Cura LifeLines Newsletter 2021

2021 #UniteToPrevent #UniteToCure CURA FOUNDATION Life Lines

Join us to #UniteToPrevent and #UniteToCure In our fifth conference, the Cura Foundation and the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture kicked off the first-ever virtual event in May. With the support of our dedicated partners, generous supporters, an incredible team, and industry-leading physicians, scientists, leaders of faith, ethicists, patient advocates, policymakers, philanthropists and influencers, we were able to engage people around the world in vital conversations around health, humanity and the future of medicine. We know through our social media presence and worldwide press coverage that we reached more than 1.25 billion people in 42 countries – a testimony to the ground-breaking topics we discussed and the power of our strong partnerships and support. Focused on encouraging people with diverse perspectives to set aside their differences and work together to improve human health, the conference is the continuation of a nearly 12- year partnership between our two organizations. We are very proud of the progress we have

made in bringing together some of the world’s biggest names to talk with one another, form new partnerships and take collective action. Their can-do approach has showed us, firsthand, that we are truly stronger together than we are apart. During the seminal three-day event, Exploring the Mind, Body & Soul , we looked at how innovation and novel delivery systems can improve human health. We talked about the interplay between the mind, body and soul, as well as how we can make new technology and medical innovations in health care available, affordable and accessible to all. We learned how to impact wellness through prevention and why taking care of the environment is part of taking care of our health. We discussed inequality and inequity in health care systems around the world. We examined cutting-edge therapies and regulatory approaches to accelerate discovery so that we can bring safe and affordable treatments to patients who need them. We discussed the importance of empathy and compassion and the importance of helping people age with dignity and maintaining purpose. In conversations on Bridging Science and Faith , we discussed areas of convergence between the humanities and the natural sciences and explored the commonalities shared by different religions and were presented with a special address from Pope Francis. In sharing highlights of the Conference with you, it is our hope that you will join us to #UniteToPrevent and #UniteToCure as we develop new cures and expand access to quality health care to the poorest parts of the planet. We have published the contents of these conversations and discussions, along with interviews with dozens of leaders in their respective fields, on our conference website at We ask that you please share these insights with your families, friends and colleagues, as well as your social media

followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Together, we will #UniteToPrevent and #UniteToCure

Robin L. Smith, MD Founder, President and Chairman, Cura Foundation and Stem for Life, and Vice President and Director, Science and Faith (STOQ) Foundation



MIND, BODY & SOUL Part I: Investing in the Future

Sanjay Gupta, MD Award-Winning Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN Health, Wellness and Medical; Neurosurgeon How you establish someone’s understanding of risk is important. You can provide objective data, but the subjective interpretation of that data must also be considered. If you tell somebody that a pathogen causes a .5% mortality, a certain group will say, “One in 200 people will die of this? We better take cover.” Another group may say, “So, what you’re saying is that I have 99.5% chance of being okay.” You can’t just give the objective data, you have to understand how it is going to be interpreted. Anthony S. Fauci, MD Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, U.S. National Institutes of Health We need to combat vaccine hesitancy by making sure that the message about getting the vaccine comes from a trusted messenger – you need to match the message with the messenger. You need to get a clergy member, a sports figure, an entertainment figure or someone else people trust to convince them to do what’s right for themselves, their families and their communities.

Your zip code is the most important determinant of your health – what’s happening in your community is as important as your genetic code. Access to food, understanding where housing is, and understanding medical information in a way that makes sense is super important. So, for us, it’s really about organizing the world’s information and making it useful and accessible.

David Feinberg, MD Vice President, Head of Google Health, Google

Value-based care is really about getting the best outcomes for each individual patient using all the technologies we have.

Mark McClellan, MD, PhD Director, Duke-Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy and Robert J. Margolis, MD, Professor of Business, Medicine, and Policy, Duke University

The number one cause of people being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19 isn’t whether a person wore a mask or practiced social distancing or their genomic code – it was literally their zip code. And, the zip codes that had the least amount of connectivity, because the people living in those zip codes didn’t have access to telehealth or online education, were the ones that suffered the most.

Stephen K. Klasko, MD President, Thomas Jefferson University and Chief Executive Officer, Jefferson Health


When the pandemic came, the biopharmaceutical sector was ready: It stepped up and produced ventilators, diagnostic tests, vaccines and treatment – all in record time. And this teaches us a lesson for the future: Society needs to invest in innovation. We need to make sure that we create an environment where human ingenuity is liberated and has all the resources it needs to advance science for the benefit of society.

Albert Bourla, DVM, PhD Chairman and CEO, Pfizer

The rate-limiting step in the past has been the ability to culture a virus and get it to grow in yields needed to provide enough vaccine. With mRNA technology, it’s sort of plug and play. If you come up with a different mRNA construct, you can put it into the existing manufacturing processes and have a reasonable degree of assuredness that you will get the same yields and the same output.

Scott Gottlieb, MD Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute and 23rd Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

MIND, BODY & SOUL Part II: Innovations in Prevention and Treatment

Michael E. Farkouh, MD Peter Munk Chair in Multinational Clinical Trials; Director, Heart & Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence; Vice-Chair, Research and Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto Patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease, based on age, sex, history of smoking, signs of inflammation and obesity are at an increased risk for incident cancer. Folks with cancers are more likely to be at high risk for cardiovascular disease, suggesting commonality between the two diseases.

Laurie H. Glimcher, MD President and CEO, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Richard and Susan Smith Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Director, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center We would all love to have a world where we can vaccinate our children against cancer. We’re a ways off from that, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to have our kids go to the doctor, get their vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella – and then they get their cancer vaccines as well?

Ron Winslow Freelance Medical and Science Writer; Former Wall Street Journal Medical Correspondent The convergence of information technology and life sciences will change the future of medicine. We have the development of artificial intelligence, genetic sequencing, computational biology and remarkable advances in microscopy that are being used to unearth new insights and discoveries about our biology and how our biology works, how it doesn’t work and how we might better and more efficiently address strategies to make it work better and make us healthier.


Low-grade anxiety, depression and inflammation precede chronic illness by 10 to 20 years. If you address that, you can prevent most chronic disease. If you also address sleep, managing stress, exercise, mind-body coordination and nutrition and move from anxiety, depression, hostility and anger to love, compassion, joy and equanimity—then your body shifts biologically.

Deepak Chopra, MD Founder, The Chopra Foundation and Founder, Chopra Global

Our brain, which basically interprets the universe for us, undergoes degeneration with age, which can be brought about by trauma, genetics and unhealthy lifestyles. But at the end of the day, you have to trigger inflammation in the brain to get the symptomology of disease that results from the massive killing of nerve cells.

Rudolph Tanzi, PhD Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health care services. Telehealth exploded during the pandemic, and it is helping to monitor people outside of the hospital. Insider Intelligence estimated 30 million U.S. patients will use remote patient monitoring tools by 2024—that’s about 28% higher than today.

Mehmet C. Oz, MD Emmy® Award-Winning Host, “The Dr. Oz Show” and Cardiothoracic Surgeon, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center

Joe Perry Lead Guitarist, GRAMMY®-Winning Songwriter and Co-Founder of the American Rock and Roll Band, Aerosmith You have to go to a place where you’re not afraid to go outside of the box – where you can feel free, cut loose and not worry about the consequences.

Renée Fleming Soprano; Arts and Health Advocate; Artistic Advisor, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts I have always known that music has an extraordinary effect on people. Over the years, countless people have come up to me and told me that my music has helped them deal with loss and illness. Music does affect our physical and mental health, and that’s now being proved by science.

Some 80% of heart disease is preventable through a healthy lifestyle. That’s why I ended up in preventive cardiology – cardiovascular disease is largely preventable.

Jacquelyn Kulinski, MD Director of the Preventive Cardiology Program and Associate Professor of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin


Music touches us socially, emotionally and spiritually. Music becomes therapeutic when we’re able to harness its potential in a way that improves life, health and wellbeing.

Sheri L. Robb, PhD Professor, Indiana University School of Nursing

Music can actually change the balance between two opposing sides of the nervous system – the sympathetic and the parasympathetic.

Peter Libby, MD Cardiovascular Specialist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Mallinckrodt Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Food is the most powerful drug on the planet; it has a capacity to cure most of the chronic illnesses that we’re suffering from. When we take out the harmful foods and we add in protective ones, the body has a chance to reverse all sorts of chronic illnesses that are now affecting millions of people around the world.

Mark Hyman, MD Head of Strategy and Innovation, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine

We have a legacy food system that was created over 70 years ago to do exactly what it was meant to do: give cheap calories fortified with vitamins to prevent mass starvation. What we need to do now is shift toward understanding nourishment, prevention of chronic diseases and optimal processing of food.

Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH Dean, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University

The key thing about food and health, it’s not just about the food; it’s about how our body responds to what we put inside of it. And the great news is that so many foods, more than 200 foods actually, have been shown scientifically to activate our body’s hardwired health defenses and these can be fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes, healthy oils and seafoods.

WilliamW. Li, MD President, Medical Director and CEO, The Angiogenesis Foundation

Instead of trying to change everything all at once, I try to make one positive change a year. When we try to change 10 things all at one time, it’s overwhelming and that’s when we give up.

Cindy Crawford Model and Entrepreneur


One of the most important advances to date is the advent of vaccines that can prevent cancers, including the HPV vaccine, which can prevent cervical and throat cancers. This is the golden age of cancer research – we are experiencing a true revolution.

Ronald A. DePinho, MD Distinguished University Professor and Past President, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Political will is key. If you don’t have the political will to fight cancer and provide services for your own people as a country, it’s very difficult to make things happen.

Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired Immediate Past President, Union for International Cancer Control; Patron of SIOP; Honorary President of EORTC; Special Envoy for NCD’s Vital Strategies; Member of WHO Expert Group for the Elimination of Cervical Cancer

As a breast cancer survivor, I did research about what I could do to up my chances of living longer and living better. I started making massive changes in my diet, my exercise routine and my social life. I felt my power come back and I trusted my body again. I’m climbing mountains. I’m running marathons. I have a lot of plans ahead.

Amy Robach Co-Anchor, “GMA3: What You Need to Know” and “20/20;” Reporter, “Good Morning America” and ABC News Platforms

Treating cancer will change in 10 to 15 years. We will target treatment based on the genetic make-up of the tumor and the patients. One size no longer fits all.

Andre Goy, MD Physician-in-Chief of Oncology Services, Hackensack Meridian Health ; Chair, John Theurer Cancer Center; Founding Chair of Oncology, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine

With precision medicine and the efforts to utilize molecular mechanisms to design and develop therapeutics, we’ve really taken the field a long way forward.

Cigall Kadoch, PhD Professor, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School; Founder, Foghorn Therapeutics

What I see in the near future, maybe just five years from now, is that we may have a regular blood test that will cost just a few hundred dollars and be able to detect early-stage cancer.

Cristian Tomasetti, PhD Associate Professor, Oncology and Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health


Otis W. Brawley, MD Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Oncology and Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University More than 20% of cancer deaths wouldn’t occur if all Americans had access to prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatments. Prevention is frequently ignored, and it is critical we focus on it.

The placenta from a single birth can serve thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands, of recipients. That scalability is vitally important to becoming part of a therapeutic regimen. This is especially critical for treating diseases that affect large populations.

Robert J. Hariri, MD, PhD Founder, Chairman and CEO, Celularity

I actually learned from my grandmother how to define the term precision medicine: treat only what’s needed. No more, no less. And, by the way, if you do what’s right, you don’t waste money – you actually save money. That’s precision medicine.

Andrew Pecora, MD Chief Executive Officer, Outcomes Matter Innovations and Director, Celularity

Our development efforts are focused on treatments and diagnostics for mild and moderate COVID-19 that you can access at your local pharmacy and those that are administered in an outpatient setting. Our vision is to allow those who receive a positive COVI-STIX result to access COVIDROPS or COVI-AMG neutralizing antibodies to treat their infection.

Henry Ji, PhD Chairman, President and CEO, Sorrento Therapeutics

I have to give a lot of credit to the U.S. government last year. By giving us a grant of $1 billion, that allowed our company to take a lot of business risks. Before, we believed. Now, we know. The difference between believing and knowing is a huge difference in one’s willingness to take risks.

Stéphane Bancel Chief Executive Officer, Moderna

It takes a village to bring a new technology platform like CRISPR-Cas9 to patients globally, and it requires the support of regulators and the overall health system. It takes a lot of effort from the company side, but also from physicians and the patients themselves. With therapies like this, where the effect size is so large, it’s almost binary: You potentially get a cure after just one treatment.

Samarth Kulkarni, PhD Chief Executive Officer, CRISPR Therapeutics


Edward A. Tenthoff Managing Director, Senior Biotechnology Research Analyst, Piper Sandler and Companies CRISPR gene editing technology develops therapeutics and interventions in targeted ways to cure diseases, such as beta thalassemia and sickle cell disease, that can lead to profound, durable results that change people’s lives.

About 60% of our health outcomes are based on the choices we make each and every day – about what we eat and how we exercise; 20% on the health care we’ve received; and 20% on our DNA. We really do have an opportunity to change our health outcomes by how we handle our own bodies and how we treat our own cells.

Jo Ann Jenkins Chief Executive Officer, AARP

I don’t believe that wellness is just about the body. It’s about the mind and the soul as well. You need to examine the entire human being and what makes it unique. You need to look at every aspect of humanity to help us be better, healthier people and to create better societies.

Meredith Vieira Emmy® Award-Winning Host, Executive Producer and Anchor; Founder and CEO, Meredith Vieira Productions


Richard J. Davidson, PhD Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, and Founder and Director, Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison Empathy is a precursor to compassion. But to transform empathy into something constructive, we need compassion. Compassion is nourishing, in that you experience a positive connection with another person, and a sense of joy that you’re helping that person.

Compassion is clearly a natural human impulse. It’s not a skill that we have to learn anew. We are born with it, but where the training helps is to make it more intentional – and open it up so that our empathy isn’t confined to a small circle of people, but that it’s broader so that we can reach out to the world.

Thupten Jinpa, PhD President, Compassion Institute


There is a very clear signal that compassion matters – for patients, for patient care, and for those who care for patients. Compassion gives higher quality health care, and it promotes patient self-care.

Stephen Trzeciak, MD Professor, Chair and Chief of Medicine, Cooper University Health Care, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

William C. Mobley, MD, PhD Associate Dean for Neurosciences Initiatives and Interim Director of the Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion, Department of Neurosciences, University of California San Diego Empathy and compassion are fundamental to the way people interact with one another. Arguably, empathy and compassion are at the very core of making meaning of our lives – not only by enhancing the quality and wellness for ourselves, but for our whole community.

The pandemic has had a major effect on our lives, and it’s important to acknowledge the toll on our physical and mental health. We need to be patient with ourselves and find ways to take care of ourselves by exercising, eating well and getting plenty of sleep.

Debra Houry, MD, MPH Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

I look at mental health as clinical versus performance. I truly believe that if all of us lean into this, we will unlock our full potential. Eighty percent of sport is mental. Human potential relies on five pillars: You need to train, take in fuel, keep mental fitness, recover by sleep, turn off to relax and stay interconnected with others.

Brandon Marshall NFL Athlete; Co-Founder, Project 375; Founder, House of Athlete

Loneliness may actually be spreading. In fact, research shows that a person is 52% more likely to feel lonely if someone they are directly connected to says they are lonely.

William Shrank, MD Chief Medical and Corporate Affairs Officer, Humana

Donato J. Tramuto Founder and Chairman, Health eVillages; Founder and Chairman, Tramuto Foundation; Author and Health Care Activist If you identify yourself as lonely, the toxic effect of doing so is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes per day.


Prevention is as important as treatment. To learn this, we pair our medical students with members of our community, and they follow these individuals and families for three or four years of medical school. We empower the students to intervene so they can see, firsthand, why prevention is so important.

Robert C. Garrett Chief Executive Officer, Hackensack Meridian Health

By focusing on the whole person, we can start to understand the root cause of the problems with the U.S. health care delivery system. These may be social issues or mental health issues. By focusing on these, we can understand how to not only improve the health status of anyone who uses a health delivery system, but also lower the cost of care and provide the right care at the right time in the right place.

Allen J. Karp Executive Vice President, Healthcare Management and Transformation, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

MIND, BODY & SOUL Part IV: Innovative Models and Technologies to Reduce Health Disparities

Behavior change is what the next era of health care is going to be all about. But you can only do that if you start with the consumer or the patient — the person who is going to be most impacted by a change in behavior. Until now, the health care industry has largely been a sickcare industry. If we can pivot towards preventative care, if we can begin to get people to focus on what can they do to improve their health and wellness now, we will improve human health globally.

John Sculley Managing Partner, Sculley Advisors

Please join Sanjay Gupta and me at LIFE ITSELF (www.LifeItself.Health )—our new, in-person health conference this September, in partnership with CNN. We aim to foster new ideas, while celebrating a diverse group of leaders intersecting health and medicine.

Marc Hodosh Founder and Co-Host, “LIFE ITSELF”

In the past, doctors were taught to treat patients without considering the cost. Now, the primary mandate of medicine, both clinically and financially, is to figure out how to make health care more efficient so that we reduce waste and allow more resources to impact more people.

Jonathan J. Bush, Jr. Executive Chairman, Firefly Health


It’s time to usher in a change in health care. This generation, who is growing up digital, will demand this type of service in the future. Similar to the retail and banking sectors, convenience and service are important – and technology will allow us to make medicine more service- oriented. However, we must make sure that we have medical-grade technology that is safe and secure, and we don’t compromise this for efficiency.

Joseph M. DeVivo President, Hospital and Health Systems, Teladoc Health

It is important to recognize that we are still very much in this together. Our experience in the U.S. is diverging rapidly from so much of what the rest of the world is continuing to endure. We have a responsibility, I think, a moral urgency to try to help alleviate suffering around the world. It also very much is in our own economic security and public health self-interest do so.

Chelsea Clinton, DPhil, MPH Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation

Paul Farmer, MD, PhD Kolokotrones University Professor and Chair, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Co-Founder and Chief Strategist, Partners In Health If we had an equity focus from the outset of the pandemic and rolled it out across very diverse states and different administrative districts, we would likely have had less transmission and less death.

Walter Ricciardi, MD Full Professor in Hygiene, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome; President, Mission Board for Cancer of the European Commission; President, World Federation of Public Health Associations Communication is a substantial part of fighting the pandemic – we must learn from this for our future and do a better job of liaising and disseminating information.

David B. Nash, MD Founding Dean Emeritus and The Raymond C. and Doris N. Grandon Professor of Health Policy, Jefferson College of Population Health Public health considers the economic impact, as well as the quality, safety and efficiency, of the care delivered. Practicing prevention is critical – doing so allows us to go upstream and shut off the faucet instead of constantly mopping up the floor. This enables us to focus on what’s important so that we may be a bridge between health and health care services.

Registries are critical in providing real-world evidence for a more patient-centric care model. For example, at Sanford, we created a COVID-19 registry and an algorithm that told us who should receive the vaccine first and who, after a COVID-19 diagnosis, we needed to call within 24 hours to receive infusions of the monoclonal antibody therapies.

David A. Pearce, PhD President of Innovation, Research, and World Clinic, Sanford Health


Type 1 diabetes is a life-threatening disease – without insulin, you die. But we’re in a situation in the U.S. where competition is driving prices up instead of down. For people with diabetes, out- of-pocket costs must be reasonable and fair.

Aaron J. Kowalski, PhD President and CEO, JDRF International

At Civica Rx, we realized that we could successfully bring new competition back into consolidated monopolistic markets. Essentially, we have organized the industry to bring new competition back to these markets where, frankly, competition had fled.

Dan Liljenquist Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Intermountain Healthcare

The best way to fix high drug prices in the U.S. is to allow Medicare to negotiate. It will take an act of Congress to change this, but I am hopeful that this 117th Congress will have the courage to stand up for Americans who often must choose between paying their mortgage and paying for their life-sustaining medicine.

Shelley Lyford President and CEO, Gary and Mary West Foundation

MIND, BODY & SOUL Part V: Innovations in Prevention, Treatment and Sustainability

Gina Agiostratidou, PhD Program Director, Type 1 Diabetes Program, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust Medical science may be on the brink of an unprecedented accomplishment – detecting which babies are at risk to develop Type 1 diabetes before it becomes clinically evident. This could allow for early intervention aimed at delaying the onset of, and even prevent, the clinical manifestations associated with this autoimmune disease.

Kurt J. Griffin, MD, PhD Todd and Linda Broin Chair for Diabetes Research; Director of Clinical Trials, The Sanford Project, Sanford Research; and Associate Professor, Pediatric Endocrinology, Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota The data that come out of PLEDGE are exactly the kind that are needed to assess whether standards of care for children should include screening for Type 1 diabetes, which may lead to early intervention. Contributing to something that could touch every child in the U.S. and beyond is really inspiring.


We like to think that we understand a lot about disease and the molecular basis of disease and exactly how to address, particularly, single-gene disorders with gene therapy. But the fact is, we still have a lot to learn.

Katherine High, MD President, Therapeutics, AskBio

We are going to see more gene therapy treatments cross the finish line in the next two years. Finally, for the first time, patients will have hope that they might be able to live a relatively normal life.

Jill Weimer, PhD Senior Director of Therapeutic Development, Sanford Research

Michael R. Yeaman, PhD Professor and Chief of Molecular Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine; Director, Institute for Infection & Immunity, Lundquist Institute at Harbor-UCLA; Chair, Medical Sciences, Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation By understanding the process through which the immune system differentiates between self and non-self, we have opportunities to solve, not just autoimmune disease, but infection, cancer, transplant rejection and many other conditions where the immune system is functioning in a way that’s not optimal.

We are always trying to unravel the mysteries of human biology, but it turns out that it’s really hard to do. When it comes to rare diseases, we are in a race against the clock; we are also in a race against the mistakes of nature.

John F. Crowley Chairman of the Board and CEO, Amicus Therapeutics

I am very optimistic. The first drug law in the U.S. was in 1906. In 2016, President Obama signed The 21st Century Cures Act . The word patient didn’t appear for over 100 years in U.S. drug laws. Now, we are inviting patients to have a seat at the table.

Frank J. Sasinowski, JD, MPH Director, Hyman, Phelps & McNamara

Peter Marks, MD, PhD Director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration It’s time for global, worldwide trials. There’s no way we will do justice to people with rare diseases globally unless we do these. There simply aren’t enough patients to succeed otherwise.


David A. Sinclair, PhD Professor, Department of Genetics and Co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research, Harvard Medical School We can reverse aging! We have already shown that we can reset complex tissue in an animal. And eventually, we think we could have treatments – an injection, or a pill – that could reset the body by a decade or more. And we could keep doing and redoing that reset, time and time again. Nir Barzilai, MD The Rennert Chair of Aging Research, Professor of Medicine and Genetics, and Director, Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Biology of Aging, Albert Einstein College of Medicine When you take the cell or an organ in the body and make it from old to young, you change the hallmarks of aging. And that’s what happens in geroprotection. We believe the safe drug Metformin can be used to prevent age-related diseases. People on Metformin for diabetes have less diabetes, less heart disease, less Alzheimer’s and less cancer, and the mortality of people with diabetes on Metformin is less than people without diabetes. We hope to get approval for this new indication called “aging.”

Jamie Metzl, JD, PhD Founder and Chair, OneShared.World When we think about aging, it’s not about living forever. It’s about unlocking human potential.


MIND, BODY & SOUL Part VI: Innovation, Technology and Changing the World

If you want to live longer, don’t focus on changing your mind – change your surroundings. People in Blue Zones eat wisely, mostly a whole, plant-based diet. They’re nudged into movement every 20 minutes or so, because of the way their surroundings are set up. Because their life is underpinned by purpose, they’re surrounded by the right tribe, and they live in places where the healthy choice is the easy choice.

Dan Buettner Founder, Blue Zones

What is it we need to do to make our future good? Well, it is largely being good with each other. It’s not fighting. It’s understanding that we need to approach conflict, and the difficulties we face – financial difficulties, environmental difficulties, including the pandemic – with love and harmony, and say it’s a common problem rather than fight over it. If we can do this, we have a chance at a good outcome.

Ray Dalio Founder, Co-Chairman and Co-CIO, Bridgewater Associates; Author, New York Times Best-Selling Book, “Principles: Life & Work”


This past year has been humbling for all of us. What I hope we have learned is this: All of us have to do our part – we have more in common with each other than we think.

Robin Roberts Co-Anchor, “Good Morning America,” ABC; President, Rock’n Robin Productions

None of us can do everything, but we can all do something. If each of us does one thing – it can be a small thing – we will improve the state of the world. We can all have a heart of service. The question is: What is the one thing we can do today to make things a little bit better?

Marc Benioff Chair and CEO, Salesforce

When research wins, we all win. Every single day, there is someone living with a disease who needs our help, whether it’s Batten disease or Type 1 diabetes. The work that we’re helping to inspire, and to celebrate, with the Lorraine Cross Award is an absolute game changer.

Micah Aberson Executive Vice President, Sanford Health

David C. Rhew, MD Chief Medical Officer and VP of Healthcare, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft The pandemic has shown us how closely interconnected we all are. Today, we live in a divided world, but the virus doesn’t care. Infections can travel from one group to the other, from one region to the other. There are no boundaries.

There was sense that AI would turn us all into robots and make our world too mechanical. But the opposite is true: New technologies and AI actually complement what we do every day and pave the way for more human interactions. It’s really about people – plus technology – doing the right thing. AI makes us all more efficient, more effective and, actually, more human.

Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD Former Principal Deputy Commissioner and Acting Chief Information Officer, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The abilities we give our machines are only a reflection of who we are. We give a machine thoughtful words, but it does not comprehend. We give it life-like appearance, but we do not give it life. Will we someday be able to engineer such gifts? To engineer an ability, we first must fully understand it. Are these mysteries fully knowable by us? I think that they are fully known – not by us, but by the One who fully knows us. And I think, someday, we can know as we are known. But today, we see dimly, and in that light, we build an impoverished image. Such efforts to build do help us see more clearly, and they have value in improving human lives, however, they do not replace us. A machine does not replace its maker, although it can be used to do wonderful things.

Rosalind Picard, ScD Professor, MIT Media Lab; Chief Scientist and Chairman, Empatica


Warren J. von Eschenbach, PhD Associate Vice President and Assistant Provost; Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Philosophy and Department of Information Technology, Analytics & Operations, University of Notre Dame AI has great promise to improve the efficiency of health care and delivery of patient care. However, we have to minimize some of the ethical risks associated with doing so and understand how to integrate these technologies into clinical practices so that privacy, patient autonomy and transparency are protected.

Seventeen states have recently mandated that remote patient monitoring (RPM) is now reimbursed by private payers. That means anyone under 65 who has a chronic condition will be served and reimbursed for RPM. The market is tremendous, and the market cap is obviously significant. Bridging the gap between visits to the doctor is what RPM does.

Ryan Howard Founder and CEO, 100Plus

COVID-19 proved that technology can come to the rescue of health care. It took 15 years for the medical industry to accept that care can be delivered safely over technology. Now, we are in a completely different world.

Roy Schoenberg, MD, MPH President and Co-CEO, Amwell

From the Epic medical records and our ability to look for trends in the data, we were able to determine that physicians were ventilating their COVID-19 patients rapidly with poor survival rates. I believe these data compelled a lot of people to put their patients on their sides or their stomachs – as opposed to on ventilators – and more people survived as a result. This is one example where data can help impact patient care and optimize outcomes.

Judy Faulkner Founder and CEO, Epic

To solve some of the world’s most intractable issues, we have to bring together diverse stakeholders who care deeply about a similar set of issues but approach them from different vantage points. Breaking traditional siloes, particularly in the health care arena, has to be done. The pandemic has shown that it is possible.

Moira Forbes Executive Vice President, Forbes

In the wake of this pandemic, education is one of the most important issues we have to deal with. The sector has to take advantage of this moment in time. Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet when it comes to addressing an issue as large as education.

Emma Bloomberg Founder and CEO, Murmuration


As a foundation, when we think about sustainability, we ask ourselves: How can we be a catalyst for good? Perhaps, a more important question to ask is this: How can we ensure that the nonprofit or the group that we are supporting becomes more self-sufficient? At the end of the day, that’s the key for us – it’s not just the impact, but whether it’s sustainable.

Spencer P. Eccles Co-Founder and Managing Partner, The Cynosure Group

All of us need to look at philanthropy in a different way. It’s not just about giving away money. Instead, it’s figuring out how you can take what you’re giving and make it exponentially more effective.

Stephen Shaya, MD Managing Director, Akkad Holdings; Executive Servant Leader, J&B Medical

What are some things to consider when providing humanitarian service? First and foremost, the mission should meet actual need. A community may not need a new hospital or clinic with all the latest cutting-edge gadgetry if it doesn’t have electricity, trained health care providers or a reliable water source. Medical missionary work is nearly always well-meaning, but unfortunately hasn’t always been well-received or of much practical benefit. Get invested local help where possible. Find a way for those being helped to participate. Buy local.

Elder William K. Jackson, MD General Authority Seventy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

There are some very unintended benefits that we found in our research on selflessness. The research shows we can live longer, look better and be happier. We can help each other, which benefits us along the way.

Richard Lui Anchor and Journalist, MSNBC/NBC News, Caregiver


Digital health can deliver more quality care to more people at a lower cost. It’s different from telehealth in that it can be delivered with a live provider, or asynchronously, and can be delivered on a one-to-many basis. Plus, you don’t need continuous, high-speed internet connections; you can use a low-speed connection. You can go into a Starbucks, get your Wi-Fi and, essentially, get your health care. What a world we live in!

Rick Anderson President and General Manager North America, DarioHealth


To lead a healthy, long life with diabetes, one must focus on the mind, body and spirit. Doing so makes outcomes far better – glucose outcomes, productivity outcomes, heart health, kidney health and cognitive health. When talking about diabetes, we simply cannot separate the body from the mind and the soul.

Kelly L. Close Co-Founder and Chair of the Board, The diaTribe Foundation

I started my journey in 2016 to find a solution for Louisiana, which is one of the three lowest- income states in the country – to make sure that everyone living with hepatitis C in our state could have access to this remarkable new therapy that was able to cure hepatitis C. I think what I learned is that if you work with industry, if you reset the problem not as an us-versus-them issue – but a mindset of: here’s the challenge, help us solve it, we need to do better for our people. Then, you can gain traction. You can overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers and you can succeed.

Rebekah E. Gee, MD CEO, LSU Health Care Services; Former Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health

Pope Francis’s words echo those of my dad, Bobby Kennedy. He said that for too long we have surrendered community excellence and community values to the mere accumulation of material things. Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or for the joy of their play. It measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it tells us everything about America, except why we are proud to be Americans. Carl June, MD The Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy and Director, Center for Cellular Immunotherapies, Perelman School of Medicine; Director, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, University of Pennsylvania CAR T-cell therapy is a curative therapy. It’s bespoke, meaning it’s made on a one-by-one basis using a person’s own cells. Now, we are working with off-the-shelf cells. This is where one can make cells, not from your own body, but from other sources, such as other healthy blood donors. We now have gene engineering technologies to convert healthy people into being universal T-cell donors so that we can make CAR T-cells in big batches. This will cut the price down by orders of magnitude. Marilyn Glassberg, MD Division Chief of Pulmonary Medicine, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine; Senior Director of Clinical Research for Strategy and Growth for the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine There will be many people who survive COVID-19, but who do so with longer term pulmonary issues. This is why we established long-term clinics for patients who have long hauler COVID-19 lung disease. We hope that with novel interventions and new therapeutics, such as exosomes and cell therapies, we can treat their pulmonary disease and help them.

Kerry Kennedy President, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

There is a disproportionate impact of high drug prices on the uninsured. But high drug prices affect everyone – even those with insurance. And it’s not just the financial toxicity, high drug prices can have an impact on mortality as well.

Timothy A. Lash President, West Health Policy Center


Shatterproof was born with a vision, a vision that our society would prevent and treat addiction as a disease with programs based on science. Without any shame or stigma or judgment – just like any other disease.

Gary Mendell Founder and CEO, Shatterproof

Matthew Might, PhD Professor and Director, Hugh Kaul Precision Medicine Institute, University of Alabama at Birmingham Bertrand, my son, outlived every prediction ever made by over a decade, passing away recently just shy of 13 years old – a life six times longer than predicted, and a life far richer than I ever could have hoped for him. Bertrand’s life came to define and propel the field of precision medicine, a movement that continues to transform the lives of people just like him.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the health disparities and difficulties in being able to reach underrepresented and underserved communities. That’s why CIRM has integrated into its funding and research programs a way to address both diversity and equity.

Maria Millan, MD President and CEO, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine

There is a link between inflammation and blood clotting. One of the horrible consequences of the COVID-19 infection is that people develop blood clots, not only in the legs but in the brain, in the heart muscle, the kidneys and elsewhere. So, this interaction between inflammation and blood clotting is extremely important when looking at the long-term effects of COVID-19 and should be further examined.

Robert S. Rosenson, MD Director of Metabolism and Lipids, Professor of Medicine and Cardiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

To make cell and gene therapy safe, effective and affordable you must optimize the supply chain. Our industry is just getting off the ground, and it’s forecast to grow at 30 to 40% per year for the next decade. Cryoport is setting the standards for handling cellular and gene therapies from the point of extraction of blood from the patient all the way through the process, to the inoculation on the other end, when the therapy comes back to the patient, whether it’s autologous or allogeneic.

Jerrell W. Shelton Chairman, President and CEO, Cryoport

There is an incredible enthusiasm for longevity, finding cures for the pathologies of aging. I would predict you are going to see major initiatives funding the research, the application of the therapies and the companies themselves. Regenerative medicine is a very important component of this and will be the focus.

Bernard Siegel, JD Executive Director, Regenerative Medicine Foundation


A Message from Holy Father, Pope Francis

Your Conference unites philosophical and theological reflection to scientific research, especially in the field of medicine. Before all else, this allows me to express our gratitude to all who are personally and professionally committed to the care of the sick and the support of those most in need. All of us are grateful these days to those working tirelessly to combat the pandemic, which continues to claim many lives, yet at the same time has represented a challenge to our sense of solidarity and authentic fraternity. For this reason, concern for the centrality of the human person also demands reflection on models of health care that are accessible to all the sick, without disparity. Thanks to interdisciplinary studies, we can come to appreciate better the dynamics involved in the relationship between our physical condition and the state of our habitat, between health and

nourishment, our psycho-physical wellbeing and the care of the spiritual life – also through the practice of prayer and meditation – and finally between health and sensitivity to art, and especially music. It is no accident that medicine serves as a bridge between the natural and the human sciences, so much so that in the past it could be defined as philosophia corporis , as we see in a manuscript kept in the Vatican Apostolic Library.


His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin Secretary of State, Vatican

Man has within himself characteristics that make him radically different from animals. The ancient thinkers encapsulated this specificity and uniqueness of the human being in a single term, humanitas . One unique feature of humans is the moral conscience that allows us to act by distinguishing between what is good and what is bad. This fundamental reference causes us to ask ourselves ethical questions about our actions, about society, about the use of the tools that we develop and make socially usable. My wish, therefore, is to continue deepening the mystery of our being with enthusiasm and determination, to discover and be fascinated by what makes us truly human.

Grand Hospitaller, His Excellency Dominique Prince de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion in Obedience, The Sovereign Order of Malta

The best way to achieve our goal to assist the sick and the vulnerable is by uniting individuals from different backgrounds and disciplines. We need dialogue to share insights and expertise, combine resources and find suitable solutions. What brings us together is our commitment towards altruism and love.


His Eminence Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi President, Pontifical Council for Culture

It’s essential to build bridges in modern culture, not to build walls. Pope Francis reaffirms this idea above all. It’s not just necessary on a social level, but also on a community level. Because everyone is part of one ideal, one phenotype. While we each have our identities, like a digital fingerprint, our own life experiences, we all have something in common – and that is humanity.

Renato Poletti President, Science and Faith (STOQ) Foundation and President, Foundation for Heritage and Cultural and Artistic Activities of the Church

A stereotyped view tends to emphasize the conflict between science and religion. There are many areas of mutual interest and overlap that can be seen when we create a dialogue between different governmental and private organizations, academic and societal bodies, lay and religious institutions to shed more light on complex phenomena.

Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò Vice-Chancellor, Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences

To ensure optimal health conditions, it is essential to take care of the environment. If we want the care for the environment to be truly balanced, we must first care for ourselves, care for our relationships with others and care for our relationship with God. The teaching of the Catholic Church, for example, urges the consciences of believers to rediscover themselves as custodians of creation, capable of stewarding the gifts of the Creator, rather than living as predators of resources. This awareness is the foundation of a responsible action not only towards humanity but towards every living being. Protecting the ecological balance not only benefits our health and wellbeing, but also expresses the belief that everything in the world is intimately connected.

Monsignor Tomasz Trafny Head of Science and Faith Department, Pontifical Council for Culture General Secretary, Science and Faith (STOQ) Foundation

The dialogue on Bridging Science and Faith explored the commonalities between religion, spirituality, health and wellbeing, while examining the relationship between the mind, body and soul. We see that there are powerful bridges between science and faith and how they support and inspire each other.


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