Connecting Researchers, Patients and Enabling Technologies
Why this conference?
Biomedical research is fast progressing to a point where highly personalized precision medicine is no longer a dream, but a realistic goal. Achieving that goal means empowering people to lead long, healthy lives, using medicine as a tool to prevent and predict disease.
However, before this new healthcare becomes the reality for patients and society at large, a magnitude of scientific work has to be performed. For instance, the development and clinical validation of new drugs that target key biological Achilles’ heels of diseases, as well as biomarker-based diagnostics that can predict who will and who won’t benefit; but also genomics and imaging-based determinants of healthy aging. This scientific work comes with complex logistics and requires professional level large scale infrastructures for e.g. biobanking, omics, big data and imaging to support the studies involved. The scope and size of the infrastructures involved extend well beyond what individual researchers can cope with, and even beyond individual institutions, given the multicenter and often international nature of the studies involved.
The need for researchers, clinicians, bio-informaticians, industry, and other stakeholders like funders, patients and the general public to work closely together towards enabling precision medicine is widely understood. Many organizations and initiatives are hatching plans and rolling out projects to pool their resources and activities wherever profitable. In the USA earlier this year, the Obama administration launched a nationwide program called Precision Medicine USA. Can we, in the Netherlands, reach a similar level of collaboration? Are we well underway toward reaching the required level of collaboration, and what examples are there? What are the challenges that lie ahead, both technological and societal (ELSI)?
For this conference, several major players in the field of health research and technology for the life sciences have joined forces:
- BBMRI-NL, representing Dutch biobanking as resources for research
- DTL, platform for technological initiatives in the life sciences, and representing the Dutch node in ELIXIR
- EATRIS, bridge between medical research and clinical applications
- NFU, representing the eight Dutch university medical centres (UMC’s)
- FHI, representing the industry that develops equipment for the life sciences
- and FMS, the federation for medical specialists, representing clinical researchers
Together, these parties will use the conference to showcase existing infrastructures and their efforts to connect and interact, and address the issues that accompany these efforts. Also, attention will be given to the question what is needed to achieve more and better collaboration between the infrastructures.
Registration & programme
Please see www.nlhealthresearch.nl for more details on venue, programme and registration.