Home » National Health Research Forum » 2021 National Health Research Forum » 2021 National Health Research Forum - Day One

Day one of the Forum jumpstarted discussions challenging the status quo, exploring strategies for out-innovating health threats ranging from antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” to deadly and debilitating rare diseases. Focusing on pressing health threats, the first day of the Forum focused on the race against time in furthering medical progress.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Chair Emeritus Michael Castle, former Governor and Representative of Delaware. Governor Castle introduces his friend and guest the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden who shares some pre-recorded remarks on the importance of a united research community and the power of science.

Outsmarting a Global Health Threat: What will it take to keep AMR at bay?

Each year in the United States, more than 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 die as a result of these infections. Globally, an estimated 700,000 deaths per year are attributed to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The WHO has declared that AMR is one of the top ten global public health threats facing humanity. Combating AMR requires innovation, not just to develop treatments that replace those compromised by AMR, but to slow the trajectory of AMR as much as possible, saving lives and creating space for those new treatments to come to fruition. This interactive roundtable discussion will focus on the latter imperative. What are the strategies that fall under the umbrella of AMR “stewardship?” Can we do more to slow the pace of resistance, and if so, how?  How high are the stakes? How is stewardship success measured?  What is the outlook absent new strategies and faster development of antimicrobial treatments?

Living with a Rare Disease: Cystic Fibrosis

Gunnar Esiason, Director of Patient Outreach at the Boomer Esiason Foundation and patient advocate living with cystic fibrosis, shares his powerful story about the unfathomable toll a serious illness can take, the power of fighting back against that illness, and the life-changing significance of medical progress.

Diagnosing Rare Diseases: A Parent’s Journey

Christina Hartman, Vice President of External Affairs with the Assistance Fund, describes the long and arduous journey she and her family traveled to secure a diagnosis for her daughter and what can be done to help others struggling to identify and combat a rare disease.

Faster Rare Disease Progress is Within Our Reach

Dr. Emil Kakkis, CEO and President and Founder of Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. joins Mary Woolley, President and CEO of Research!America, in a conversation about how we can get to answers faster for those living with rare diseases.

Envision360: It Takes an Ecosystem

Dr. Michael Ybarra, Vice President and Chief of Medical Affairs at PhRMA, talks about the significance of, and steps needed to, drive life-saving medical progress.

Fireside Chat: The Research Behind Healthcare Excellence

One of the critical steps on that path to medical progress is underappreciated and underutilized: the research needed to ensure that this progress translates into healthcare progress.  Dr. David Meyers, the Acting Director for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Dr. Lisa Simpson, President and CEO of AcademyHealth, discuss the importance of the research that ensures that health care and patient care is safe and effective.

U.S. Science and Technology on the Front Lines

The audience will join renowned leaders in science and technology to take a clear-eyed look at efforts to equip our nation with the S&T capabilities needed to out-innovate existential threats and stay globally competitive. Will current policy efforts to bolster U.S. S&T come to fruition? How do we ensure our nation can continue to successfully compete in the global economy while collaborating internationally to maximize S&T progress? The conversation will fully engage the audience on these critical questions and more.

Fireside Chat: Innovation Amplified: ARPA-H

Dr. Eric Lander, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and Science Advisor to the President, and Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health are joined by Hallie Jackson, Senior Washington Correspondent, NBC News; Host, MSNBC’s “Hallie Jackson Reports” to explore President Biden’s vision for a new health innovation incubator called ARPA-H.

Progress Multiplied: The Promis of Platform Technology

Dr. John Maraganore, CEO of Alnylam pharmaceuticals, is joined by Research!America’s Chair, Susan Dentzer, Senior Policy Fellow at the Robert J. Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University, to discuss a sea-change in the approach to medical progress: the advent of platform technologies. What are the pivotal ways that RNAi and other platform technologies are influencing the trajectory of medical progress?

Cures 2.0 Fireside Chat

The Honorable Diana DeGette (D-CO-01) and the Honorable Fred Upton (R-MI-06) join Randy Rutta, CEO of the National Health Council in a moderated discussion on their successful, joint efforts to enact the landmark 21st Century Cures Act and their model for effective bipartisanship.

Fireside Chat: A Surprising Key to Better Health

Your oral health is more important than most might realize. Maria Ryan, Colgate Chief Dental Officer, and Dr. Robert Califf, former FDA commissioner,  chat with Frank Sesno on the interconnectedness of oral health and overall health.

You can find a comprehensive list of speaker biographies here.