NEW YORK (June 6, 2012) — The Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center and the Weill Cornell Cancer Center will co-host the first annual Brain Tumor Biotech Summit 2012 on June 8 from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Weill Cornell Medical College. This first of its kind, one-day conference will gather together the nation's leading brain tumor and biotech industry experts who are joining forces to accelerate more effective treatments for brain tumors and promote funding for the latest emerging therapies.
"The Summit's mission is Innovate, Collaborate, Accelerate. For the first time, the academic medical community, biotech industry and investors are teaming up to encourage innovative collaborations, accelerate science and put brain tumor patients first," says Dr. John Boockvar, chair of the Summit, director of the Brain Tumor Research Group, associate professor of neurological surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and a neurosurgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
"The innovative Brain Tumor Biotech Summit is all about progressing effective, emerging treatments from the laboratory bench to the patient's bedside," says Dr. Andrew J. Dannenberg, the Henry R. Erle, M.D.-Roberts Family Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and director of the Weill Cornell Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
More than 22,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with brain or spinal tumors each year and more than 13,000 patients die each year from the malignant tumors, according to the American Cancer Society. There is a need for more research funding to identify more effective treatments and potential cures for brain tumors. Since federal government grants to support research have been declining, it is important for brain tumor researchers to supplement their government grants with private funding to advance their research.
Industry leaders from the biotech industry, venture capital firms, finance, non-profit foundations and pharmaceutical companies will participate in the Brain Tumor Biotech Summit discussions regarding ways to get new research findings noticed and funded. Top brain tumor researchers from across the country will present their latest research breakthroughs about novel agents, innovative devices and minimally invasive delivery systems, vaccine therapies, stem cell therapies, gene therapies, viral therapies and nanotechnology.
"The Brain Tumor Biotech Summit 2012 at Weill Cornell Medical College offers a rare opportunity for researchers to highlight their new emerging therapies and promising research findings to their fellow scientific community members, biotech industry and potential investors," says Franklin Berger, a leading biotech industry expert and moderator of the "VC Roundtable: How to Get Your Research Funded and Company Noticed" panel discussion at the Summit. "This cross-fertilization of research findings and investment opportunities in an open, transparent, academic environment like Weill Cornell can only lead to fewer barriers to advancing novel, game-changing therapies for neuroscience and oncology."
"The goal of the Summit is to advance innovation, collaboration and acceleration of science for the treatment of brain tumors among the medical community and industry," says Dr. Philip E. Stieg, professor and chairman of neurological surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and neurosurgeon-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "This unique approach will help cancer experts at Weill Cornell and across the country on the frontlines make the research progress they need to more effectively treat our patients."
The Brain Tumor Biotech Summit 2012 will also feature luncheon keynote speaker, Representative Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, in support of his similar mission to accelerate understanding of the human brain. Rep. Kennedy will discuss his "One Mind for Research" initiative and his commitment to advancing science. "One Mind for Research" is a national coalition Rep. Kennedy co-founded to seek new treatments and cures for diseases of the brain and to foster collaboration in research across all brain disorders, uniting the efforts of scientists, research universities, government agencies, industry and advocacy organizations across the country. Rep. Kennedy will also share his personal reflections about his father's battle with a brain tumor.
"The time is now for greater collaboration among academia and the private sector to work together to discover new effective therapeutic treatments for devastating diseases such as brain tumors," says Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean at Weill Cornell Medical College. "Weill Cornell is leading the charge to foster these pioneering collaborations in the brain tumor community to advance translational research. Working together we can find cures for brain tumors."
View the Summit's full agenda at: http://cornellneurosurgery.org/pdf/prelim-agenda.pdf. For more information about the Brain Tumor Biotech Summit 2012 visit: http://cornellneurosurgery.org/braintumor/brain_tumor_biotech_summit.php.
Weill Cornell Medical College
Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University's medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside, aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical College is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances — including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, and most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with the Methodist Hospital in Houston. For more information, visit weill.cornell.edu