GAME CHANGERS: New Technologies to Cure Disease and Treat Injury
Associate Professor of Bioengineering, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University
Associate Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology and Co-Director, Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, University of California, Irvine
Entering its seventh year, the Aspen Ideas Festival will gather some of the most interesting thinkers and leaders from around the US and abroad to discuss their work, the issues that inspire them, and their ideas. Presented by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, the Festival is unique in its dedication to dialogue and exchange, and in its commitment to bringing ideas to the public at large. FORA.tv is pleased to present Festival programs taking place at the Aspen Institute's Paepcke Auditorium.
Karl Deisseroth is associate professor of bioengineering and psychiatry at Stanford University. Deisseroth created optogenetics, a technology that uses light to precisely control and tune brain activity. His group is now extending this technology to probe the dynamics of neural circuits in health and disease. As a practicing psychiatrist, Deisseroth also employs brain stimulation for therapeutic purposes. His group uses a wide range of techniques including optics, stem cell and tissue engineering, electrophysiology, genomics, animal behavior, and computational network modeling. He has received numerous awards including the National Institutes of Health Director's Pioneer Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering (PECASE), the McKnight Foundation Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Award, the Coulter Foundation Early Career Translational Research Award in Biomedical Engineering, and the Brilliant 10 Award from Popular Science, to name a few.
Thomas Goetz is a writer, entrepreneur and health care innovator. He is the author of the new book, The Remedy, which was chosen as a Best Book of the month by both iTunes and Amazon. His previous book, The Decision Tree: Taking Control of Your Health in the New Era of Personalized Medicine, was chosen by the Wall Street Journal as a Best Health book of 2010.
Thomas is also co-founder of Iodine, a health technology company with the mission of turning medical research data into clear and actionable tools for ordinary people to make better decisions about their health.
Hans Keirstead is an associate professor of anatomy and neurobiology, and co-director and founder of the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine. Additionally, Keirstead is a professor at the Reeve-Irvine Research Center (RIRC). Founded by actor Christopher Reeve and philanthropist Joan Irvine, RIRC is a leading center for spinal cord injury research.
Keirstead directs research that investigates diseases of the nervous system. In order to bring his treatments to clinical trials, he has founded or partnered with biotechnology companies to fund and conduct pre-clinical and clinical development. He has won many awards including the National Institutes of Health's Mathilde Solowey Award in the Neurosciences in 2010. He has testified at the US Senate and House of Representatives on multiple occasions regarding stem cell research and policy.
Scientists Karl Diesseroth and Hans Keirstead acknowledge the sometimes macabre-sounding experiments conducted in the field of biotechnology research, but stress the importance of putting the science in it's proper context. "It can be hard if you haven't had direct exposure to patients who are suffering from these illnesses," says Diesseroth. "When you get down to human disease, it gets icky."