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April 13, 2018
A delegation from Sanford Health returns to Rome this month, two years after first presenting at an international conference presented by The Cura Foundation.
Called Unite to Cure, the event brings together leaders in health care, science and research from around the world to detail advances in medicine. It was created in part by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture and two years ago was attended by Pope Francis.
Dr. Robin Smith, president of the foundation, also serves on the Sanford international board.
“It was a huge success last time,” said David Pearce, president of Sanford Research. “We formed a number of collaborations with leaders in different areas, and one thing we really learned is we’re on the right track. We were there deservedly so because we are a leader in so many areas.”
Sanford’s presence at this year’s conference, which runs April 26-28, will include six presentations.
They include an update Sanford’s clinical trials using stems cells in orthopedics.
“People know we are leaders in the stem cell field. By summer, we’ll have four clinical trials in orthopedics. Nobody in the U.S. is doing that right now,” Pearce said. “We are creating more of a regenerative patient portal center.”
Pearce also will speak on partnerships related to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes “about how you can partner with industry to get a clinical trial up and running” and about the importance of genetics in wellness. Everyone at the conference will be given a test developed by Profile to determine how the body metabolizes carbohydrates.
Sanford researcher Jill Weimer, who presented at the conference in 2016, will give an update on her research, which focuses on therapies to treat types of Batten disease.
Pearce and Micah Aberson, chief global brand officer, will give the conference an overview of the Sanford Lorraine Cross Award, a $1 million competitive prize the international board plans to award late this year.
Sanford is using a system of artificial intelligence to identify impactful areas of health care research and individuals who have had the most impact in those areas so they can be considered for the prize.
“It’s who actually developed an idea, took that idea, ran with it and turned it into something significant,” Pearce said. “We’ll have a good, spirited debate about how much impact it had in the field, but it’s a very unbiased approach to the point that I think we should write it up in a scientific journal.”
Finally, Sanford CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft will speak about the future of health care from his perspective.
“A conference like this is not as academic (as others). At most, you tend to hold back a bit, but at this meeting people say, ‘This is everything we’ve got. This is where we’re at.’ So we’re really on the leading edge of research, and it’s not just about research. It’s about treatments and cures and the logistics of how you advance things,” Pearce said.
A delegation from Sanford Health returns to Rome this month, two years after first presenting at the international conference presented by The Cura Foundation.