JDRF Type One Nation DC Research Summit.

This post falls under the heading All News is Local, or in this case Regional. If you live in the Mid-Atlantic, you may already know about the JDRF Type One Nation DC Research Summit happening in Bethesda, Maryland (outside of Washington, D.C.) on March 1st. If not, you can find out about it at jdrfsummit.org.

It promises to be a day filled with information gathering, making connections with other PWDs and parents of CWDs, and hopefully, a laugh or two. What’s on the agenda? That’s what this post is about. I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know about the lineup of presenters that day. There is a separate youth program that, unfortunately, I don’t know anything about. But here is the agenda for the adult track:

The day will begin with a welcome from Piper Dankworth Sutton, Executive Director of the recently-consolidated Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Chapter of JDRF. As a side note, I have to think her job is a tough one, considering her chapter includes what a year ago was two chapters, over a large geographic area encompassing over 8 million people. That probably means hundreds of thousands of people living with Type 1 Diabetes.

Our moderator for the day will be Mary Kate Cary, who’s a former White House speechwriter, and currently a contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report, as well as a political analyst on National Public Radio.

Bethany Salmon, Senior Manager of the Research Business Development Group of JDRF, will talk about JDRF Translational Development: Partnering for Success, highlighting (I think) collaborations between JDRF and various entities doing research on Type 1 Diabetes.

Roland Tisch is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at University of North Carolina. His topic of discussion is Reversing Diabetes. Hmmm… I might have picked a different topic, but okay. We are talking about research here.

After lunch (did I mention lunch is included?), EUGENE BRANDON, PhD and Director of Strategic Relations and Project Management at ViaCyte will talk about Developing an Encapsulated Cell Therapy for Diabetes. Last year’s discussion about encapsulation therapy was my first exposure to the subject, and I’m looking forward to Dr. Brandon’s talk about it this year, as well as hearing him talk about ViaCyte’s collaboration with JDRF in this field.

Later, the subject will be Approaches to the Cure: Nanoscience and Immunology, presented by Stephen Miller, PhD, who is (long, impressive-sounding title coming) Judy Gugenheim Research Professor, Director-Interdepartmental Immunobiology Center, Department of Microbiology-Immunology, Northwestern University Medical School. Still with me? This is another topic that doesn’t get enough attention, in my opinion, so I’m hoping Dr. Miller can provide a little more insight for us.

Finally, the presentation I’m really waiting for: Kelly Close, Editor-In-Chief at Diatribe, and her colleague Adam Brown, Co-Managing Editor at Diatribe, will present Diabetes Technology: A Bridge to a Cure. Kelly is a well-known diabetes advocate, of course, and she participated in a bionic pancreas clinical trial up in Boston last year. After not making the cut for two artificial pancreas trials in the past year, I’m eager to hear about her experience firsthand.

All through the day there will be exhibits and book signings and chances to connect with people who walk the same stretch of road that you do, so to speak. After all of the speakers are finished, there will be a question-and-answer session with the panelists.

Why am I making a big deal of this now? Well, to begin with, I was asked to write something about it, by someone I respect, so that’s what I’m doing (no, I’m not getting anything in return). Also, and I’ve said this before, if you’ve never been to an event where this kind of subject matter is discussed, or if you’ve never been to an event with other PWDs and parents of CWDs, this is the perfect venue to get your feet wet. Laid back, supportive, and friendly. And free to attend.

So again… If you want to know more, or if you want to register, go to jdrfsummit.org. And let me know if you’ll be there, so we can connect!

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  • Karen  On January 26, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Sounds fantastic and I can’t wait to hear all about it after you’ve gone. I’ve heard Kelly and Adam speak several times, they are brilliant and always put on a great presentation.


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