Traveling into the unknown: challenges and opportunities for 21st Century Translational Medicine

Speaker
  • Professor of Immunology and Pediatrics, UMC Utrecht
    Biography
      Berent Prakken is a professor of immunology and pediatrics at the Utrecht Medical Center Utrecht as well as chair of Research and Education of the Wilhelmina Children's Hospital. He heads a translational research lab that focuses on regulation of inflammation and biomarker development in human inflammatory diseases. Prakken published over 170 articles (H index 37) in international journals, including Nature Medicine, Lancet, PNAS, J Exp Med, Immunity, JCI and various Nature Review journals. He and his group received numerous prestigious national and international awards and grants. The Prakken lab hosted a core facility for the Immune Tolerance Network of the NIH, and is an international expertise center for biomarkers and the Luminex technology. Prakken serves as an editor and associate editor of several journals and is a regular reviewer for most major journals in his field. Berent Prakken's personal commitment is to collaboration, societal relevance and training & education. Unconventional thinking and crossing traditional boundaries inspired him and his co-founders to set up the Eureka Institute for Translational Medicine.

    Abstract

    Translational medicine has been fairly unsuccessful in translating innovation from the lab towards the clinics and back again. Many reasons account for the failure leading to a massive waste in life science research and the steep rise in costs of drug development and a failing pipeline from academia towards industry. The development of biomarkers suffers from similar problems. Despite all high hopes of advances such gene sequencing and multiplex technologies, translation from ‘big data’ into tangible therapies has been fairly unsuccessful with a few notable exceptions. Therefore, in order to truly advance translational medicine we need to examine carefully the root causes of the current problems and set out a completely new course, based on a paradigm shift in thinking about the way we collaborate and perform translational medicine.


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