Dr. Phillip Sharp: The Third Revolution
Dr. Phillip Sharp described our current scientific landscape as part of the "third revolution" in science. The first being the discovery by Watson and Crick of the structure of DNA; the second pertaining to innovations in genomics, and the third revolution the current convergence science -- the merging of the physical and engineering sciences with the life sciences -- which will have a profound impact on research and health care.
Dr. Shu Chien: Concluding Remarks
Dr. Shu Chien emphasized the importance of the integration of biology, medicine, and engineering, highlighting important advances made by NIBIB grantees.
Dr. Charles Vest: Technological Innovation and Serving the Globe
Dr. Charles Vest gave historical and future perspectives on challenges in scientific research and the new opportunities for discovery in a global environment.
Replacing Biopsies with Sound
Research funded by the NIH at the Mayo Clinic has resulted in a new, noninvasive way to diagnose liver fibrosis. Using a new technique developed by Richard Ehman, Ph.D called MR Elastography which uses sound waves to determine tissue firmness, doctors are able to see inside the liver without biopsies.
Mobility for Paralyzed Patients
Epidural stimulation research funded by the NIH demonstrates remarkable results in humans with severe spinal cord injury. By increasing the excitability of the body's neural network, a level of function can be achieved, including the ability to stand independently. Perhaps even more remarkable, is the regaining of voluntary control of bladder, bowel, and sexual function.
Instant Mobile Cervical Cancer Diagnosis
Research funded by the NIH at Rice University has resulted in a portable, fiber optic microscope that non-invasively characterizes and diagnoses precancerous and cancerous cells. Both low cost and battery-powered, this point-of-care device is ideally suited to low resource settings and facilitates immediate outpatient therapy.
Human Livers in Mice Aid Therapeutics
Research funded by the NIH at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has resulted in the ability to provide both mouse liver function and human liver function in the same mouse. This capability enables researchers to investigate how human livers metabolize drugs, to test susceptibility to toxicity, and to demonstrate species-specific responses that typically do not show up until clinical trials.
The Ultimate Operating Room
The NIH supported researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital have created the Advanced Multidisciplinary Image-Guided Operating (AMIGO) Suite. AMIGO is a state-of-the-art facility that includes Positron emission tomography/ computed tomography (PET/CT), computer-assisted fluoroscopy, 3T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), 3D ultrasound, as well as advanced navigational, robotics, and drug delivery tools.
Better, Faster Cancer Diagnosis
Research funded by NIH at Massachusetts General Hospital has yielded a miniature, point-of-care Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) device that can non- invasively diagnose cancer and has demonstrated superior accuracy and speed when compared to standard biopsy. The micro-NMR does this by analyzing cells, proteins, nucleic acids, viruses, and bacteria from unpurified biological samples -- all in less than an hour. Using unprocessed samples eliminates the need for a lab and trained technicians.