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CTE & ALS at the Forefront at the Powering Precision Health Summit

By Courtney Noah / Oct 26, 2017

I just came back from an educational and inspirational two days attending the Powering Precision Health Summit held in Boston, MA. Breakout sessions throughout the meeting focused on targeted therapies and biomarker detection for neurodegenerative, oncology, autoimmunity, cardiovascular and metabolism diseases.

Highlights from the first day were talks and a panel discussion focusing on the research and personal influence of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Panelists included a mix of researchers and patient advocates with unique insights and perspectives on this epidemic. Critical to this discussion was the need for more accurate biomarkers. Further, the landscape is evolving towards the development of less invasive diagnostics techniques that still provide relevant data on these markers. Understanding the correlation between analytes in blood and CSF samples will be among the near-term goals.

During the second day of the conference, talks were more broadly focused on the impact of biomarker discoveries. The morning panel discussion included comments from Nancy Frates, ALS advocate and co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Attendees were encouraged to participate in fundraising efforts by Kevin Hrusovsky, PPH Founder and CEO of Quanterix, and Robert Coughlin, President & CEO of Mass Bio. A live demonstration of the ice bucket challenge was among the morning events.

Compelling discussions continued throughout the day and were focused on c-peptide and the impact of monitoring levels of this molecule to understand pancreatic function, optimized detection systems for diagnosis of C. difficile and utilization of RNA biomarkers in advancing precision health.

The event was a must-attend for anyone interested in this area of research and how scientific advances are directly impacting those living with these diseases. It brought together enthusiastic members of the academic, industrial and patient advocacy communities to build bridges towards the advancement of scientific discoveries and accelerating therapeutic developments that improve patient outcomes.


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