For the thousands of innovative treatments and scientific advancements we have today, there are believers who overcame challenges, and enormous obstacles, to make the world a little better for all of us. These individuals were not content to wait for change, they drove it. We call these individuals “future makers” because without their vision, the world would be a dramatically different place.
Members of the biotech community nominated and voted on their best and brightest colleagues who are driving change and innovation. Hear them speak in the IMAGINE Incubator in San Francisco and be inspired by the progress they are making to change the world!
Wednesday, June 8
3:00 - 4:00 pm
West Building, Lobby
Dr. Van Eenennaam’s research program at UC Davis is at the forefront of animal biotechnology. She has served on national committees including the USDA AC21, and the 2010 FDA AquAdvantage salmon VMAC. However it is in her capacity as a scientific communicator that she is a true future maker. She is the single most important mover and shaker addressing a variety of issues related to regulation and public acceptance of animal biotechnology, especially as it pertains to global food and feed. She has given over 400 invited presentations nationally and internationally, and has provided a credentialed voice in national media including the Dr. Oz Show, NPR, and Intelligence Squared. Her engaging manner, humor and use of media (including parody videos) make her unparalleled in relating to audiences. She believes in the use of technology in agricultural production systems, and her scientific communication and educational efforts have been pivotal in advancing animal biotechnology innovations.
Dr. Howard Jacob is singularly driven to harness the power of the genomic sequence to change medicine. The first person in history to use genome sequencing to diagnose, treat and cure a patient, Jacob launched the world's first genomic medicine program. At HudsonAlpha, a nonprofit research institute, he leads the genomic medicine program. "There are 35 million Americans with rare disease who need access to this potentially lifesaving technology today," he says with passion. Jacob's team has sequenced hundreds of exomes and moved into the genomic space, boosting the diagnostic rate of rare undiagnosed disease from around 6% to nearly 30%. “I always believed genomics was going to improve medicine,” he says. “But it went from being a dream to being a passion. I’m frustrated that we’re not helping more people today, when I know we could be changing lives. The good news is that we are going to be changing lives, and changing medicine, through genomics.”
Chuck Mohan and his wife Adrienne lost their daughter Gina at the age of 15 to mitochondrial disease. Chuck decided not to become a victim of the disease, but part of the cure. There was very little information about the disease. More critically, there were very few medical experts that heard about mitochondrial disease. In 1996, he started the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF) in the basement of his Monroeville, PA home. In the past 20 years, UMDF is now internationally recognized as the leading patient advocacy group. His efforts to grow the UMDF has enabled the organization to fund more than $13 Million in research. He’s put together a Grand Rounds program at hospitals both large and small, so that medical experts can learn about this complex disease. He’s also carried his message to Washington, DC. A Congressional Mitochondrial Disease Caucus was formed to educate lawmakers about mitochondrial disease.