Angie Drakulich, part of our BIO Official Bloggers Program, attended yesterday's Francis Collins speech:
For starters, Collins pointed out that recent scientific advances such as RNAi, small molecule screening, and genomics of pathogens, are allowing researchers and drug developers to fight infectious diseases. As a result, the pharma and healthcare sectors are able to look beyond the Big 3 diseases (HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria) and pay more attention to neglected diseases such as dengue, as well as chronic noncommunicable diseases (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, cancers), which are growing in both developed and developing nations. Another reason that global health advocates are setting higher goals–and achieving more—than they have in the past has a lot to do the enthusiasm and global perspective of the younger generation, noted Collins. “We can tap into that energy,” he said.