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The Vatican And The Cura Foundation Host The Fourth International Conference In An Effort To Unite To Cure
Created by the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Cura Foundation, This Historic 3-Day Event Gathers Global Influencers from Health Care, Medicine, Media, Entertainment, Technology, Government and...
(April 24, 2018)

VATICAN CITY and NEW YORK, April 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture and the Cura Foundation announced the beginning of Unite to Cure: A Global Health Care Initiative, wherein leading journalists will moderate three days of historic discussions at the Aula Nuova del Sinodo in Vatican City (April 26-28).

Cura Foundation logo

The event, the fourth of its kind, seeks to raise global awareness and create a forum for collaboration around the wide array of powerful and promising cell therapies, gene therapies, and immunotherapies emerging from medical institutions around the world, as well as the impact new technology will have on humanity and society. The 2018 event will also examine the role of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and big data in health care delivery, and will discuss how technology can be used to extend health care access to less developed nations and to the underserved. Participants will also explore ways to prevent disease through behavior modifications, vaccinations, mediation and diet.



Highlights of the 2018 event include:

  • The Holy Father, Pope Francis, will meet with attendees in a scheduled private audience and offer an address.
  • Panels moderated by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, MD (CNN); Dr. Mehmet Öz, MD; Meredith Vieira; and Dr. Max Gomez, PhD (CBS New York).
  • Patients who have faced, or are facing, dangerous diseases and debilitating medical conditions will share their stories of hope and be honored as 'Pontifical Heroes.'
  • A Special Guest will participate in a panel with Bob Roth, discussing the impact meditation can have in both adults and children.
  • A World Golf Hall of Fame Member will discuss how stem cells improved his orthopedic ailments, relieving his back and shoulder pain.
  • Life and Business Strategist Tony Robbins will share his views on techniques to empower people and lower stress, as well as the impact people can have on one another by sharing their stories with others.

"This is one of the most powerful and inspirational global events — it's like Davos, but for health care," said Dr. Robin Smith, President of the Cura Foundation. "We are trying to educate the world and foster hope about the myriad life changing therapies and innovations in development that are driving today's health care revolution. Here in this intimate setting, we seek to break down the barriers and promote multidisciplinary collaboration, as well as encourage support and investment in research and innovation. We want influencers to do their part to grow healthy communities through prevention, education and better access to care. One of the hallmarks of the Vatican event is that we foster open, inclusive discussions about the many ethical, cultural and anthropological implications of emerging technologies, such as gene editing and CRISPR, as well as the transformative impact technology can have on many of the incurable and rare diseases affecting children."

The Conference Goals include:

  • Continuing the global Unite to Cure campaign to improve human health and creating a forum for collaboration to advance cures.
  • Uniting people without prejudice to stimulate an open dialogue and bring about an interdisciplinary approach to tackle major health care challenges around the globe.
  • Increasing awareness, educating the public on scientific advancements and inspiring the next generation.
  • Discussing the effect of emerging technologies and their anthropological, ethical, cultural, religious and societal implications.
  • Leading the conversation around personalized medicine, regenerative technologies, CRISPR and other innovations, and discussing their impacts on the environment, human health, culture and society.
  • Translating complex science into accessible language to catalyze the conversation.
  • Reducing the leading causes of cancer in our children, such as smoking, obesity and HPV.
  • Increasing the number of registrants in the Be The Match® bone marrow transplantation program, and improve diversity in registrants to enable more individuals in need to find a match.
  • Inspiring people to help one another and share their stories of hope.

"The human body holds unique capabilities, which must be understood and harnessed with extraordinary care," said His Eminence Cardinal Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture. "We are living in extraordinary times, an era where cures are being developed for many diseases that cause suffering on a global scale. However, as these therapies are being introduced, we must stop and ask the important questions that underlie scientific discovery: 'What will be the societal and culture impact and even the possible anthropologic effects? Where should we draw the line?' This event provides the platform to discuss these questions and more."

Panel discussions at the 2018 event include:

  • "Global Approaches to a World Without Disease," featuring Gina Agiostratidou, PhD, The Helmsley Charitable Trust Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program; Ronald DePinho, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Richard Derman, MD, MPH, Thomas Jefferson University; and Michael Farkouh, MD, University of Toronto.
  • "The Culture of Life and Religious Influence on Health," featuring Reverend Kevin FitzGerald, SJ, PhD, PhD, Georgetown University; Rabbi Edward Reichman, MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University; and Elder Dale Renlund, MD, Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • "The Plant Food Revolution – Good for You and Good for the Environment," featuring Neal Barnard, MD, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences; Francesco Branca, MD, PhD, World Health Organization; Patrick Brown, MD, PhD, Impossible Foods and Stanford University School of Medicine; David Jenkins, DM, DPhil, DSc, University of Toronto; and Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, Harvard Medical School.
  • "Genetic Testing and Wellness," featuring Steve Herrmann, PhD, Sanford Research; and David Pearce, PhD, Sanford Health.
  • "Patient Advocacy and Bone Marrow Donation in the Age of Cell Therapy," featuring C. Randal Mills, PhD, National Bone Marrow Donor Program; and Bernard Siegel, JD, World Stem Cell Summit.
  • "Advancements in Treating Rare Diseases," featuring Sean Nolan, AveXis; Jill Weimer, PhD, Sanford Research; James Wilson, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania; Michael Yeaman, PhD, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; and Frank Sasinowski, MPH, JD, Omega Center and Hyman, Phelps & McNamara.
  • "The Pharmacy of the Future – Cells Not Pills," featuring Eckhard Alt, MD, PhD, Founder, Isar Klinikum; Jason Hurd, MD, Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine; Mark Lundeen, MD, Sanford Health; and a World Golf Hall of Fame Member.
  • "Stem Cells for Autoimmune Disease," featuring Richard Burt, MD, Northwestern University; "Clinical Experience Using Cell Therapy Derived from Placental Cells," featuring Robert Hariri, MD, PhD, Celularity; and "Novel Strategies for Biological Drug Development," with Marc S. Penn, MD, PhD, Black Beret Life Sciences.
  • "Longevity and the Morality of Extreme Life Extension," featuring Francis Collins, MD, PhD, 16th Director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health; Reverend Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, OP, PhD, STD, Providence College; George Church, PhD, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Peter Diamandis, MD, XPRIZE Foundation; Rabbi Edward Reichman, MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University; and Elder Dale Renlund, MD, Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • "The Role of Virtual Reality, Implantable Devices and Emerging Technology in the Management of Disease," featuring Mike Muller, Arm; and David Rhew, MD, Samsung Electronics America; "Population Health Intelligence" with Deborah DiSanzo, IBM Watson Health; David B. Nash, MD, Jefferson College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University; and Glenn Pomerantz, MD, JD, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
  • "Gene Editing and CRISPR," featuring Katrine Bosley, Editas Medicine; George Church, PhD, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Samarth Kulkarni, PhD, PhD, CRISPR Therapeutics; John Leonard, MD, Intellia Therapeutics; and Duanqing Pei, PhD, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
  • "The Promise and Peril of Human Cell and Gene Therapy Research," featuring Francis Collins, MD, PhD, 16th Director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health; and "Impacting Children's Health Through Meditation Globally," featuring Bob Roth, David Lynch Foundation, and Special Guest.
  • "Fake News and the Ethical Responsibilities of Media," featuring Max Gomez, PhD and Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò, Former Prefect and Assessor to Secretariat for Communications, Vatican.
  • "Prizes to Accelerate Innovation and Discovery," featuring Peter Diamandis, MD, XPRIZE Foundation; Micah Aberson, Sanford Health; and David Pearce, PhD, Sanford Health.
  • "10 Health Moonshots: How a Global Army of Health Transformers is Accomplishing One Impossible Dream," featuring Howard Krein, MD, PhD, StartUp Health, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Health Policy and Innovation, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center; and Steven Krein, StartUp Health.

"Through this extraordinary event, and our partnership with the Cura Foundation, we seek to articulate a powerful and important perspective on the future of health care and drug development," said Monsignor Tomasz Trafny, Head of the Science and Faith Department at the Pontifical Council for Culture. "We hope to show the world that faith and science can co-exist and, in fact, feed on each other symbiotically, catalyzing hope, cures and as a mutual commitment to decrease human suffering."

Unite To Cure, The Fourth International Vatican Conference, is a continuation of a nine-year partnership collaboration between the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture, the Cura Foundation, the Stem For Life Foundation and STOQ (Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest).

To learn more about Unite To Cure, The Fourth International Vatican Conference, please visit: http://vaticanconference2018.com/. Follow us on Twitter @CuraFdn and on Facebook at facebook.com/TheCuraFoundation, and join the conversation with #UnitetoCure.

The Pontifical Council for Culture traces its origins to the Second Vatican Council and its opening up to that great, dynamic, worried and multiform world of contemporary culture. In its Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, the Council Fathers expressed the need for the Church to continually place itself before the needs of the cultures of the world. It was a new period of history where a new humanism was arising, and the Church, faithful to its own traditions, was aware of the universality of its mission, entering into communion with the different forms of culture, a communion that would enrich the Church as much as the cultures. The Pontifical Council for Culture is committed to the dialogue with many realities in their relation to culture and faith such Art, Music, Cultural Goods, Cultures in the World, Mysticism, Atheism, Economics, Language & Communication, International Cultural Bodies, Sport and Science. For more information, please visit: http://www.cultura.va

The Science and Faith Foundation (STOQ) is a Foundation under Vatican law promoted by the Pontifical Council for Culture. The identity and mission of the Foundation have their main Magisterial references in the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, in the talks of St John Paul II and Benedict XVI on the relations between science and faith, particularly in the Encyclical Fides et Ratio. The Foundation aims to give continuity to the activities of Project STOQ, which emerged from the collaboration between the Pontifical Council for Culture and Pontifical Roman Universities following the Galileo Commission and the Jubilee of Scientists in the year 2000. Among the aims of the Foundation are research and study of the themes of dialogue between science, philosophy and theology; realization of conferences and other activities of high cultural and scientific value, even at the popular level; publication of works of merit on the main arguments of the science-faith dialogue. For more information, please visit: http://stoqfoundation.org/

The Cura Foundation leads a major global health movement with the passionate purpose to improve human health. Cura unites public and private sectors, partnering with doctors, patients, business leaders, philanthropists and thought leaders to collaborate and create breakthroughs around the world. The foundation drives change by raising awareness of scientific advancements in genomics, emerging technologies and big data to usher in the future of medicine. Cura helps people live longer, better lives free from suffering. The Cura Foundation is a nonsectarian, nonpartisan, public and tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. For more information, please visit: https://thecurafoundation.org/

The Stem For Life Foundation (SFLF) is the educational and advocacy subsidiary of The Cura Foundation and is devoted to fostering global awareness of the potential for regenerative medicine to treat and cure a range of deadly diseases and debilitating medical conditions, as opposed to merely treating their symptoms. The Foundation stands at the forefront of a fundamental shift away from traditional drug treatment in favor of amplifying the body's natural repair mechanisms to vanquish disease. For more information, please visit: http://www.stemforlife.org

 

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