Posts Tagged by science PR
|July 5, 2016||Posted by Anharris under HarrisCom News, Health, Highlight 2, Innovation, Life Science, Video|
Updated January 17, 2018
A landmark MIT Convergence report entitled “Convergence: The Future of Human Health”– released on June 23, 2016– and a video of launch proceedings are now available online.
The Convergence report–for which HarrisCom’s Anita Harris served as lead writer– and related materials may be downloaded from http://www.convergencerevolution.net/ . The launch proceedings, held on June 24 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, are available at https://vimeo.com/album/4020692 .
The Convergence report, chaired by former MIT President Susan Hochfield, Nobel Laureate Philip Sharp and Koch Institute Director Tyler Jacks, outlines progress and challenges regarding Convergence science since the group’s 2011 report, “Convergence, The Third Revolution.” The new report defines Convergence as “the merging of approaches and insights from historically distinct disciplines such as engineering, physics, computer science, chemistry, mathematics, and the life sciences” to transform biomedicine and human health.
It argues that bringing Convergence to fruition requires strategic and sustained support from government, industry and academe.
The report draws on insights from several dozen expert participants at two workshops, as well as on input from scientists and researchers across academia, industry, and government. Their efforts have produced a wide range of recommendations for advancing convergence research, but the report emphasizes one critical barrier above all: the shortage of federal funding for convergence fields.
“Convergence science has advanced across many fronts, from nanotechnology to regenerative tissue,” says Sharp. “Although the promise has been recognized, the funding allocated for convergence research in biomedical science is small and needs to be expanded. In fact, there is no federal agency with the responsibility to fund convergence in biomedical research.”
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are the primary source of research funding for biomedical science in the United States. In 2015, only 3 percent of all principal investigators funded by NIH were from departments of engineering, bioengineering, physics, biophysics, or mathematics. Accordingly, the report’s authors call for increasing NIH funding for convergence research to at least 20 percent of the agency’s budget.
–Anita M. Harris, Managing Director, Harris Communications Group
The Harris Communications Group is an award-winning public relations and marketing firm specializing in outreach for health, science and technology, worldwide. Located in Kendall Square, Cambridge, we’re on the pulse of some of the most exciting ideas, technologies and companies anywhere.
|June 23, 2016||Posted by Anharris under HarrisCom News, Health, Highlight 2, Innovation, Life Science, Technology|
Anita Harris and Linda Grace Kobas of the Harris Communications Group played key roles in the writing and editing of “Convergence: the Future of Health,” a report released today by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The Convergence report is aimed at accelerating a “Convergence Revolution,” in which the tools, technologies, methods and insights of physical sciences, information technology and engineering are increasingly being employed in the life sciences to transform biomedicine, promising to enhance human health and well-being.
The Convergence report was chaired by Susan Hochfield, former president of MIT and a neuroscientist; Tyler Jacks, Director of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT; and Nobel Prize Laureate Phillip Sharp, Institute Professor at MIT.
“It was a privilege to work with such a brilliant team on a project that holds the potential to transform biomedicine in the US,” Harris said.
The Convergence report draws on insights from several dozen expert participants at two workshops, as well as input from scientists and researchers across academia, industry, and government. It includes a wide range of recommendations for advancing convergence research, but emphasizes one critical barrier above all: the shortage of federal funding for convergence fields.
As Sharp explained, “Convergence science has advanced across many fronts, from nanotechnology to regenerative tissue. Although the promise has been recognized, the funding allocated for convergence research in biomedical science is small and needs to be expanded. In fact, there is no federal agency with the responsibility to fund convergence in biomedical research.”
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are the primary source of research funding for biomedical science in the United States. In 2015, only 3 percent of all principal investigators funded by NIH were from departments of engineering, bioengineering, physics, biophysics, or mathematics. Accordingly, the report calls for increasing NIH funding for Convergence research to at least 20 percent of the agency’s budget.
Harris, aided by MIT graduate and post doctoral students, wrote the sections covering education and policy; a second author, Al Hammond, a former editor at Science Magazine, wrote the scientific and technical sections. Linda Grace-Kobas, former Cornell University News Director and a member of the Harris Communications Group, served as copy editor. Kate Stoll of the MIT Washington office was the project manager.
A forum on “Convergence: the Future of Health” will be held at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in Washington, DC, on Friday, June 24.
The report is available at http://www.convergencerevolution.net/2016-report .
The Harris Communications Group is an award-winning PR and marketing firm based in Cambridge, MA. Managing Director Anita M. Harris is a former journalist who covered health, science and technology for the MacNeil/Lehrer Report (now the NewsHour) of PBS. Linda Grace Kobas, also a former science journalist, served for many years as the Cornell University News Director
|December 1, 2013||Posted by Anharris under Education, Events|
Honoring the Legacy of Seymour Papert
December 4, 2013
6 – 9 PM
Cambridge Innovation Center 5th Floor
1 Broadway Street, Cambridge, MA
Panel Topics & Presenters
|Legacy of Seymour Papert||
|Learning to Change to World||
Claudia Urrea and Walter Bender, OLPC movement, its impact and lessons
|The Changing World of Learning||
Evolving Learning : Gary Stager, Mitch Resnick and Meredith Hamilton
|The Role of GamesandOnline Communities||
George Newman, Danny Fain and Johnny Ronelus (One Planet Education Network) and Sandra Thaxter (Small Solutions Big Ideas)
|Demos & Break Out Meetings||Small Solutions Education Program in Kenya: Sandra Thaxter and Alan Papert
One Planet Education Network Game Demos: George Newman, Danny Fain and Johnny Ronelus
BumpBump Books: Meredith Hamilton
Anita Harris, Managing Director
The Harris Communications Group is an award-winning PR and marketing firm specializing in media relations, content marketing for clients in health, science, biotechnology, technology, education and energy. Based at the Cambridge Innovation Center in Cambridge, MA, we’re on the pulse of some of the most exciting products, ideas and services anywhere.
|November 25, 2013||Posted by Anharris under Innovation, Life Science|
At the event, Boston area startups Cocoon Biotech, Riparian Pharmaceuticals, Cellanyx Diagnostics, and DavosPharma were awarded $22K in funds and in-kind services to three Boston area life science companies.
The winners were chosen by Executives from EMD Serono, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research and LabCentral from among pitches delivered by five finalists. The five were selected from an initial field of thirteen online entries based, in part, on online feedback from BiotechTuesday members. The three winners were all therapeutics and diagnostics startups proposing solutions to challenging medical problems.
Cocoon Biotech, Inc., led by CEO and founder Ailis Tweed-Kent, a doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital won the $5000 EMD Serono Innovation Award. Cocoon Biotech is developing a silk-based gel for injection into the joint to provide long lasting joint support and lubrication in patients with osteoarthritis. EMD Serono is the biopharmaceutical subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a global pharmaceutical and chemical group.
Riparian Pharmaceuticals, led by Will Adam, Chief Scientific Officer and President, won both the $10,000 in-kind Novartis Innovation Award and the $3000 in-kind Pharmatek Innovation Award. Riparian Pharmaceuticals is focused on therapeutics that induce an anti-inflammatory response in cells to address diseases such as atherosclerosis. Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc. discovers and develops new and innovative medicines. Pharmatek Laboratories, Inc. is a premier pharmaceutical chemistry development and manufacturing organization supporting the pharmaceutical & biotechnology industries.
Anharris | Harris Communications GroupAnharris | Harris Communications GroupCellanyx Diagnostics, led by Co-Founder and CEO Ashok Chander, won the $4000 in-kind LabCentral Innovation Award. Cellanyx is developing a prostate cancer diagnostic based on culturing tumor biopsy cells that promises to be much more accurate than current diagnostics. LabCentral provides fully functional lab space, permits, waste handling, plus all reasonably common lab equipment for bioresearch.
In addition to awarding startups, the event also acknowledged the contribution of life science products and services in enabling cutting edge research for new therapeutics. DavosPharma won the Most Innovative Product or Service Award in recognition of its Anthem-GenTox product. This product offers scientists a high throughput genotoxicity assay based on human cells with greatly improved accuracy over conventional methods.
Full disclosure: Biotech Tuesday co-founder Seth Taylor serves on our advisory board.
Anita Harris is president of the Harris Communications Group, an award-winning PR firm specializing in strategy, content, media relations for clients in health, science, technology and energy.
|October 30, 2012||Posted by Anharris under Client Releases, Cool Companies, Health, Life Science, Press Releases|
The studies, which have already starting enrolling in the U.S., aim to confirm the disease-modifying effects seen in the Phase 2 studies in mild to moderate patients over an 18-month timeframe. The first study will involve 833 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease over 12 months.2 The second study will include 500 people with mild Alzheimer’s disease over 18 months.3
The study drug, LMTX™, is a second-generation TAI that targets the Tau tangles and their precursors, dissolving them in order to halt their harmful effects on memory.4-6 LMTX™ also works on the early stage Tau aggregates (called ‘oligomers’) which are precursors to fully-formed tangles and are thought to be particularly toxic.7
“Clinicians devoted to Alzheimer’s disease have been waiting for a promising agent with disease-modifying properties,” said Professor Serge Gauthier of the McGill Centre for Studies in Aging, Quebec, Canada. “The basic science data for this agent, particularly in the tauopathies, looks sound and the interest among investigators and among families is high.” Professor Gauthier is a clinical investigator and scientific advisor for TauRx.
The tangles in the brain were first reported by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1907,8 starting the century-long journey to understand the pathology leading to their formation, their role in dementia, and, ultimately, how to stop their spread through the brain.
Professor Lon Schneider, MD, of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, a scientific advisor for TauRx, said: “Successfully targeting Tau may be an important approach towards slowing and ideally halting the neuro-degeneration that is characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease or frontotemporal dementia. Clinicians need these Phase 3 studies to produce clear evidence that such an approach could lead to improved patient outcomes.”
Countries in which the Phase 3 clinical trials will be conducted include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, U.S., and U.K. Patients and caregivers are invited to sign up for study updates at www.AlzheimersStudies.com, as the clinical trials are initiated in the countries selected.
About Alzheimer’s Disease and Tau Tangles:
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most important health challenges worldwide, and the most-common type of dementia. According to the Geneva-based World Health Organization, global dementia cases are expected to double within 20 years to an estimated 65.7 million people [more than the entire population of France currently at 63 million people].9 In very early, asymptomatic Alzheimer’s, pre-tangle Tau aggregates (oligomers) and Tau protein tangles are already present in the same regions of the brain where neuronal degeneration and loss of neuronal cells eventually occur.10,11 These changes first appear 20 – 30 years before the disease becomes clinically evident. With time, Tau tangles spread from the entorhinal cortex (responsible for learning, memory, thinking and planning) through the hippocampus to the neocortex (affecting the ability to communicate, recognize family and loved ones and to care for oneself), resulting in neuronal dysfunction and worsening of clinical symptoms.11 The spread is now thought to be due to a prion-like process whereby the oligomers act as ‘infectious particles’ which are able to propagate the abnormal aggregation of Tau protein from one neurone to the next.12 These oligomers recruit normal Tau to produce yet more infectious oligomers which spread neuronal destruction throughout the brain.
About TauRx Therapeutics:
TauRx Therapeutics Ltd was established in Singapore in 2002 with the aim of developing new treatments and diagnostics for a range of neurodegenerative diseases based on an entirely new approach which targets aggregates of abnormal fibres of Tau protein that form inside nerve cells in the brain, giving rise to Tangles. The TauRx team have since discovered that LMTX™ could also have beneficial effects in several other neurodegenerative diseases associated with Tau pathology, as well as other protein aggregation disorders including Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Frontotemporal Dementia [FTD-Pick’s Disease], Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and Cortico-Basal Degeneration. While TauRx corporate headquarters are in Singapore, its primary research facilities are in Aberdeen, Scotland.
For press enquiries please contact:
U.S. media contacts:
Anita Harris +1 617-576-0906 firstname.lastname@example.org
Outside the U.S. media contacts:
Sylvie Berrebi +44 (0)7795 197271 /+44 (0)7973 950376
Elizabeth Puller +44 (0)208 834 1447
Email: after Oct. 29:
- Wischik CM, Bentham P, Wischik DJ, Seng KM. Tau aggregation inhibitor (TAI) therapy with remberTM arrests disease progression in mild and moderate Alzheimer’s disease over 50 weeks. Alzheimer’s and Dementia 2008;4:T167. Abstract available at: http://www.alzheimersanddementia.com/article/S1552-5260(08)00598-0/fulltext. Accessed October 2012.
- ClinicalTrials.gov. Safety and efficacy study evaluating TRx0237 in subjects with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Available at: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01689246. Accessed October 2012.
- ClinicalTrials.gov. Safety and efficacy study evaluating TRx0237 in subjects with mild Alzheimer’s disease. Available at: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01689233. Accessed October 2012.
- Wischik CM, Edwards PC, Lai RYK, Roth M, Harrington CR. Selective inhibition of Alzheimer disease-like tau aggregation by phenothiazines. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1996;93:11213-11218. Full article available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC38310/. Accessed October 2012.
- Wischik CM, Lai RYK, Harrington CR. Modelling prion-like processing of tau protein in Alzheimer’s disease for pharmaceutical development. In: Brain Microtubule Associated Proteins: Modifications in Disease, eds. Avila J, Brandt R, Kosik KS. (1997) pp. 185-241. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers.
- Wischik CM, Wischik DJ, Storey JMD, Harrington CR. Rationale for tau-aggregation inhibitor therapy in Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies. In: Emerging Drugs and Targets for Alzheimer’s Disease. Volume 1: Beta-Amyloid, Tau Protein and Glucose Metabolism, ed. Martinez A. (2010) pp. 210-232. Cambridge: RSC Publishing.
- Taniguchi S, Suzuki N, Masuda M, Hisanaga S, Iwatsubo T, Goedert M, et al. Inhibition of heparin-induced tau filament formation by phenothiazines, polyphenols, and porphyrins. J Biol Chem 2005;280:7614-7623. Full article available at: http://www.jbc.org/content/280/9/7614.long. Accessed October 2012.
- Alzheimer A. On a peculiar disease of the cerebral cortex. Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie und Psychisch-Geritlich Medicin 1907;64:146-148.
- World Health Organization News Release. Dementia cases set to triple by 2050 but still largely ignored. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2012/dementia_20120411/en/index.html. Accessed October 2012.
- Mukaetova-Ladinska EB, Garcia-Sierra F, Hurt J, Gertz HJ, Xuereb JH, Hills R, et al. Staging of cytoskeletal and beta-amyloid changes in human isocortex reveals biphasic synaptic protein response during progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Am J Pathol 2000;157:623-636. Full article available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1850134/. Accessed October 2012.
- Braak H, Braak E. Neuropathological stageing of Alzheimer-related changes. Acta Neuropathol 1991;82:239-259. Abstract available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1759558. Accessed October 2012.
- Soto C. Transmissible proteins: expanding the prion heresy. Cell 2012; 149:968-977. Full article available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092867412005818. Accessed October 2012.