TEDMED Blog

Adding sensation to prosthetics: Q&A with Sophie de Oliveira Barata

At TEDMED 2014, Sophie de Oliveira Barata, founder of The Alternative Limb Project, gave us a glimpse into her wildly creative process of designing imaginative, personalized prosthetics. We reached out to learn more about her story and what lies ahead.

Sophie de Oliveira Barata at TEDMED 2014

“So this is a form of expression, an empowerment, a celebration. It’s their choice of how to complete their body — whether that means having a realistic match or something from an unexplored imagination.” – Sophie on the TEDMED 2014 stage.

You’re working on a documentary – “The Alternative Limb Project” – about your work with a young soldier amputee. Can you tell us a little more?

It will be an intimate portrait documentary, following the lives of three inspirational amputees on their journeys to creating unique prosthetic limbs that embody their interests, imaginations and personalities. It tells the story from inception to end – beginning with the design, the construction, and continuing to the completion of the limbs, and beyond.

The documentary asks if the new, alternative limb has had any positive impact on the amputees’ perceptions of their bodies. It explores ideas surrounding the connection between the human body and mind, investigating how the imagination can translate into a physical object and create a tangible realization of one’s personality.

We conduct a series of experiments with the amputees, testing our hypothesis that they form a stronger sense of “ownership” with the alternative limbs than they experience with their standard prostheses.  The aim of the experiments is to assess the significance of “The Alternative Limb Project’ as a therapeutic service for amputees by focusing on and comparing the sense of “ownership” experienced by the participants, both before and after their limb is made.

Tell us – if you were to lose a limb, how would your surreal prosthesis look?

I would want it to be classic, humorous and versatile.  If it were an arm, it would be an arm shape to mirror my other side.  It would be decorated in etched leather, with intricate metal-work housing various compartments.  One would be a long compartment for useful interchangeable devices, like a smart-phone, projector or sewing kit. If it were a leg, it would be made up of interchangeable panels with gaps on either side so daylight could shine through the leg. It would also have a little brass cuckoo bird that pops out on the hour.

You’ve shared that one of your goals is to break down social barriers and change the dialogue surrounding prostheses.  Are you involved in any kind of educational outreach with schools or universities?

I have visited a few schools to discuss prostheses.  When I asked the children to draw their “ultimate” alternative limb, the results were fascinating, from sweet (candy) dispenser legs to arms that house pet stick insects. One little boy just drew a realistic arm and said, “I would want this again.”  Hearing that, I was filled with admiration for his independent thinking. The children, as you would expect, were curious and interested.  Once, following a talk, the head teacher announced that an old student would be returning to show his new electronic hand the following week.  His final words were, “Remember, don’t point and stare – that would be rude.”  Considering that we had just spent time talking about breaking down barriers and reducing stigma, I was quite surprised at what he said.

What’s next for you?
To create more exciting and challenging projects, and to continue inspiring a positive dialogue about the body.

Reframing the Causes and Solutions to Obesity

Alongside smoking and alcohol use, obesity is not only a leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States – it also puts a heavy financial burden on the country’s healthcare system. Despite commonly held assumptions that obesity is the direct result of inactivity, laziness, or poor food choices, there is no simple solution to this complex public health threat. This November, four speakers will share their insights into the root causes of obesity, the surprising ways it can impact health, and steps we can take to combat it.

TEDMED 2015 Breaking Through, Food FixSugar scientist Laura Schmidt says that for many Americans, eating less sugar isn’t a realistic option because – slyly operating under 60 different “aliases,” it is hidden in 74% of processed foods and drinks. This leaves the average American unaware of eating three times more sugar each day than is considered safe. “Sugar isn’t just making us fat. It’s making us sick,” Laura contends.


Louise Greenspan TEDMED 2015 Breaking ThroughPediatric endocrinologist Louise Greenspan has done extensive research into what she calls “the new puberty” – the modern phenomenon of early puberty, an increasingly prevalent trend doctors are seeing in young girls. What is the underlying cause? Louise shares that, “unfortunately, few people in the general public are receiving the right information or targeting the real culprit: obesity.” According to Louise, scientific data clearly shows that girls who are overweight often experience early puberty – a fact that is not well known, even amongst health care professionals.


What are some solutions?

TEDMED 2015 Breaking Through, Food FixChef Bryant Terry is a proponent of returning to our roots and “putting the culture back into agriculture.” A food activist, Bryant is passionate about looking at the real root of the obesity health crisis – lack of accessibility to healthful foods. Bryant attributes obesity to “the industrialized food system over the past 50-60 years that has made it easier for people to eat cheap meat, to over-consume fast food, and processed food and sugary beverages.” Also, he shares that “there are people who have lots of disposable income and who grew up with these traditions, who know what farm-fresh food is, but think that – if you have money and are modern – you shop in the supermarket. Growing food? They’ll say, ‘That’s what country folk do.’”


 

TEDMED 2015 Breaking Through, Mind MattersMerely telling people to exercise more and pay closer attention to food labels won’t go far in solving the obesity epidemic, says Judson Brewer; in fact, this approach can backfire. Judson will share his breakthrough research on how mindfulness can quell cravings. He’ll explain how it’s being used as a novel treatment for addictions, including eating disorders.

The Sound of Health: Q&A with Julian Treasure

In his TEDMED 2014 talk, Julian Treasure discussed the importance of designing health care facilities with acoustic healing in mind. Now he’s shared a bit more about his talk, his time at TEDMED and his vision for the future.

Julian Treasure at TEDMED 2014

“We’re designing environments that make us crazy. It’s not just our quality of life that suffers. It’s our health, social behavior, and productivity as well.” Julian Treasure at TEDMED 2014

What motivated you to speak at TEDMED?

The scandal of noise in hospitals is unacceptable, affects millions – and is virtually unacknowledged by the profession. This must change!

Why does this talk matter now? What impact do you hope the talk will have?

I sincerely hope healthcare facilities take my three simple steps for good sound onboard because I am convinced they will transform outcomes almost immediately.

What kind of meaningful or surprising connections did you make at TEDMED?

Meeting Bob Carey and his tutu… wonderful. And with a young baby we are passionate about breastfeeding, hearing E. Bimla Schwarz give the evidence for the benefits of this wonderful process.

How can we learn more about your work?

My fifth TED talk, How To Speak So That People Want To Listen, was released roughly a year ago and is now in the top 30 TED talks of all time. I have resources free and also links to my courses on conscious listening and powerful speaking on my website.

What is the legacy you want to leave?

Healthy sound in every building we occupy – and a world that sounds beautiful.

Magic Medicine? The wonders of nanomedicine

by Daniel Kohane

The content, views and opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by TEDMED. By inviting guest bloggers, TEDMED hopes to share a variety of perspectives that provoke and engage our community in discussion and debate.

Imagine being able to treat your medical condition immediately when you need to, safely, and without input from anybody else. No waiting to see your doctor, no wondering whether that extra dose of medicine will be too much.

Sound like magic? Well, that is exactly what many of us scientists in nanomedicine believe is right around the corner. And we are proposing the use of a “wand” to make it happen.

“Sometimes you can achieve big things by thinking very small.” Daniel Kohane at TEDMED 2014

“Sometimes you can achieve big things by thinking very small.” Daniel Kohane at TEDMED 2014

Here’s how it would work in a patient with chronic pain. Such a patient would likely have pain that would wax and wane throughout the course of the day and during the night. His/her need for relief would also fluctuate, depending on activity and effort level. Currently, oral pain pills would generally be used to treat the condition, which would take effect sooner or later, and might or might not make the patient adequately comfortable. In some cases, the medicines could make the patient too comfortable, or effectively stoned. The wand could make all of this so much better.

The wand would actually be a laser, or another powerful light source. The patient would place the laser over the painful area and press a button, firing near-infrared light into the affected tissue, where the patient’s physician had injected or implanted a reservoir of drugs. That reservoir would have been built with light-sensitive nanostructures (like those in my TEDMED talk) so that it would respond to a specific light fired by the laser by releasing those drugs. So, using the wand would cause pain medications to be released at the site where the pain is – and only there; no getting stoned with this treatment. And by varying the intensity and duration of the light beam, the patient would be able to determine exactly how much pain relief is delivered, and for how long.

This approach need not be limited to pain; it could be used for a wide range of diseases, in many parts of the body. And the wand need not use light. Scientists have shown that similar effects can be achieved with oscillating magnetic fields, ultrasound, electricity, and many other energy sources. In fact, people are now looking at drug-releasing devices that would not even require the wand component – there would be indwelling sensors on the device that could sense when a drug needed to be released. Alternatively, the devices could have computerized programming that would enable complex patterns of drug release suitable for a particular disease. That process would remove the burden from the patient of having to self-administer injectable drugs several times a day.

As nanoscience gets increasingly sophisticated, it opens up possibilities for medicines that are specific, targeted, with fewer side effects, and easier to deploy. While the potential is not truly magical, they are certainly parts of this field that previous generations of physicians, scientists, and patients would have thought impossible.

At TEDMED 2014, Daniel Kohane, Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and a Senior Associate in Pediatric Critical Care at Boston Children’s Hospital, revealed some of the amazing work he’s doing with nanoparticle technology to transform the power, safety, and specificity of drugs. 

Building Health: Q&A with Robin Guenther

In her TEDMED 2014 talk, expert in sustainable healthcare design and long-time advocate for healthier healing environments Robin Guenther explored the unusual connections between health and environmental design.  We asked her a few questions to learn more.

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What motivated you to speak at TEDMED?

For the past couple of decades, I have been developing a body of thinking – I’ve spoken and written a lot for healthcare audiences.  I wanted the chance to “step outside,” focus my ideas, and make a direct appeal for accelerating the transformation of healthcare practice and built environments.

Why does your talk matter now? What impact do you hope it will have?

For me, the immediacy of climate change threats, the persuasive science of toxic chemicals and health, and the rise of interest in healthier workplaces are all coming together to drive a fundamental transformation of healthcare delivery.  I want everyone in healthcare to understand that their practices do have consequences, but they have the power to drive practices that prioritize health and “heal” both people and ecosystems. At 20% of the GDP, healthcare has both enormous upstream leverage and downstream influence to create a tipping point for prioritizing health.

What is the legacy you want to leave?

I want to be remembered as being fearless about self-reflection.  It’s difficult to face the fact that healthcare is an industrial system that creates waste, dismal work environments and a load of externalized harm, but it is, nonetheless, true. I believe that only by seeing the system clearly, connecting healthcare practices with their environmental and health consequences, can we transform both healthcare and larger societal practices. I want people to believe that I played even just a minor supporting role in building a world where “health is the aim.”

Is there anything you wish you could have included in your talk?

The quest for “building health” is a global one. I wish I could have shown some examples of amazing work that is taking place globally, transforming systems of care and the buildings that support care delivery.  Of note is the Sambhavna Clinic, in Bhopal, India, that cares for multiple generations of Bhopal chemical disaster survivors and grows medicinal herbs and foods on site.  Another example is the amazing work of the UK National Health Service in transforming care delivery to focus on integrated health in communities.

What action items would you recommend to your viewers?

Join the Healthier Hospitals Initiative or Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network.  Select a practice that your organization or place of work engages in,  and research its environmental and health costs.  Does it have externalized negative impacts? If so, change it in order to move beyond those impacts, and share your story!

A Lesson With NextGenU: Q&A with Erica Frank

At TEDMED 2014, founder of NextGenU Erica Frank shared her revolutionary prescription for ending the global shortage of physicians. We reached out to Erica to learn more about her ideas and aspirations.

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Why does your talk matter today? What impact do you hope it will have?

We are poised for huge scaleup, with NextGenU.org being in essence the first and still only free university.  We are at a point where we have users in 128 countries. Our collaborators include government agencies from the US to Sudan, and our funders span from Grand Challenges and WHO to the Macy Foundation and NATO. We just received a $16 million endowment from the Annenberg Physician Training Program in Addiction Medicine, and we are here to stay.  But, we want more people taking advantage of our trainings, and we hope that this talk will help with that – more health scientists and providers in training and practice coming to the site, and getting credit for free.

Is there anything you wish you had included in your talk?

In 2014, we focused on Graduate Medical Education.  We began our first residency program, Family Medicine, now with the first 200 of the 60,000 residents we have agreed to co-train in the next decade with the Sudanese government and the University of Gezira. Our next two residencies will be in Preventive Medicine and Occupational/Environmental Medicine; we plan to pilot these at Pacific NW University (in Washington state), Stanford (California), U of the Incarnate Word (Texas), and USFQ (Quito, Ecuador).  We are developing these with the American College of Preventive Medicine, Association of Prevention Teaching and Research, European Society of Lifestyle Medicine, Harvard Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, MedVid.io and others to create the first globally-available residencies.

The educational system will span from expert-created competencies, through learning resources and activities, multiple choice and mentor, peer, and self assessments, to recommending Continuing Medical Education based on trainees’ patients’ outcomes, observed through electronic medical records.  It will be unprecedented in the scope of the span throughout a practitioner’s career, and with a community of practice of trainees who have learned to interact globally and meaningfully.

What action items do you want your viewers to take?

Come take a course and get credit for free, or create a globally available course with us!

What legacy do you want to leave?

There is now free accredited education available globally – this could solve so very many problems for so many people.

The active ingredients of placebo effects: Q&A with Ted Kaptchuk

Ted Kaptchuk, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, directs the Program in Placebo Studies, Healing and Therapeutic Encounter. In his TEDMED talk, he upended many assumptions about what really works in the therapeutic encounter, and what doesn’t, as revealed in placebo research. We caught up with Ted to learn more.

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What motivated you to speak at TEDMED?

My research has implication for the general public.  I want to disseminate the results of my scientific inquiries and encourage patients and the public to demand that health care acknowledge them and their implications for the therapeutic encounter.

Why does this talk matter now? What impact do you hope the talk will have?

Health care has become increasingly expensive and dehumanized.  Placebo effects are relatively inexpensive and add humanity (engagement, words and honesty) back into the mix.   I hope my talk will educate the public and encourage people to expect and demand a health care that acknowledges the importance of the human element.  I also hope that health care providers– nurses, physicians, allied health care clinicians, complementary medical practitioners, etc– see that their role as more than using effective interventions, but also a participant involved in a process. Placebo effects tell us, especially for chronic diseases, what the health care provider does actually matters. Symptoms are relieved and the course of illness changes…depending on this interaction. In situations where there are already good drugs and treatments, these interventions become more effective. In situations where there are no good treatments available, the health care provider, by their interactions, can make things better. The placebo effect is about releasing and harnessing powers inherent in the clinical encounter in order to expand what healing is about. Placebo effects are always present. The study of placebo effects encourages patients to expect improvement and encourage clinicians to know that they can always make a difference with engagement, words and honesty. These ideas are too important to disregard. The time is now.

What were your top 3 TEDMED 2014 talks?

Betsy Nabel from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital for discussing humility. Carl Hart for being an inspiration about how to face challenges. Emery Brown for expanding what we know about consciousness.

What kind of meaningful or surprising connections did you make at TEDMED?

I had several discussions with speakers and participants that I am pursuing in relationship to collaborations and dissemination of research. I’ve invited several people to speak at Harvard and have been invited to speak at various institutions.

What is the legacy you want to leave?

I hope that others scientists will see the possibility of pursuing careers investigating the context of healing and its neurobiological underpinning. I hope practitioners will get smarter about what is going on in the therapeutic encounter. I hope patients will set a higher bar in what to expect in health care.

Any advice you have for the TEDMED community?

Demand better health care. Don’t tolerate a clinician with whom you don’t feel bonded (unless it is something like he/she is the only surgeon who can do a particular surgery.) A clinician should make you feel good about visiting them. Don’t accept less.

Global surrogacy: When making babies is no fun. Op-ed by Leslie Morgan Steiner

The content, views and opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by TEDMED. By inviting guest bloggers, TEDMED hopes to share a variety of perspectives that provoke and engage our community in discussion and debate.


Leslie Morgan Steiner at TEDMED 2014

Leslie Morgan Steiner at TEDMED 2014: The inconceivable costs of baby-making

As a mother and writer on women’s issues, I believe nothing is more intimate an issue for every woman—actually, every human being—than the desire to have a child.

Now, my children were all conceived and born naturally. They enjoy full robust health. But I discovered that infertility—the myriad variations of disease and biological abnormality that cause specific men and women to be unable to create children together—strikes randomly. Anyone can be infertile. Infertility is surprisingly common; the inability to have children afflicts 10-12% of the human population.

There is no surefire way to prove you are fertile in advance, for example you cannot use a blood test to screen newborns or teenagers for the inability to have children as one might for hemophilia or celiac disease. Part of infertility’s cruelty is the surprise of its assault. You rarely learn you are infertile until you try, and fail, to have a baby.

When I found all of this out, I wondered: what would I have done if I were infertile?

That was when I stumbled upon the seemingly strange new solution of surrogacy—paying another woman to carry a baby for you. Surrogacy has actually always been a solution to the age-old problem of infertility. In fact, surrogacy (via concubine) is mentioned over 20 times in the Old Testament.

Today, the global medical community, funded by generations of desperate infertile women, has figured out exciting—and disturbing—new ways to create babies no matter the obstacles. The medical term is Gestational Surrogacy (GS). A new-and-improved version of an ancient solution to childlessness.

Today, thanks to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other advances in assisted reproductive technology, babies can be created with sperm from one source, an egg from another, and a uterus from yet another. In England today, women who are carriers of rare mitochondrial disease can actually use their DNA in a healthy donor egg cell to bypass the defective mitochondria, thereby creating an IVF scenario with three biological sources. Surrogates today are not biologically or genetically connected to the babies they gestate. This simplifies many ethical, legal, and parenting issues.

And creates new ones.

Modern surrogacy is transforming humans’ centuries-old definition of motherhood.

Today a newborn can have two mothers or two fathers, or no mother, or no father. A baby can actually have zero legal parents, as in a few isolated cases where a gestational surrogate carried a baby created with donor egg and sperm, and a clinic mix-up blocked authorities from tracking down and proving any legal parent.

Today anyone—a 25-year-old with uterine fibroids, a 40-year-old woman with a cancerous uterus, two married gay men, a nun—can have a baby, their biological baby, via surrogate.

As long as they can afford it, because surrogacy in the U.S. can cost $100,000 or more.

Gestational surrogacy has become better known in recent years due to international celebrities such as musician Elton John, comedian Jimmy Fallon, and actresses Nicole Kidman, Elizabeth Banks and Sarah Jessica Parker who have all had babies via U.S. gestational surrogates.

But the rise of GS is important for normal people too.

Like Gerry and Rhonda Wile, a nurse and firefighter from Arizona, who shared their story with me for my book The Baby Chase.

Gerry and Rhonda met and married in their late 20s. Gerry was already a father, but he’d had a vasectomy, which he didn’t tell Rhonda about for six years (but that’s another story).

As for Rhonda, for her entire life she had an extremely rare, undiagnosed medical condition that allowed her to get pregnant easily—and she did—but the same condition caused her to miscarry 100% of these pregnancies.

Prior to 20th century medical technology, Rhonda would have gotten pregnant and miscarried dozens of times throughout her reproductive years—as often as 3-4 times a year—for decades, without ever understanding what was wrong with her biologically. For too many centuries, infertility was a lifelong, mystifying curse. A perennial loss that often left sufferers, women in particular, feeling rejected by their husbands, families, communities, and even by God.

So what did the Wiles do?

What would you do?

Today there are several options for the world’s infertile. Treatment, adoption, accepting that you will live your life without children. But for the Wiles, there was only one solution. Surrogacy meant the Wiles could create the family they dreamed of using Gerry’s sperm, Rhonda’s eggs (or what turned out to be eggs from a donor), and an unrelated gestational carrier.

Gestational surrogacy is an exciting, awe-inspiring new medical innovation that makes it possible for infertile couples like Gerry and Rhonda, and millions of other people, to have babies and become parents.

Leslie and the Wiles family

Leslie and the Wiles family

Surrogacy today heralds the end of infertility, the death of an affliction that has plagued humans since the beginning of time. However, surrogacy in the United States is financially out of reach to most people. This is why some people, like Gerry and Rhonda Wile, travel to other countries to find affordable, legal surrogates to create their babies.

The final surprise about surrogacy is that it’s personal. It’s human. It’s about you and me and the people we love.

What if you had to travel 8,000 miles to have your baby—and risk not being able to bring her back with you?

Or had to choose between being openly gay and having your own biological offspring?

Or your health insurance said you were too old, or too religious, or not religious enough to qualify for infertility reimbursement?

Or your God said no, you can’t treat your disease…you must live your life without the children you’ve dreamt of having since you were a child yourself.

Imagine the betrayal you would feel if your country, your political leaders, your neighbors, your God, refused you a baby, merely because the treatment for your disease made people uncomfortable.

Would this make you want—or deserve—a baby any less?

In her TEDMED 2014 talk, Leslie Morgan Steiner, journalist and bestselling author, brought the audience along on her journey to learn the truth about a successful gestational surrogacy industry on the far side of the world–and how it could provide a model to help solve several social problems in the US.

 

Wonder what “Breaking Through” looks like? Find out at TEDMED 2015!


With less than six months to go until TEDMED 2015, we’re thrilled to announce the eight sessions that will take center stage this November 18-20 in Palm Springs, California. If you are planning on joining us, secure your spot today!

RegisterButton copyAt TEDMED 2015, we will focus on breaking through the status quo and celebrating the typical, the atypical and the spaces in between as we come together to shape a healthier world.

The mythology of a “breakthrough” tells the story of a lone genius and one magical, “aha” moment. But, let’s not mistake a good story for the truth. In reality, we all have breakthrough potential and the least likely way to unlock that potential is to toil away in social or intellectual solitude. Instead, we break through in new combinations and we collect the building blocks of our future breakthroughs every day, in every new interaction, in every new insight, one improvement at a time.

The year’s program is not about once-in-a-generation breakthroughs or cures. Instead, it’s about the steady, daily process of “breaking through” and driving continuous progress toward a healthier future – “breaking through” our established routines, “breaking through” our usual habits of mind, and “breaking through” our perceived environmental limits.

It has been said that the greatest form of courage is the long-haul, persistent determination to do a little better each day, and that the best way to make quantum leaps is to prepare the ground with steady, ongoing progress.

In this spirit we share the eight sessions that will make up the TEDMED 2015 stage program:


Human Explorations
Delve into intensely human experiences, including sexual myths and realities; the indomitable human spirit; how we identify with our genomic data; emerging technologies that edit our DNA; the tortured psyche; maximizing human potential; and a musical celebration of heart and soul.
Learn more…

Mind Matters
Explore the secrets and wonders of the brain, from the amazing wisdom of the cerebral cortex, to the mind’s invisible wounds and dysfunctions; from the latest neuroscience, to the vast remaining mysteries of our most inscrutable organ.
Learn more…

Catalyzing Great Science
Risk-taking researchers reveal new ways to disrupt the scientific paradigm, break through barriers between academia and industry, link seemingly unrelated fields, and meet demand from patient activists.
Learn more…

Back to Basics
Creating a culture of health often depends on factors that reach far beyond health care. Explore solutions with wise and determined change-makers who stand – and fight – at the front lines of innovation.
Learn more…

Food Fix
Craving a forbidden intellectual sweet, or desiring insights into the impact of food on health? Check out this tempting menu. “Chefs” include a conscientious food capitalist; an urban food anthropologist; a geneticist who is re-engineering meat and dairy; a global food rights activist; and other multi-disciplinary thinkers who are reshaping what and how we eat.
Learn more…

Techno-Utopia
Brimming with shiny techno-optimism, this session features novel ways we are creating technologies with wide applications to health and medicine. Behold a sensor innovator’s quest to make medical care less invasive; a geneticist’s journey to make artificial DNA base pairs replicate in nature; and a daring pursuit to discover new uses for old drugs with machine learning.
Learn more…

Who Cares for Health Care?
Physician, heal thyself … and while you’re at it, how about healing your field? Every cure starts with accurate diagnosis, so this series of cautionary tales reveals surprising perspectives and under-appreciated challenges facing our health care system.
Learn more…

Out There
This session lives “in the wild” and on edges so newly discovered they feel eerily sci-fi. Explore our changing environment and so-called fringe science that is going mainstream. Speakers highlight some exciting, promising and even heart-wrenching ways to engage with the unexpected and seemingly foreign.
Learn more…


Ready to meet the speakers who will be featured in these sessions? With 60+ speakers and performers confirmed and the 2015 program finalized, we’re excited to start sharing our speaker line-up, beginning next week. Then, each week from now through early August we will unveil the speakers – stay tuned!

Special thanks again to both our Editorial Advisory Board and our Research Scholars for sharing their knowledge and experience with the TEDMED team as we designed this year’s program. We could not have created such a powerful program without their contributions!

We hope to see you in Palm Springs in November. If you have any questions, please reach out to Melanie at Admissions@TEDMED.com.

 

2015’s Research Scholars: Another Peek into What Makes a Great TEDMED Talk

Earlier this year, we shared details around some of the critical elements that support TEDMED’s editorial process. Specifically, we shared our core values, code of ethics, speaker selection process and the addition of TEDMED’s inaugural Editorial Advisory Board (EAB). As we explained, our EAB members advise TEDMED on topics, themes and speakers that should be considered when creating our annual stage program.

Now, as we prepare to announce this year’s program and speaker line-up, we want to give you a peek into another significant group that contributes to our editorial process: the TEDMED 2015 Research Scholars.

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When TEDMED curates the talks that are being considered for the stage each year, topics range literally from A (autoimmune disease) to Z (zona pellucida). To assist us with reviewing and researching the deep science behind potential topics, themes and speakers, TEDMED relies on outside feedback from our Research Scholars who are a diverse group of carefully selected experts.

Our Scholars are equipped with the professional training, objective knowledge and institutional credibility required to give TEDMED a wealth of insights, informed perspectives and thoughtful suggestions for further queries and investigation. TEDMED assembles Research Scholars from across the biomedical spectrum: university faculty, post-docs, grad students, public health professionals, entrepreneurs, science journalists and medical students from leading institutions and associations.

It’s no mystery why our Scholars break away from their busy schedules to volunteer their time in support of TEDMED’s mission. Each is a person of extraordinarily generous spirit; and, each is passionate about making a difference in health and medicine. We are proud to count the TEDMED Research Scholars as valued members of the TEDMED community…and we thank them for their outstanding contributions.

Without further ado…we are honored to recognize the Research Scholars for TEDMED 2015. See the full list here.

Stay informed as details around TEDMED 2015 continue to be shared. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and consider registering today for TEDMED 2015 in Palm Springs, November 18-20, at the beautiful historic La Quinta Resort! We’ll begin announcing details of the program next week.