Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC 2022) Will Take Place January 26-28 in Santa Clara, California; Special Awards Ceremony Will Be Held Evening Before Opening of Conference; Seven Topic Tracks in Conference, 400+ Speakers, 90+ Exhibitors

You may register to attend this superb conference here.

The world-renowned Precision Medicine World Conference 2022 (PMWC 2022) will be held in person January 26-28 in Santa Clara, California, the heart of Silicon Valley. PMWC 2022 will feature over 400 outstanding speakers and seven different tracks of focus across the full breath of precision medicine over three full days of sessions. There will also be more than 90 company exhibits. You may register to attend this superb conference here. On the Tuesday evening (January 25), before Wednesday’s conference opening, the PMWC will present its 2022 Luminary and Pioneer Awards to five outstanding scientists. This ceremony and award reception require an RSVP and a separate registration ticket. The reception will begin at 6 pm and will be followed by the awards ceremony at 7 pm. Both will take place at the meeting venue, the Santa Clara Convention Center. Further information on this ceremony can be obtained here. The agenda for the awards ceremony is here. See additional details here and here. Again, RSVP and separate registration are required for the Awards Ceremony. Send inquiries by January 4, 2022 to team@pmwcintl.com to see if space is available for this special event. 

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Insilico Medicine Initiates First-in-Human Study of AI-Discovered Drug (ISM001-055); Novel Drug, Intended to Treat Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), Discovered Using Insilico’s Proprietary End-to-End AI Platform

On November 30, 2021, Insilico Medicine, an end-to-end artificial intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery company headquartered in New York City and Hong Kong, announced that the first healthy volunteer has been dosed in a first-in-human microdose trial of ISM001-055. The achievement is described in a lecture by Dr. Michael Levitt, who shared the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, in the context of the history of AI-powered drug discovery and a brief video explainer.

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New Review Highlights Anti-Cancer Potential of Oncolytic Viruses, Particularly Myxoma Virus

With the world still in the grip of a devastating pandemic, it’s hard to imagine viruses as something other than hostile enemies to be vanquished. But in a review article published online on October 29, 2021 in the journal CancersMasmudur Rahman, PhD, and Grant McFadden, PhD, describe a class of viruses that act to combat rather than cause deadly disease. Such oncolytic viruses as they are known, have a remarkable ability to target and destroy cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells untouched. The open-access article is titled “Oncolytic Viruses: Newest Frontier for Cancer Immunotherapy.” “The field of oncolytic virotherapy today is advancing rapidly as clinical trial data accumulates and regulatory approvals continue to accrue,” Dr. McFadden says. Dr. Rahman is a researcher in the Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy at Arizona State University. Dr. McFadden, a pioneer in the field of oncolytic viruses, directs the Center.

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UT Southwestern Launches SPORE-Funded National Resource to Advance Precision Medicine for Kidney Cancer

James Bugarolas, MD, PhD

Funded by a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Kidney Cancer Program (KCP) at UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center reports the largest and most diverse catalog of kidney cancer tumor models to date. Kidney cancer is the eighth most frequently diagnosed cancer in the U.S. Despite the development of new drugs to treat kidney cancer, it remains largely incurable when metastatic. Most Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs were developed to treat clear cell renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer, but there are more than a dozen other types. Drug development for less frequent types has been limited by a lack of animal models suitable for preclinical studies. 

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Short Morning Exposure to Deep Red Light Improves Naturally Declining Eyesight Affecting Millions

Just three minutes of exposure to deep red light once a week, when delivered in the morning, can significantly improve declining eyesight, finds a pioneering new study by University College London (UCL) researchers. Published online on November 24, 2021 in Scientific Reports, the study builds on the team’s previous work published in 2020, which showed that daily three-minute exposure to longwave deep red light ‘switched on’ energy-producing mitochondria cells in the human retina, helping boost naturally declining vision. The current open-access article is titled “Weeklong Improved Colour Contrasts Sensitivity After Single 670 nm Exposures Associated with Enhanced Mitochondrial Function.”

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Exosome-Released Molecule NGFR Directs Early Stages of Melanoma Metastasis

“We must not only look inside the tumor, but also outside of it,” says Héctor Peinado (photo), PhD, a researcher at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO). How tumors manipulate their environment to advance is one of the big questions that Dr. Peinado has been trying to answer for years. For decades “to fight tumors, researchers focused on studying their intrinsic behavior, but not on their surroundings.” Dr. Peinado is the head of the CNIO’s Microenvironment & Metastasis Group, which studies the mechanisms involved in metastatic progression, including how nanoparticles called exosomes, which are released by tumors, manipulate the tumor microenvironment to favor metastasis.

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Exosomes Appear Involved in Progression of Breast Cancer, and Development of Treatment Resistance, in Breast Cancer Patients with Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes

Obesity, insulin resistance, and Type 2 diabetes are risk factors for breast cancer in post-menopausal women. The metabolic and inflammatory complications of obesity have a role in the formation of cancer. However, the cellular and molecular pathways that mediate breast cancer incidence, progression, and metastasis in patients who also have metabolic complications are still not fully understood. For the first time, researchers have found that exosomes (small vesicles secreted by all cell types studied and released into blood or nearby tissues and fluids), are involved in breast cancer progression and treatment resistance.

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Psychedelics Show Promise for Treating Mental Illness

One in five U.S. adults will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, according to the National Alliance of Mental Health. But standard treatments can be slow to work and cause side effects. To find better solutions, a Virginia Tech researcher has joined a renaissance of research on a long-banned class of drugs that could combat several forms of mental illness and, in mice, have achieved long-lasting results from just one dose. Using a process his lab developed in 2015, Chang Lu, PhD, the Fred W. Bull Professor of Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering, is helping his Virginia Commonwealth University collaborators study the epigenomic effects of psychedelics. 

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Exosomes, Microvesicles, and Other Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) Will Be Focus of In-Person & Virtual Keystone Symposium February 20-23

An upcoming Keystone Symposium (in-person and virtual) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, February 20-23, will focus on “Exosomes, Microvesicles, and Other Extracellular Vesicles.” You may register for this conference here. You may view the program for this Keystone Symposium here. You may also download the meeting flyer here. Among the scheduled world-class speakers at this Keystone Symposium is Nobel Prize winner Randy Schekman. Note that the early discounted registration deadline is December 16. Keystone Symposia place particular emphasis on showcasing rising stars in the field at its meetings and providing essential networking and mentoring experiences that are critical to career development for our next-generation of research leaders. Note also that Keystone Symposia offer various forms of financial aid for qualifying attendees and more information on the different types of aid and the qualifying requirements can be found here. It is part of Keystone Symposia’s core mission to support and train the next generation of scientists, who will be the leaders and innovators of the future. Please read more about the topics of this upcoming Keystone Symposium below.

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Yale Researchers Develop RNA-Based Therapy That Stimulates the Type-1 Interferon Response and Clears SARS-CoV-2 from Mice

Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have discovered that an RNA molecule that stimulates the body’s early antiviral defense system can protect mice from a range of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. The study, published November 10, 2021 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), could lead to new treatments for COVID-19 in immunocompromised patients, as well as providing an inexpensive therapeutic option for developing countries that currently lack access to vaccines. The open-access article is titled “A Stem-Loop RNA RIG-I Agonist Protects Against Acute and Chronic SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Mice.”

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