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Science’s progress against psychiatric disorders
    Thursday July 12, 2012 8:00am - 9:30am @ Wicklow Meeting Room 2

    The personal and economic burdens of mental ill-health are huge. World Health Organization studies show that the burdens of early deaths and loss of productive working life from brain diseases exceed those of other diseases, while a recent review has highlighted the costs across Europe – costs that are too widely ignored. But cutting-edge genetics, neuroscience, psychology and other disciplines are gradually revealing the biological roles of genes and of environmental influences on the development of our brains and the illnesses that can arise. Meanwhile social scientists are uncovering social and cultural factors in, for example, children’s disorders such as ADHD, and are also investigating the impacts and causes of the stigma of mental illness. In this session, four of Europe’s leading researchers will provide updates on the state of these studies, and will answer questions about the prospects for lessening the burden of these disorders.


    Central Institute of Mental Health, Germany

    Editor-in-chief, Nature, UK

    Kings College London, UK

    London School of Economics, UK

    Maastricht University Medical Centre, The Netherlands

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
  • Organiser Philip Campbell
  • Tags SP6


Making gene and cell therapy medicines a reality
    Thursday July 12, 2012 10:45am - 12:15pm @ Wicklow Hall 2A

    The focus of this session will be on outlining the regulatory framework and challenges of translating the exciting basic science discoveries related to molecular and cellular biology into novel, commercial gene and cellular therapies. It aims to bring together leading experts from Regulatory Agencies like EMA and FDA with expert academic and industrial scientists in this area for a fruitful interaction. It also aims to ensure that representatives of patients and those with an ultimate need for these products will be actively included in the meeting in line with an aim of ESOF2012 which is to bring science to the public.

    Irish Medicines Board

    EURODIS – Rare Diseases Europe

    Irish Medicines Board

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization PDA and IMB
  • Organiser Frank Hallinan
  • Tags SP13


Milk: Nature's perfect food?
    Thursday July 12, 2012 10:45am - 12:15pm @ Wicklow Meeting Room 2

    The composition of milk has evolved with each mammalian species to reflect the particular environmental conditions and evolutionary demands of the young of that species. Humans have exploited this valuable resource since the dawn of the agricultural revolution through domestication of animals, in particular the cow. We have developed the technology to preserve milk during times of abundance and this has resulted in an array of foods now common in the diets of most human cultures.

    In addition to its base nutritional composition, research is revealing that there are a multitude of additional benefits of milk, undoubtedly many of which are as yet, undiscovered. Foremost in the public mind is the fact that milk is an excellent source of dietary calcium, essential in bone development and prevention of osteoporosis.

    This session will reveal the extensive health benefits associated with milk consumption, it will demonstrate how modern processing technologies can be exploited to maximise these benefits.

    University of California Davis, USA

    Teagasc, Ireland

    Teagasc, Ireland

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization Teagasc
  • Organiser Paul Ross
  • Tags SP14


Emerging therapies for brain and retinal diseases
    Thursday July 12, 2012 1:15pm - 2:45pm @ Wicklow Hall 2A

    Diseases of the brain and retina are notoriously difficult to treat. An estimated 98% of EMEA/FDA-approved drugs that could have potential to treat conditions ranging from Alzheimer disease (AD) to Grade IV brain tumours that do not easily cross the blood vessels in the brain and retina. Moreover, as is the case in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), regular and costly injections of therapeutics directly into the globe of the eye carry risks of infection and serious adverse effects.
    Here, we will present information on the emerging therapies that are being developed here in Ireland, Europe and the US with regard to the treatment of debilitating diseases of the retina such as AMD and retinitis pigmentosa (RP). This session aims to inform the public on how emerging medicines are being developed and the promise that these medicines hold for diseases of the brain and retina.

    Duke University, USA

    Beaumont Hospital, Ireland

    Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

    Institute of Ophthalmology, UK

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • Organiser Matthew Campbell
  • Tags SP19


Sleep and depression
    Thursday July 12, 2012 4:00pm - 5:30pm @ The Liffey A

    Impaired sleep is both a major risk factor and a key symptom of depression, which is an increasing health problem. In Europe the number of depressed patients amounted to 21 million in 2004. Total costs of depression were estimated to be $118 billion. Even modest improvements in the efficiency of treatment of depression would be beneficial.

    Most antidepressants modulate sleep, particularly by suppressing REM sleep. Twin studies have shown that poor sleep quality predisposes people to initiation of depression. In light of these results it is reasonable to hypothesise that by improving sleep we could also alleviate depression.

    New studies suggest that physical activity is an intervention, which helps to moderate depressive symptoms by improving sleep. As a paradox sleep deprivation exerts antidepressive effects in many patients. In this session the complex relationships between sleep patterns and clinical depression are explored.

    Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Germany

    San Raffaele Hospital, Italy

    Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Switzerland

    University of Groningen, The Netherlands

    University of Helsinki, Finland

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Germany
  • Organiser Axel Steiger
  • Tags SP24



Innovative Medicines Initiative: How European cohesion will help to promote IMI's education and training programmes
    Friday July 13, 2012 1:15pm - 2:45pm @ Liffey Hall 2

    The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) was launched in 2008 as a large-scale public-private partnership between the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) to boost the development of new medicines across Europe. The IMI education and training pillar has been developed to ensure that Europe’s biomedical education landscape is enhanced to allow for innovation and Europe’s global leadership in future medicines research. The European Medicines Research Training Network (EMTRAIN) is tasked with establishing a pan-European platform for education and training that covers the whole life-cycle of medicines development. A large part of this work has been the development of a free post-graduate biomedical course catalogue called on-course®. Harmonizing European training programmes by expanding the network in all European member states and associated countries is aimed for minimal bureaucracy to allow maximum flexibility and mobility between countries. Emerging challenge occurred in the development of a strategic plan to ensure sustainability of education and training projects from IMI and its positioning in future funded frameworks offered by Horizon 2020.

    Session Topics:

    1. IMI: opportunities and challenges (Prof. Michel Goldman),
    2. Balancing act between European and nationally-funded projects with regard to training and Horizon 2020 (Dr. Dimitri Corpakis),
    3. IMI Education and Training expansion plan (Frederik Wittock),
    4. On-course: expected impact on Europe's landscape of training in medicines development (Dr. Tony Payton).


    University of Manchester, UK

    Senior Director Communications, Janssen Pharmaceutical, Belg...

    Executive Director of the Innovative Medicines Initiative, Europe   Michel...

    Head of Unit, Regional Dimension of Innovation, European Commission...

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization Innovative Medicines Initiative
  • Organiser Gouya Ghazaleh
  • Tags SP40



The virtual future of healthcare
    Saturday July 14, 2012 8:00am - 9:30am @ Ecocem Room

    A virtual world (VW) is a 3D immersive, computer-simulated environment where users are represented by avatars through which they interact in real time with other avatars, objects and the environment. Due to the fast growth of broadband internet access and computing power, individuals and organizations throughout the healthcare ecosystem are 'stepping into the internet' and using VWs in areas such as research and development, hospital construction, medical training, sales and marketing, and patient care. The objective of this panel is to introduce VWs and showcase a variety of healthcare applications with the purpose of engaging the audience in a discussion of how VWs can be used in a meaningful manner.
    In an effort to generate lively debate with the audience and to facilitate an understanding of the topic, the panel will be a mixed reality event, ie the panellists will be located physically in the US and Europe and will present through their avatars in the VW of Second Life. Additionally, we will take the audience on a guided tour of relevant sites in Second Life and other VWs, thus providing a live demonstration of immersive virtual worlds.

    Merck Research Laboratories, USA

    Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

    Innovation in Learning Inc., USA

    Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization Stockholm School of Economics
  • Organiser Robin Teigland
  • Tags SP52


Tomorrow's vaccines today
    Saturday July 14, 2012 8:00am - 9:30am @ Wicklow Hall 2A

    The world in the 21st century is faced with a myriad of global health problems which can only be solved by scientific cooperation and subsequent breakthroughs. It is therefore crucial to coordinate efforts in research, education and funding to foster an enabling environment in which out-of-the-box thinking is encouraged and innovation can deliver products.
    The European vaccine research field serves as the ultimate example. The main knowledge gap within vaccine research is the lack of understanding of the immunological mechanisms mediating protection. In order to deliver the vaccines of tomorrow, the field needs to re-engineer its thinking and endorse an innovation fostering, long term vision for vaccine design and immunology.
    The interdependencies of the policy areas for vaccinology are a general example of how inter-agency cooperation must be promoted to achieve success, which will guarantee access to knowledge, and will ultimately contribute to efficiency, better jobs and new products, such as innovative vaccines.

    Themis Bioscience GmbH, Austria

    Director, Vaccine Research, Merck Research Laboratories, US...

    Université Pierre et Marie Curie, France

    European Vaccine Initiative, Germany

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization European Vaccine Initiative
  • Organiser Regitze Louise Thøgersen
  • Tags SP53


What should Europeans eat?
    Saturday July 14, 2012 8:00am - 9:30am @ Liffey Hall 2

    From a food-cultural viewpoint, Europe is far away from being a homogenous area. Some regions in Europe (e.g. the Mediterranean countries) have really long cultural traditions, and some are much younger (e.g. the Nordic countries). National and regional diets may be approached from a cultural viewpoint, but diet is also an essential part of our health. Besides having really strong and cultural roots, the Mediterranean diet has also repeatedly been connected to good health.
    Other European regions are clearly less famous for their diets. However, some areas could perhaps challenge the Mediterranean diet. The Nordic countries have some dietary specialties with potentially great health effects: wild berries (e.g. blueberries, lingonberries and cranberries), rye and rapeseed oil. This session will address the following questions:

    1. What and how are we eating in different parts of Europe?
    2. What are the regional strengths and weaknesses regarding health effects?
    3. Where do Northern, Western and Southern Europe meet, do we have a common intersection for improved diet and health in Europe?

    Harokopio University, Greece

    National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland

    University of Helsinki, Finland

    Medical Research Council, UK

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization Academy of Finland
  • Organiser Risto Alatarvas
  • Tags SP55


Can Europe save the pharma industry?
    Saturday July 14, 2012 9:30am - 10:45am @ Wicklow Hall 2A

    The combination of greater longevity and some bad lifestyle choices in the developed world are resulting in an increasing incidence of a wide range of chronic ailments including diabetes, cancer and neuro-degenerative diseases. This results in a growing demand for drugs as well as presenting new targets for drug development. Yet despite this positive market outlook the global pharma industry is facing an existential crisis. The causes/symptoms of this crisis have been well-rehearsed: expiration of patents for blockbuster drugs, escalating development costs and shrinking development pipeline; these factors are exacerbated by governmental pressure to reduce expenditure on public drug purchase schemes.

    This session will explore how to rekindle innovation in the pharma industry and in particular how Europe can take the lead in getting the industry on a viable path?Specific questions to be addressed include:

    • What actions are required of industry, universities, funding agencies and the European Commission?
    • To what extent will new technologies (genomics, proteomics, in silico development, personalised medicine and diagnostics) help? Who should pay the associated costs?
    • Can new ways of collaboration be a solution? 
    • How can regulatory burden be minimised without compromising patient safety (up to 45,000 patients in phase III trial)?
    • Is IMI a solution/a path forward?

    Company Group Chairman, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals   Jaak...

    Trinity College Dublin, Ireland Chairman of the ESOF2012 Programme...

    Director General, Science Foundation Ireland

    Cabinet member in the office of Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European...

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization ESOF2012
  • Organiser Eamonn Cahill
  • Tags SP57


Can we feed 9 billion people or will we starve?
    Saturday July 14, 2012 9:30am - 10:45am @ Liffey Hall 2

    By 2050 the global population is expected to reach 9 billion, with the majority of this increase in the developing world. In order to feed these people it is estimated that a historically-unprecedented rise in food production of at least 50% will be needed. The question is how can we do this, when we cannot adequately feed the ~1 billion people who are starving today?

    This session will assemble some of the foremost experts involved in meeting the challenge of tackling global hunger. Two internationally renowned scientists - Bill Davies and Jonathan Jones- will address the key challenges of how to enhance food production in the face of limiting water supplies and the increased threats of pests and diseases. Bill Davies is an expert in water use by crops and Jonathan Jones is a key player in the development of disease resistance in plants. Chris Leaver, is Emeritus Professor at Oxford University and currently engages in public understanding of science, particularly issues associated with food security. Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern, will talk on hunger and poverty in developing countries.



    Lancaster University, UK

    University College Dublin, Ireland

    University of Oxford, UK

    John Innes Institute, UK

    European Plant Science Organisation, Belgium

    Concern Worldwide

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization University College, Dublin
  • Organiser Bruce Osborne
  • Tags SP58


Lost Down Memory Lane


Particles, light and antimatter: new ways to battle cancer
    Saturday July 14, 2012 1:15pm - 2:45pm @ The Liffey A

    In the last few years several new ways of treating cancer have emerged, using different particle species, intense light or even antimatter - all pushing the boundaries of science and technology significantly beyond the previous state of the art.

    This session will give a brief overview of the history of cancer therapy before tackling a number of key questions: What are the distinct advantages of hadron therapy when compared to more traditional methods and how can highest quality treatment beams be produced? Can THz radiation serve as a diagnostics tool to detect cancer cells at their very early stages? Could antimatter-ions be the ultimate tool to treat specific cancer types? An outlook on future research programs will also be given - all of this in an active dialogue with the audience.

    Cockcroft Institute, UK   Prof. Carsten P. Welsch studied...

    University of Seville, Spain.   Prof. José M. Espino carried...

    Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Germany   Ms. Sara...

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization Cockcroft Institute, UK
  • Organiser Carsten Welsch
  • Tags SP65


Stem cells in personalised medicine
    Saturday July 14, 2012 1:15pm - 2:45pm @ Wicklow Hall 2A

    The International Cell Research Organization (ICRO-UNESCO) is promoting high level education especially in the developing word. This workshop intends to review promising human stem cell applications in medical therapy as well as in pharmacological and toxicological screenings, focusing on implications in personalised medicine.

    Human stem cells provide an important novel tool for personalized medical treatments and for generating pharmacological and toxicological test systems. In the development of new targeted therapies, as well as in critical safety issues, animal based tests are mostly unsatisfactory, whereas the use of in vitro model systems is limited by the unavailability of relevant human tissues. Human embryonic stem cell lines may fill this gap, and offer an advantage over primary cultures as well as tissue-derived (adult) stem cells.

    Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary

    University of Pittsburg, USA

    University of Cambridge, UK

    Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Organiser Balazs Sarkadi
  • Tags SP68


The emerging role of inflammation in diverse human diseases
    Saturday July 14, 2012 4:00pm - 5:30pm @ Liffey Hall 2

    Increasingly, the role of inflammation is being recognised as a critical driver of disease. Inflammatory mechanisms are now known to underlie not just classical autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, but also cardiovascular disease and cancer. Even obesity is recognised to have an inflammatory component. Equally, there have been enormous advances in our understanding the biochemistry of inflammation and how cells respond to stimuli that evoke this response.

    National Institutes of Health, USA

    University of Massachusetts, USA

    Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

    Trinity College Dublin, Ireland Chairman of the ESOF2012 Programme...

    National Institute of Health, USA Founder of the NIH-Oxford/Cambridge...

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization National Institutes of Health
  • Organiser John O'Shea
  • Tags SP72


The personal genome and the future of medicine
    Saturday July 14, 2012 4:00pm - 5:30pm @ Auditorium

    Remarkable technological advances have decreased DNA sequencing costs and made it practical to undertake complete human genome sequencing on a large scale for the first time. The dramatic price decline is expected to give rise to widespread personal genome sequencing that should radically advance biomedical research, facilitate drug development, and lead to reduced health care costs.

    Key to realising these benefits will be biology's success in providing contextual interpretation of the biological and medical relevance of the detected sequence variants in a genome.

    The rationale for this session is to contribute to the important task of informing and engaging the public in reflections about the benefits and risks they can realistically expect of personal genome analysis, to prevent over-interpretation and misunderstanding of such information.

    German Cancer Research Centre, Germany

    German Cancer Research Centre, Germany

    European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Germany

    Joint Head of Unit and Senior Scientist, European Molecular Biology...

    Lancaster University, UK

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization European Molecular Biology Laboratory
  • Organiser Halldor Stefansson
  • Tags SP73



Ageing: from genome to sex
    Sunday July 15, 2012 8:00am - 9:30am @ Liffey Hall 2

    According to the WHO, in almost every country the proportion of people aged over 60 is growing faster than any other age group. Old age is increasingly associated with many chronic diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disorders, thus presenting an important socioeconomic burden. It is therefore crucial to identify appropriate interventions to keep the aging population healthy.
    In this interactive session four prominent scientists join forces to shed light on different aspects of the underlying causes of ageing from the genomic level to other contributing factors such as metabolism, hormones and 'sex'. Throughout the session, they will debate on key questions such as: 'how do our genes contribute to aging?', 'what is the contribution of hormones and other factors to the development of aging?', 'what are the differences in the development of aging at the level of the population and in particular between the two sexes?

    Uppsala University, Sweden

    European Research Council

    European Research Council, Belgium

    University of Birmingham, UK

    CECAD Cologne, Germany

    University of Sheffield, UK

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization European Research Council
  • Organiser Carmen Garcia Fernandez
  • Tags SP76


Probiotics: alternative medicine or an evidence-based alternative?
    Sunday July 15, 2012 8:00am - 9:30am @ Wicklow Hall 2A

    From a scientific standpoint, probiotics are defined as bacteria which, when consumed in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. But ‘probiotic’ is also a marketing term which has become very familiar to the general public as a result of polished advertising campaigns, which are all too often littered with vague health claims based on anecdotal or poorly conducted research, if indeed, any research at all.

    It is difficult for any consumer to discriminate between those few probiotic strains for which there is rigorous scientific data supporting specific health benefits in humans, and those which are simply members of a ‘probiotic’ genus such as Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus.

    This workshop will involve scientists highlighting some of the best evidence to support a role for probiotics in human health, detaching scientific rigour from marketing hype.

    Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Ire...

    Wageningen Centre for Food Sciences, Wageningen University, The...

    Teagasc, Ireland

    Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Ire...

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization University College Cork, Ireland
  • Organiser Colin Hill
  • Tags SP79


Ageing in Europe: Abyss or opportunity?
    Sunday July 15, 2012 1:15pm - 2:45pm @ Wicklow Hall 2A

    Health and welfare varies enormously between European nations and nations globally. Simultaneously, common challenges are easily identified. From a public health perspective, aging is an overarching phenomenon in many countries. Welfare systems, to the extent they at all exist, should be robust enough to provide sustainable solutions to create a balance between generations. A healthier population seems imperative if a postponed retirement age is required.
    In this panel discussion, research in demography, public health, prevention, harm reduction, harm assessment, and policy will be discussed. A pressing general societal issue is the distribution of health and welfare, which tend to exhibit a social gradient. Health and welfare as critical features of societal cohesion and as potential sources of severe threats to cohesion are evident in the perspective of their distribution in populations. The discussion will be focused on questions such as ‘How can basic research in different fields serve as a basis for policy and politics?’ and ‘How can advances in research contribute to individual and societal benefits?’.

    Imperial College London, UK

    University of Tartu, Estonia

    Karolinska Institute, Sweden

    University of Helsinki, Finland

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research
  • Organiser Erland Hjelmquist
  • Tags SP86


The true cost of personalised cancer medicine
    Sunday July 15, 2012 1:15pm - 2:45pm @ Wicklow Meeting Room 1

    We are experiencing a revolution in the development of targeted anti-cancer agents that are focused against particular defects in tumours. These successes, however, bring their own challenges, such as the high cost associated with the use of contemporary therapeutics to treat cancer. Moreover, the true benefit of such 'targeted drugs' is often quite limited due to poor trial design, notably the lack of enrichment of patients for the relevant molecular lesion concerned.

    To tackle this, there have been considerable efforts to develop companion diagnostic approaches that can be utilised alongside such molecular therapies to sub-stratify patients into different groupings based on predicted drug response. While there has been classically some inertia on behalf of the pharmaceutical/biotech industry to delve into this arena, the health economic argument is coming to the fore.
    This session will explore the complex interplay and driving forces behind advancement in development of anti-cancer agents and associated companion diagnostics, as well as the health economic, ethical and social issues that these developments engender.

    The format will compromise of a panel discussion, with 3 speakers covering different perspectives (twenty minutes each), followed by extended discussion with audience.


    • What Drugs Should we Give to Which Patients? – An Oncologist’s Perspective (Dr. Catherine Kelly)
    • Development of Personalised Molecular Diagnostics for Cancer Patients – An Industry Perspective (Dr. Iris Simon)
    • What is the Economic Cost of Personalised Cancer Medicine? (Prof. Nils Wilking)

    Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Ireland

    Agendia BV, The Netherlands

    Karolinska Institute, Sweden

    University College Dublin, Ireland

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization University College Dublin
  • Organiser William Gallagher
  • Tags SP90


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