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How Concepts and Innovations are Translated from the Lab into Real-World Clinical Applications

Experts in immunology, infectious diseases, drug and vaccine development, global health, commercialization, and beyond met in Seattle in early April for a symposium focusing on the future of health.

The 18th Annual International Symposium was hosted and coordinated by ISB. The two-day event featured accomplished scientists from industry and academia who discussed how concepts and innovations are translated from the lab into real-world clinical applications.

“A cross-disciplinary systems approach that engages stakeholders across sectors is desperately needed to develop effective therapies, vaccines and diagnostics to improve health care and to save lives,” said Dr. Nitin Baliga, ISB’s senior vice president and director.

The theme of day one was “concept to clinic,” and was broken into two sections — one focusing on immunotherapy, the other on global health. The theme of day two was “clinic to commercialization and global access.”

“It takes a village to take a basic idea and get it out into the world,” said ISB President Dr. Jim Heath. “We’re trying to represent that village here.”

Watch videos of the keynote and session speakers’ presentations below.


Former NIH Deputy Director Dr. Kathy Hudson delivered a keynote address titled “Research Ethics and Policy: Time for Transformation.”

Session 1: Concept to Clinic – Immunotherapy

Dr. Wei Zhang of the Wake Forest School of Medicine delivered a presentation titled” The Era of Precision Medicine: Improved Diagnosis, Treatment and Monitoring.”

UCLA’s Dr. Lili Yang delivered a speech titled “Hematopoietic Stem Cell-Engineered Invariant Natural Killer T Cells for Cancer Immunotherapy.

Dr. Bernard Fox of the Earl A. Chiles Cancer Research Institute presented “Combination Immunotherapy with Vaccines Targeting a New Class of Cancer Antigens, Combined with T Cell Agonists and Checkpoint Blockers.”

Presenters from session 1 participate in a panel discussion moderated by ISB’s Dr. Wei Wei.

Session 2: Concept to Clinic – Global Health

MIT’s Dr. Bryan Bryson delivered a presentation titled “Parametrizing the Host-Pathogen Interface in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, One Cell at a Time.”

ISB Senior Vice President and Director Dr. Nitin Baliga delivered a talk titled “A Multiscale Paradigm Shift for Winning the Arms Race Against TB.”

Dr. Shwetak Patel of the University of Washington presented a talk titled “New Ways of Thinking of the Mobile Phone for Healthcare.”

Dr. David Fleming of PATH delivered a presentation titled “Innovation Through a Health Equity Lens.”

Presenters from session 2 participate in a panel discussion moderated by ISB’s Dr. Sean Gibbons.

Session 3: Clinic to Commercialization and Global Access

Dr. Michael Phelps of the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, delivered a talk titled “Theranostics: Molecular Imaging with PET and Radio-Isotope Ablation of Cancer Cells in Patients Using the Same Small Peptide.”

Dr. David Kaufman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute delivered a presentation titled “Harnessing the Power of Translational Medicine for Global Health Drug and Vaccine Development.”

Dr. David Spetzler of Caris Life Sciences presented a talk titled “Advances in Precision Medicine.”

Dr. Bruce Kerwin of Just Biotherapeutics delivered a presentation titled “Developing Biologics for a Global Population.”

Presenters from session 3 participate in a panel discussion moderated by ISB’s Dr. Sui Huang.

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