Editorial: Imagine cures for cancer; living 100 years

Imagine global saviors on the brink of curing cancer, on the cusp of integrating technology in ways that seemed, well, unimaginable just few years ago.

Big names with resumes packed full of life-changing accomplishments will gather at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples on Feb. 26 to talk about the future of healthcare, technology, education and affordable housing as part of the 8th Imagine Solutions Conference. For eight hours, guests will learn about cancer breakthroughs and solutions, the longevity of life and if a 100-year life expectancy is approaching, how science and technology continue to integrate and create endless possibilities and how education shapes all that is possible.

We encourage medical professionals and teachers to attend this event and draw on the knowledge of these experts. Yes, it is expensive, at $650 a ticket, but there are scholarships available to help defray some of the costs. Area companies should also consider spending the money and sending employees. Great ideas can come from those who inspire.

There will be presentations from heroes like Jake Wood, co-founder of national organization Team Rubicon, which uses military veterans to tackle disasters around the world, helping victims of earthquakes, storms and other traumatic events. The non-profit group was formed in 2010 after the terrible Haiti earthquake when Wood and the other co-founder, William McNulty, both Marine veterans, led a medical team into Port-au-Prince three days after the quake. Since then, the group has deployed to more than 175 operations around the world.

The Imagine Solutions event is built on taking what to many might be impossible and creating a pathway to global solutions, especially in the fight to find cures for cancer. One of the speakers will be Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade, who is director for the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics at the University of Chicago. She is performing ground-breaking work in determining the causes of breast cancer in women of African descent. According to reports, breast cancer incidence in white and black women has roughly equalized at about 135 cases per 100,000 women. Historically the rate of incidence in black women was lower.

Olopade and other doctors are unraveling the genetic make-up of breast cancer causes, especially in Southwest Nigeria. Her goal is the determine the root causes of the disparities in breast cancer outcomes based on geography and ancestry. She also is working to identify DNA patterns of women from different ethnic groups to help explain genetic changes in breast cancer incidence and outcomes.

Research and fact gathering are crucial in building a pathway to the solutions for many of the speakers at the Imagine Solutions event. Addressing the crowd will be noted researcher David Skorton, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the national research museums of the U.S. The former Cornell University president has led large research initiatives into mental health and has opposed hazing in the Greek system. Another renowned researcher Michael Dimock, president of Pew Research Center, also will speak.

 A look at the speakers:

 

 

David J. Skorton is Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. (Photo: File)

 

David J. Skorton
Secretary, Smithsonian Institution


Skorton, 67, is head of the Smithsonian Institution, the national research museums of the United States, He is 13th Secretary of the institution. A cardiologist, he was president of Cornell University from 2006 to 2015. He also served as president of the University of Iowa. He started his a career as a professor of medicine and engineering.

Skorton has committed his time as an administrator to research integrity, fundraising, and progressive stances on issues affecting his institutions. He helped Cornell raise $4 billion.

Keith Boesky is an expert in virtual reality/augmented reality (Photo: File)

Keith Boesky

Virtual reality/augmented reality

Boesky is an expert on defining the intersection of the content and technology communities, and he has done it for over 20 years. He's worked as an attorney, president and agent, in project management, business development, strategy, corporate development, marketing, investor relations, digital content and distribution, new media, social media, monetization, customer acquisition and licensing.

Boesky has been principal of Boesky & Company since 2004. The company works with game developers and others to cross technological divides and transition to mobile, online and cloud-based technologies. He advises clients on both sides of venture financing, covering mobile games, casual games, online games and more.

 

Matthew plays the piano at the Apollo. (Photo: File)


Matthew Whitaker

Pianist

At 9, Matthew began teaching himself how to play the Hammond B3 organ. Four years later, he became the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond in its 80-plus year history. He was also named a Yamaha Artist at 15, becoming the youngest musician to join the stellar group of jazz pianists. 

Matthew is currently studying classical piano and drums at The Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School of the Lighthouse Guild in NYC. It is the only community music school for the blind and visually impaired in the US. He also attends the Manhattan School of Music’s Precollege Jazz Program.

He’s already toured both here in the U.S. and abroad.

Time for three

String trio

The musical group of Nicolas Kendall (violin), Charles Yang (violin) and Ranaan Meyer (double bass) combine elements of classical, country western, gypsy and jazz.

 

Luke Dormehl is author of "Thinking Machines.” (Photo: File)

Luke Dormehl

Author of "Thinking Machines”

A freelance journalist, author and public speaker, Dormehl writes about technology, particularly emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, VR and 3D printing. He has written four books, including:

"Thinking Machines: The Quest for Artificial Intelligence and Where It's Taking Us Next."

"The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems ... And Create More"

"The Apple Revolution: Steve Jobs, The Counterculture, & How The Crazy Ones Took Over The World"

"A Journey Through Documentary Film".
 

Team Rubicon

Team Rubicon is an American non-government organization (NGO) founded by U.S. Marines William McNulty and Jacob Wood. Its mission is to unite the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.

Team Rubicon formed in January 2010 following the Haiti earthquake, when McNulty and Wood led a medical team into Port-au-Prince three days after the quake.  

Since the Haiti earthquake, Team Rubicon has deployed to Pakistan, Chile, Burma, Sudan, Ecuador, Nepal, Greece, and Turkey. Domestically, Team Rubicon has responded to disasters such as Hurricane Matthew, Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Debby, Hurricane Isaac, Hurricane Sandy and the tornado destruction of Moore, Oklahoma. 

Daniel Franklin is executive editor of The Economist (Photo: File)

 

Daniel Franklin

Executive Editor, The Economist
 
Franklin has been Executive Editor of The Economist since June 2006. Since 2003 he has been Editor of The Economist's annual publication, "The World in...". He joined The Economist in 1983 to write about Soviet and East European affairs. As the newspaper's Europe Editor from 1986 to 1992, he covered the great European upheavals, from the collapse of communism to the signing of the Maastricht treaty.  
 

Laura Galante, appearing at TED, is a cybersecurity expert. (Photo: File)

Laura Galante - cybersecurity expert

Previously as director of Global Intelligence at the cybersecurity company FireEye Inc., her teams investigated network activity and profiled advanced cyber threats. A founding member of the Mandiant (FireEye-acquired) Intelligence, her work has included leading strategic analysis, developing intelligence capabilities and offerings, and directing publications including: "APT28: A Window into Russia’s State Cyber Espionage"; "Red Line Drawn: China Recalculates its Use of Cyber Espionage"; and "Hacking the Street? FIN4 Likely Playing the Market", among others.

 

Arthur Benjamin is a Mathamagician. (Photo: File)

Arthur Benjamin

Mathamagician
 
Benjamin, 56, is known for mathematics wizardry. Since 1989 he has been a professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, where he is the Smallwood Family Professor of Mathematics.

He is known for mental math capabilities and "Mathemagics" performances in front of live audiences. His mathematical abilities have been highlighted in newspaper and magazine articles, at TED Talks and on the Colbert Report. Benjamin regularly performs his Mathemagics program for live audiences at schools, colleges, conferences. 
 

Artist C. Bakshi (Photo: File)

Amar C. Bakshi
Artist

Bakshi is an artist whose work focuses on how to integrate technology into environments and create new forms of digital-physical public spaces that challenge and subvert existing norms. Amar previously worked as a reporter at The Washington Post, an editor at CNN, and as Special Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Amar, a Soros Fellow and Truman Scholar, has an AB from Harvard University, a MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a JD from Yale Law School.

Sydney Morris is co-CEO of Educators 4 Excellence. (Photo: File)

Sydney Morris, Educators 4 Excellence

Morris is the co-founder and co-CEO of Educators 4 Excellence (E4E), a teacher-led organization that seeks to ensure that teachers’ voices are meaningfully included in the policy decisions that impact their classrooms and careers. Launched in 2010, E4E has grown into a national movement of over 16,500 teachers learning about education policy, networking with colleagues and policymakers, and taking action around policies that will lift student achievement and the teaching profession.  
 

Sara DeWitt is vice-president of PBS KIDS Interactive. (Photo: File)

Sara DeWitt

VP, PBS KIDS Interactive

As vice president of PBS KIDS Interactive, DeWitt oversees day-to-day development of PBS’ Internet sites for kids and families, including the Webby-award winning pbskids.org. DeWitt has led aggressive strategies to build connected and immersive experiences on PBS’ children’s Web sites.  

Michael Dimock is president of Pew Research Center. (Photo: File)

Michael Dimock

President of Pew Research Center

Pew is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. Through public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research, the center generates a foundation of facts. It does not take policy positions.

Dimock was tapped to join the center in 2000 by its founding director, the late Andrew Kohut. Dimock became associate director for research in 2004 and director of the center’s political polling unit in 2012. In 2015, Dimock was named president and has since been instrumental in guiding the center’s research and development efforts to strengthen the practice of survey research and test new methods in data collection and analysis.

 

Bradley Myles is executive director and CEO of Polaris. (Photo: File)

Bradley Myles
Executive Director and CEO, Polaris

Myles is CEO of Polaris, a nonprofit that combats human trafficking and modern slavery and restores freedom to survivors. Devoted to this mission since 2002, he has held many roles with Polaris, including deputy director and national program director.  

He also helped launch Polaris’s operation of the National Human Trafficking Hotline, which has identified and responded to more than 34,000 cases of human trafficking nationwide.
 

Elizabeth Hausler is founder and CEO of Build Change. (Photo: File)

Elizabeth Hausler
Founder and CEO, Build Change

Build Change designs disaster-resistant houses in emerging nations and trains homeowners and professionals to build them. Hausler provides technical support to development agencies, performs post-earthquake technical reconnaissance, and contributes to case histories. Previously, Hausler spent five years in the engineering consulting industry for Peterson Consulting in Chicago and Dames & Moore in Denver.   
 

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine. (Photo: File)

 

Derek Thompson

Senior editor, The Atlantic magazine

Thompson is the author of The Atlantic's 2015 cover story “A World Without Work,” about the future of technology and employment. He writes the business column for the magazine and contributes to the website on issues ranging from behavioral psychology to the economics of entertainment.

Thompson is a weekly contributor to “Here and Now,” the national afternoon news show on NPR, and he appears regularly on CBS, the BBC, and MSNBC. 

 

Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade is director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics at the University of Chicago Medicine. (Photo: Photo by Bart Harris)

Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade

Director, Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics

University of Chicago Medicine
 
Olopade, 60, born in Nigeria, is an hematology oncologist, associate dean for Global Health and Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor in Medicine and Human genetics at the University of Chicago. She also serves as director of the University of Chicago Hospital's Cancer Risk Clinic.

She has performed extensive clinical work surrounding the role of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in the incidence of breast cancer in women of African descent. 

Olopade and her team have successfully described the genetic epidemiology of breast cancer in Nigeria and highlighted cancer risk factors particular to African populations.   
 

Dr. Ken Anderson of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. (Photo: File)

Dr. Ken Anderson

Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Anderson is the Kraft Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School as well as Director of the Lebow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics and Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is a Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Research Scientist and American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor.

He is the recipient of many scientific and humanitarian awards.  

 

Dr. Otis Webb Brawley is Chief Medical Officer for the American Cancer Society. (Photo: File)

 

Dr. Otis Webb Brawley

Chief Medical Officer

American Cancer Society

Brawley is an acknowledged global leader in the field of cancer prevention and control. As the chief medical and scientific officer and executive vice president of the American Cancer Society, he is responsible for promoting the goals of cancer prevention, early detection, and quality treatment through cancer research and education. 

Brawley currently serves as professor of hematology, oncology, medicine and epidemiology at Emory University. He is also a medical consultant to CNN.

George C. Prendergast is CEO of the Lankenau Institute. (Photo: File)

George C. Prendergast

CEO Lankenau Institute

He is currently president of the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR); co-leader of the Program in Cancer Cell Biology & Signaling at Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University; and Editor-in-Chief of Cancer Research, the most highly cited journal in the field.

Prendergast’s research has contributed to the discovery and study of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes in cancer, and more recently to understanding the role of the immune system in cancer progression and treatment.  
 

Olivera J. Finn is Founding Chair, Department of Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh. (Photo: File)


Olivera J. Finn

Founding Chair, Department of Immunology

University of Pittsburgh

Finn is University of Pittsburgh Distinguished Professor of Immunology and Surgery and founding chair of the Department of Immunology, the position she held from 2001 to 2013. She has been a leader of the Cancer Immunology Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute since 1991. She gained prominence through her original focus on transplantation biology and later through her basic and applied research focused on the development of cancer vaccines.   

Dr. Philip Pizzo is founder/director of the Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute. (Photo: File)

Dr. Philip Pizzo

Founder/director

Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute

Pizzo is the David and Susan Heckerman Professor and Founding Director of the Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute. Pizzo has devoted much of his career to the diagnosis, management, prevention and treatment of childhood cancers and the infectious complications that occur in children whose immune systems are compromised by cancer and AIDS. 

Pizzo is the author of more than 615 scientific articles and 16 books and monographs.

Stephen Johnston is co-founder, CEO of Aging 2.0. (Photo: File)

Stephen Johnston

Co-founder, CEO of Aging 2.0

Aging 2.0 is a global innovation platform for aging and senior care. He is founder of Fordcastle, an innovation consultancy and a member of the Future Agenda, the world’s largest open foresight initiative. Stephen serves on the board of Music and Memory a New York 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on improving the quality of life for older people, He is co-author of "Growth Champions" (Wiley, 2012), a book about sustainable corporate growth.  

Andrew Scott is author of "100 Year Life." (Photo: File)

Andrew Scott

Author, "100 Year Life"

Scott is Professor of Economics at London Business School and a Fellow of All Souls, Oxford University and the Centre for Economic Policy Research. He has previously held posts at Harvard University, London School of Economics and Oxford University. His research and advisory work focuses on the short and long run forces that affect governments and business.

His research focuses on business cycles, monetary and fiscal policy and longevity. 

 

Dr. Laura Carstensen is founder/director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. (Photo: File)

Dr. Laura L. Carstensen

Founder/director

Stanford Center on Longevity

She is is the founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity and the principal investigator for the Stanford Life-span Development Laboratory. Carstensen is best known in academia for socio-emotional selectivity theory, which has highlighted developmental changes in social preferences, emotional experience and cognitive processing from early adulthood to advanced old age. 

CEO, AARP (Photo: File)

Jo Ann Jenkins

CEO, AARP

She is the first permanent female chief executive in the organization’s history. Before that, she was Chief Operating Officer of AARP from March 1, 2013 to September 1, 2014. Jenkins also was the Chief Operating Officer of the Library of Congress. 
 

Tyler Mathisen is a CNBC co-anchor. (Photo: File)

Tyler Mathisen CNBC - co-anchor

Tyler Mathisen co-anchors CNBC's "Power Lunch," one of the network's longest running program franchises, as well as "Nightly Business Report," an award-winning evening business news program produced by CNBC for U.S. public television.  

Mathisen also was managing editor of "CNBC Business News," responsible for directing the network's daily content and coverage. He had been the co-anchor of CNBC's "Closing Bell."

Sources: Imagine Solutions, Wikipedia, other reports.