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May is almost over, so it’s time to check in with the Ending Age-Released Diseases conference and see how things are developing with the event.

If you’re unfamiliar with us, we’re hosting our second annual conference at the Cooper Union in New York City on July 11-12th this year. It will feature some of the leading names in both aging research and biotech business and investment coming together to share their knowledge and insights with the audience.

Aging research is on the cusp of some major breakthroughs in the battle against age-related diseases, and we invite you to join us for an action-packed event filled with exciting talks and discussion panels featuring some of the leaders of aging research and the biotech business.

More exciting speakers announced

We have a packed conference program for you to enjoy, and we are still announcing more speakers, so keep an eye on the event page for more news as it comes in! We have confirmed a number of new speakers since the last update, so let’s take a look at our new guests today.

We are very proud to confirm that Professor George Church will be speaking at our conference this year. Professor Church is a very well known figure in aging research and a true pioneer in the gene editing field, and we are delighted to have him with us at this year’s event.

George is a Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and the director of PersonalGenomes.org, which provides the world’s only open-access information on human Genomic, Environmental & Trait (GET) data. His 1984 Harvard Ph.D. included the first methods for direct genome sequencing, molecular multiplexing, and barcoding. These led to the world’s first sequenced genome, of the pathogen Helicobacter pylori, in 1994.

His innovations have contributed to nearly all “next generation” genome sequencing methods and companies (CGI, Life, Illumina, nanopore). They, along with chip-based DNA synthesis and stem cell engineering, helped with the founding of additional application-based companies spanning the fields of medical diagnostics (Knome, Alacris, AbVitro, Pathogenica) and synthetic biology/therapeutics (Joule, Gen9, Editas, Egenesis, enEvolv, WarpDrive). He has also pioneered new privacy, biosafety, environmental, and biosecurity policies.

We are also delighted to announce that Dr. Ronald Kohanski, the Deputy Director of the Division of Aging Biology at the National Institute on Aging, will be joining us for the conference. On its second day, as part of the broader topic of creating interventions against aging, Dr. Kohanski will be giving a talk entitled “Concepts and perspectives in geroscience”.

Dr. Kohanski joined the Division of Aging Biology in 2005 as a Program Officer and became Division Deputy Director in 2007. Dr. Kohanski has promoted aging research in the specific areas of stem cell biology and cardiovascular biology. More broadly, he promotes research efforts to expand studies beyond laboratory animals, explicitly addressing the basic biology of aging in human populations and non-laboratory animals (domestic and wild populations). He promotes research into the basic biology of aging that could explain why aging is the major risk factor for chronic diseases.

We are proud that Dr. Amutha Boominathan will be joining us from the SENS Research Foundation (SRF). Dr. Boominathan’s conference talk will be entitled “Remediation of mitochondrial DNA defects via allotopic expression”. This is related to the MitoSENS project, which will be attempting to repair the mitochondria of animals later this year, thus proving that the damage caused by aging can be reversed.

Dr. Boominathan is the Group Lead for the MitoSENS program. With more than 18 years of experience in mitochondrial biogenesis, she leads a highly motivated team of researchers at SRF in furthering our understanding of, and developing therapies for, myopathies from mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations.

Both inherited and acquired mutations in mtDNA cause several diseases, including LHON, Leigh’s syndrome, MELAS, MEERF, and NARP. mtDNA mutations also accumulate with age and accompany a progressive decline in organelle function. The goal of the Boominathan lab is to express functional copies of the mtDNA genes from the nucleus via allotopic expression and ultimately develop tangible therapies for mitochondrial dysfunction.

We are also joined by Dr. Pamela Maher from the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. She will be treating us to a talk entitled “Novel anti-aging compounds based on natural products for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease” on the first day of the conference. Our world is filled with many as-yet untapped compounds and molecules that are found in plants and other natural resources and may offer solutions to age-related diseases, and we are sure that this talk will be a most interesting one.

Pamela Maher received her BSc from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and her Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She is currently a Senior Staff Scientist at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA. Her research interests include the characterization and development of natural products for the treatment of acute and chronic neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, she studies models and mechanisms of neuroprotection in neurodegenerative diseases.

Sree Kant from Life Biosciences will also be speaking at the conference in a talk entitled “Novel investment paradigms in aging research”.

Sree Kant is the head of Business Development at Life Biosciences and is focused on new scientific investments and strategic partnerships. Sree has nearly two decades of healthcare and pharmaceutical industry experience, and he previously headed early partnering strategy for Pfizer, working across different therapeutic areas/technologies and geographic areas with academia, VCs/banks, CROs, and other strategic partners.

Sree was also a principal at the Boston Consulting Group, where he advised large pharma and biotech on R&D strategy as well as mergers and acquisitions. He has an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management and an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. Sree is an invited speaker at many key industry events and conferences, often discussing R&D strategy, innovative partnering models, industry-academia collaborations, early-stage technologies, and investments.

SENS Research Foundation becomes an official sponsor

We would like to thank the SENS Research Foundation for deciding to sponsor our conference this year as well as the companies and organizations that have already chosen to do so. Their support means a great deal to us and helps us to produce a high-quality event that adds true and lasting value to this industry.

We would also like to thank Trust me, I’m a “Biologist”, the Facebook page that takes a humorous look at science with jokes and memes, for supporting us as a media partner.

If you would like to become an official sponsor or media partner for our event, please get in touch.

Prices increase from 10th June

Tickets for this fantastic event are currently priced at $400 but, from June 10th, will increase to $500 as it gets closer. You can secure your ticket at this lower price by visiting the ticket page on Eventbrite today.

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About the author

Steve Hill

Steve serves on the LEAF Board of Directors and is the Editor in Chief, coordinating the daily news articles and social media content of the organization. He is an active journalist in the aging research and biotechnology field and has to date written over 500 articles on the topic as well as attending various medical industry conferences. In 2019 he was listed in the top 100 journalists covering biomedicine and longevity research in the industry report – Top-100 Journalists covering advanced biomedicine and longevity created by the Aging Analytics Agency. His work has been featured in H+ magazine, Psychology Today, Singularity Weblog, Standpoint Magazine, and, Keep me Prime, and New Economy Magazine. Steve has a background in project management and administration which has helped him to build a united team for effective fundraising and content creation, while his additional knowledge of biology and statistical data analysis allows him to carefully assess and coordinate the scientific groups involved in the project. In 2015 he led the Major Mouse Testing Program (MMTP) for the International Longevity Alliance and in 2016 helped the team of the SENS Research Foundation to reach their goal for the OncoSENS campaign for cancer research.
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