WORLD HEALTH SUMMIT 2010 NEWSLETTER, NO. 8
Berlin, September 28th, 2010
World Health Summit – Personalities
Francis S. Collins
Director of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland.
Dr. Collins is aphysician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the Human Genome Project, served as Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health from 1993-2008.
Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the Human Genome Project, served as Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health from 1993-2008.
In August 2009, he was sworn in as Director of the National Institutes of Health.
President Obama said, "The National Institutes of Health stand as a model when it comes to science and research. My administration is committed to promoting scientific integrity and pioneering scientific research and I am confident that Dr. Francis Collins will lead the NIH to achieve these goals. Dr. Collins is one of the top scientists in the world, and his groundbreaking work has changed the very ways we consider our health and examine disease. I look forward to working with him in the months and years ahead."
He is a co-recipient of the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and also the National Medal of Science, the highest honour bestowed on scientists by the US government. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.
Francis S. Collins will speak in the Key Note Lectures on October 11th, 2010, 09.00 – 10.00 (Main Hall) about “Research and Innovation in Global Health“ Click here to see session details.
Sessions at the World Health Summit
Working Session “The Future is Chronic: Adapting Health and Sustainable Development to Epidemiological Transitions”
Non-Communicable and Chronic Diseases
More than 33 million deaths in developing countries in 2004 were caused by chronic diseases, which are heavily influenced by the behaviour of the population - 17.9 percent of global deaths are related to tobacco use. Factors, such as obesity (which contributes to ~8 percent of global deaths), high blood glucose and high cholestrol are among the10 leading risk factors of death.
In both, the developed and the developing world, multi-sector collaboration will be required to address the challenges of chronic disease. Simple health provision models cannot address the behaviour of the population on their own, and successes to date have been the result of joint efforts by governments, the private sector, education institutions and families.
Global health care policy and funding programmes will need to adapt to specifically meet these challenges. Healthcare payers can have significant impact by developing a deep understanding of their patient populations and mitigating poor behaviour. Cross-sectoral partnerships are required to deliver improvements in chronic disease. Legislation, education and incentives must be aligned to address population behaviour change.
How can we ensure that prevention is positioned on government agendas, bringing together health, education,
industry and agriculture?
What role do incentives play, and how can health systems best leverage them?
How can we realign multiple players to develop an appropriate response to long term condition management?
This Working Session will be co- hosted by the World Health Organization and the World Heart Federation.
Speakers of this session are:
Hal Wolf | Senior VP and Chief Operating Officer | Kaiser Permanente, The Permanente Federation | United States
Pierre Corvol | President | Collège de France | France
Olivier Raynaud | Senior Director, Global Health and Healthcare Sector | World Economic Forum | Switzerland
W. Philip T. James | President | International Association for the Study of Obesity | United Kingdom
The session will be chaired by:
Ala Alwan | Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health | World Health Organization | Switzerland
Pekka Puska | Director General | National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) | Finland (Chair)
The Working Session takes place at October 11th, 2010, 10.30-12.30 in the Main Hall.
World Health Summit Network
The M8 Alliance and its Members:
Université Paris Descartes
The University of Paris, created in the 13th century, disappeared following the French revolution in 1793. It was reinstituted in 1896, with faculties of literature, law, medicine and pharmacy. In 1971, following major social upheavals in France, the University of Paris was closed for the third time before being split into 13 “autonomous” universities and schools. One of these, Paris 5 University, was composed of several faculties (now called UFRs: Unités de formation et de recherche – training and research units), including the old faculties of medicine and pharmacy. Over the past 30 years, several faculties (law, social sciences, etc.) have merged with Paris 5 University, which was renamed Université Paris Descartes in 2006.
The Universities’ Autonomy and Responsibilities Law (“Libertés et responsabilités des universités”), passed in August 2007, gives French universities more freedom regarding their use of public resources, and allows them to create private foundations in order to provide more flexible support for innovative projects. Paris Descartes was the first French university to re-organize following the new law. The new board of governors elected Axel Kahn, an outstanding and internationally renowned medical researcher, as president of Université Paris Descartes on January 1, 2008. Kahn proposed an audacious project designed to develop multidisciplinary research at the interface of social and health sciences, bringing together teaching and research in medicine, pharmacy, psychology, law, economics, biology and mathematics.
Many of the 13 Paris universities and schools have joined, or are in the process of forming new groups, along the lines of a collegiate university.
Today More Than 30,000 Students
Université Paris Descartes focuses strongly on medical sciences, and possesses the leading French faculties of medicine and pharmacy. It provides education for 34,483 students through 10 UFRs (also called faculties or institutes). In France, all students are eligible for university if they pass the final high school examination (Baccalauréat). A variety of teaching programs are offered in the social sciences, law, mathematics, technology, psychology along the European BMD format (bachelor’s, 3 years; master’s, 5 years; PhD, 8 years).
Candidates to study medicine (10 to 12 years), dentistry (6 to 8 years) and pharmacy (6 to 9 years) compete for a fixed number of places determined each year by the minister of health, through an examination after their first year of study.
More than 500 post-graduate students from all over France and abroad have joined none of the five doctorate schools (écoles doctorales) of Université Paris Descartes in order to obtain a PhD. The doctorate schools focus on the university’s major scientific themes and are open to international programs (especially co-tutorship).
More Than 100 Research Groups
Université Paris Descartes supports 105 research groups that form a large “campus” on the left bank of the Seine, close to the historic Latin Quarter. As shown in the figure, the “campus” includes the different faculties and the five Paris teaching hospitals (Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris) grouped together with the faculty of medicine under the heading Groupe Hospitalier
Universitaire (GHU Ouest). The top 65 research groups receive funds from national institutes such as the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale, INSERM), the French National Center for Scientific Research (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, CNRS), and the Research Institute for Development (Institut de recherche pour le développement: IRD). INSERM, CNRS and IRD appoint permanent researchers, engineers, technicians and secretarial staff. These groups are called “mixed research groups” (Unités mixtes de recherche, UMR), whereas groups funded by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (MESR) are called “hosting teams” (Equipes d’accueil, EA).
During the past four years the Université Paris Descartes research groups published more than 10,000 articles in peer review journals, 136 of them in major journals with impact factors (IF) > 20, 458 in the best specialized journals with IF 10–20.
The new law will allow universities to play a major role in piloting research, and Paris Descartes has a particularly ambitious policy for both education and research. The Foundation will be important for providing support rapidly to competitive research teams working in areas that have been selected as priorities (“axes thématiques prioritaires”), as well as for creating dedicated institutes (Université Paris Descartes Institutes) and for enabling outstanding international scientists to join our university for periods of several years.
Université Paris Descartes focuses its teaching and research on the fields of Human Sciences and Health, and notably on human mental and physical development, fulfillment, social interactions, transactions and conventions, health disorders and treatments. The university is underrepresented in material sciences, with the exception of chemistry-biology, but covers a very large swathe of social and human sciences, including psychology, law, biology, medicine, odontology and pharmacy.
Studies range from procreation and early embryonic development to the development of the human mind and its connections with the social and familial environment; the rules and conventions governing social life and individual rights; aging; disabilities, diseases and their relationships with the environment; medicine and therapeutics; and the interfaces between health, law and ethics. The sciences of sport, economics and management are harmoniously integrated. Mathematics and informatics make a fundamental methodological contribution to modeling and understanding human activities. Our University Technology Institute specializes in training for careers in the services industry, including informatics, management and welfare.
During the next four-year period, the governors of Université Paris Descartes intend to restructure its multidisciplinary training and research in the social sciences and health, in order to become more efficient, better-known internationally, and more attractive. The university will thus be better able to teach and train young people, to prepare them for a rewarding social and professional life, and to enrich the economic and intellectual life of the community and nation. It will pursue this objective in close association with Université Paris Diderot and its other partners in the
Towards a Control of New and Emerging Human Infections
Symposium of the Leibniz Association
Recent epidemics of preventable infectious diseases - including swine flu, SARS and, most of all, HIV - have caused enormous human suffering. They have also heavily burdened our economies and jeopardized social networks and global communication and exchange. In this workshop, we present recent approaches to tackle the origin of novel human infections, to predict the routes of their global spreading, and to improve strategic means of their control.
Christian Drosten from Bonn University will present recent studies of his group on bats, which have been shown to be the origin and reservoirs of several human viruses including the SARS coronavirus and Ebola virus. He finds bats virtually loaded with viruses including close relatives of a number of human pathogens and therefore postulates that bats are one of the major sources for new and emerging human infections. He also addresses the intriguing question of the peculiarities of these bats that make them – although being mammals like ourselves – tolerate all those viral infections without any apparent damage.
Theo Geisel and his group at Göttingen University and the MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization have developed amazingly sophisticated mathematical models that can be used to predict the global or regional spread of human infections as well as the efficiency of control strategies. Thus they were able to forecast the global spread of SARS by international air travel. To acquire comprehensive statistical data on human mobility, which are necessary for reliable forecasts they used Dollar bills as a proxy for human travel.
Finally, Mike Ryan, the director of WHO´s Global Alert and Response, will present the efforts of the World Health Organization to continuously improve the strategies to control the spread of human infections at the global level.
Amongst the confirmed chairperson and speakers for this symposium are:
• Rolf Horstmann I Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine I Germany (Chair)
• Christian Drosten I University of Bonn Medical Centre I Germany
• Theo Geisel I Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization I Germany
• Michael Ryan I World Health Organisation I Switzerland
The Partner Symposium takes place at October 10th, 2010, 12.30-14.00 in Room “Virchow”.
The Leibniz Association is a network of 86 scientifically, legally and economically independent research institutes and facilities that provide scientific infrastructure. Characteristic of the Leibniz Association is the enormous diversity of themes addressed by the institutes; research foci range from the natural sciences, engineering and environmental sciences to economic, social and space sciences to the humanities. Leibniz Institutes perform strategic- and thematically-oriented research and offer scientific service of national significance.
One of the Leibniz institutes is the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, which is Germany’s largest institution for research, services and training in the field of tropical diseases and emerging infections. The present scientific focus is on malaria, haemorrhagic fevers, tuberculosis and tissue nematodes. To study highly pathogenic organisms the institute is equipped with laboratories of the highest biosafety level. It comprises the German National Reference Centre for all tropical pathogens and WHO Collaborating Centre for haemorrhagic fever viruses. Since 1997, together with the Ghanaian Ministry of Health and the University of Kumasi, it also runs a modern research and training centre in the West African rainforest.
Diabetes – The “silent epidemic” marches on
Diabetes – The “silent epidemic” marches on
The media regularly report on life-threatening infectious diseases that spread around the globe like wildfire. Yet there is barely any news to be found about less spectacular diseases such as diabetes, a supposed lifestyle disease, which threatens the lives of many people worldwide. According to the WHO (World Health Organization) more than 220 million people suffer from diabetes. The disease is expected to grow to pandemic proportions over the course of the 21st century: Predictions are that the number of people with diabetes will increase to almost 400 million by the year 2030. Moreover, the concomitant diseases that accompany inadequately treated diabetes should not be underestimated. Currently the majority of all diabetics suffer from long-term consequences. This damage to blood vessels and nerves often ultimately lead to a heart attack or stroke as well as blindness and kidney damage and diabetes food disease that can result in amputation. The extent of concomitant diseases for Type 2 diabetics is known worldwide. Every 10 seconds someone dies of the consequences of diabetes. The WHO recognized the problem and developed special programs for this so-called “silent epidemic.” In 2005 more than one million people worldwide died due to complications from diabetes. According to the WHO’s estimates, the number of fatalities will double by 2030.
“Lifestyle disease” diabetes hits emerging nations and developing countries
Diabetes is incorrectly categorized as a “lifestyle disease.” But according to the WHO some 80% of people with diabetes live in countries with low to middle incomes. The countries with the most diabetes sufferers are India, China and the USA. The illness is also making its mark on the African continent: While 7 million diabetics were documented there in 2000, this figure is estimated to increase to over 18 million by 2030.
IMIDIA – A joint battle against diabetes
In view of the disease’s prevalence, the “Innovative Medicines Initiative for Diabetes” (IMIDIA) was established, organised by sanofi-aventis, Servier and the University of Lausanne, whose goal is to fight diabetes. Leading European experts at academic institutes, biotechnical companies and the pharmaceutical industry have jointly set up the IMIDIA project. The project is supported by the “Innovative Medicines Initiative” (IMI), a unique “public private partnership” between the pharmaceutical industry and the European Union. The focus of the initiative among other things is on researching the function and preservation of pancreatic ß-cells. Experts in the field of pancreatic ß-cell research have set as their goal the development of research approaches and the identification of diagnostic biomarkers for treatment monitoring in Diabetes. Their ultimate objective is to find ß-cell-focused drugs with which to achieve improved disease management or even a cure for diabetes, because despite the possibility of good management of diabetes symptoms, a cure has not yet been found.
Close cooperation between the various institutions with almost 100 researchers working on finding new approaches in six different scientific work groups harbours a great deal of potential for successfully fighting diabetes.
Were will we be in 40 years?
The main challenges of future healthcare systems are the integration of advances in medical technology for prevention and early diagnosis of disease, streamlining patient services, and optimizing costs and reimbursement structures. In January 2010, Professor Detlev Ganten, MD, PhD, President of the World Health Summit, and Professor Erich Reinhardt, PhD, former CEO and President of Siemens Healthcare and current consultant to Siemens, came together to talk about their visions of treatment, patient management, and general prospects in future healthcare systems.
Professor Detlev Ganten, MD, PhD, President of the World Health Summit
Healthcare in 2050
Reinhardt sees the main advances in medicine by 2050 in the better understanding of diseases and their early detection with the help of innovative technologies based on blood tests or imaging. Also, there will be a trend toward so-called “personalized medicine,” which is based on the individual patient and the corresponding unique treatment measures. He sees the greatest challenge facing healthcare by 2050 as being the expensive long-term treatment of chronic diseases.
Professor Erich Reinhardt, PhD, former CEO and President of Siemens Healthcare
Here, Ganten emphasizes another type of personalized medicine: personal responsibility for health. “Personal responsibility has to come into play: A healthcare system cannot be expected to continue treating a person for up to 40 years for diseases of civilization such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, or chronic liver disease.” According to Ganten, management of disease will be improved and patient data, including the complete genome, proteome, and metabolome, will be entered into a computer and attached physically to each patient. Reinhardt adds that physicians will also have access to ”relevant information about similar cases that have been treated worldwide,” which will “enable them to be more productive, more efficient, and more effective, and it will allow them to spend more time with patients.” He sees the organization of data to be conducted by “business models for distribution and application of the data,” whereas Ganten calls for an “organization to make the database compatible between insurance systems, academic health centers, clinical companies, and research organizations.”
Optimism or pessimism about the state of healthcare in 2050
The two longstanding representatives from the medical industry and research agree that the future is uncertain. Reinhardt states that being prepared and developing scenarios for possible outcomes to be able to respond quickly to changes and to integrate them into healthcare creates opportunities for the future. “Many people say that it is pessimistic to believe that the future is uncertain, but the optimistic view is that we have responsibility for the future, and if you have a personal idea of how the future should be, then you have a responsibility to work for it,” adds Ganten.
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