Legislative Event Centers on California’s Leadership in Life Science Industry
March 20, 2019
The California Biotechnology Foundation hosted a Medical Miracles and Beyond reception and legislative briefing with Senate pro Tem Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin and Senator Richard Pan, M.D., in Sacramento on March 4th. Presentations from these legislative and healthcare policy leaders focused on the value of California’s life sciences industry, health innovations born from the Golden State’s pioneering spirit, their worldwide leadership in revolutionizing healthcare and the policies legislators consider each year that impact California’s second largest industry. The reception and briefing featured thought leaders from science, philanthropy, medicine, patient advocacy, and policy to talk about groundbreaking technologies, health initiatives and treatments from California’s life science industry. Highlights included:
A presentation by Kathleen Lynch from Illumina who discussed the company’s whole genome sequencing project which received broad support from legislation championed by Senate pro Tempore Atkins that was signed into law. Lynch discussed the latest results of the project, its life-saving outcomes for patients and how the project will positively impact the future of personalized medicine and targeted health care treatments.
A Chronology of a Medical Miracle panel which featured Dr. Primo Lara, Jr., Director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center who moderated the panel and discussed the renaissance of cancer treatments and cancer care. Melinda Welsh, the founding editor of the Sacramento News and Review and a cancer survivor discussed her journey from receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis to going into complete remission after a variety of immunotherapy treatments including T-VEC. Melinda’s oncologist, Dr. Alain Algazi from the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, discussed Melinda’s course of treatment and how new life science treatments have become the 4th leg of cancer treatment in addition to surgery, chemo and radiation. Dr. Rubina Ismail from Amgen, the researcher who was part of a team that helped develop Imlygic/T-VEC, discussed life-changing immunotherapies and future cancer treatment.
A panel featuring filmmaker Jesse Dylan, founder of Wondros and cofounder (along with Dr, Eric Topol) of Wave Research Center, Elise Felicione from Janssen and Wave Research Center and moderator, Katie Baca-Motes from Scripps Research Institue and the All of Us Research Program who discussed using design innovations, emergent technologies and human-centered design to promote diverse participant-centered research studies and better meet the needs of patients, researchers and healthcare providers.
A presentation from Chris Lunt from the National Institutes on Health All of Us Research Program who discussed their historic effort to gather diverse health data over many years from 1 million people living in in the U.S., with the goal of accelerating research and improving health. Lunt noted that, unlike research studies that are focused on a specific disease or population, All of Us serves as a national research resource to inform thousands of studies, covering a wide variety of health conditions. Researchers use program data to learn more about how individual differences in lifestyle, environment, and biological makeup can influence health and disease.