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall)