Members of the Healey Science Advisory Council with Press Ganey Keynote Speaker and Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Members of the Healey Science Advisory Council with Press Ganey Keynote Speaker and Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus

The Healey Science Advisory Council (SAC) assembled on November 18th and 19th in Orlando, Florida to discuss several new science initiatives. This meeting also marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Mass General.  Highlights from the meeting included a robust discussion moderated by Dr. Robert Brown with guest speakers Drs. Jean-Pierre Julien, from Laval Universities Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Saud Sadiq, Director and Chief Research Scientist from Tisch MS Research Center of New York and Laura Paulsen, from EnClear Therapies, who spoke on the role of CSF toxicity in ALS pathophysiology.

The two-day meeting included discussions on ALS scientific advances, including a comprehensive overview of the gene therapy landscape and a review of upcoming ALS clinical trials and promising ALS biomarkers.  The group also discussed ALS therapies and targets under development including work on stathmin supported by the first Healey Scholar awards. The Healey Center SAC recommended supporting additional Healey Scholars next year and will issue a call for global applications shortly.

On day 2 of the Healey Center SAC meeting, Dr. Cudkowicz gave the plenary talk at the Press Ganey Conference on grit and empathy and her thoughts on what makes great teams in health care. With Tom Lee, Chief Medical Officer at Press Ganey they shared ideas and stories that are described in his new book “The Good Doctor.” The group also noted that four of the Healey Science Advisory Council members are in the top 0.1% of all cited researchers worldwide: Drs. Timothy Miller, Robert Brown, Kevin Eggan, PhD and Ammar Al Chalabi.

The Healey Center SAC recommended hosting a symposium next summer to bring together teams working on platform trial and other approaches to accelerate therapy development from different neurological areas to share best practices and learn from each other.

Photo: Members of the Healey Science Advisory Council with Press Ganey Keynote Speaker and Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus