Aspen Ideas: Health 2021 - Day 2

4 Speakers

Plenary 2: Full Program

This Aspen Ideas: Health session features experts discussing CRISPR and the genetic engineering revolution, a tour of the Smithsonian’s collection to document COVID-19, and a conversation with US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, among many other powerful and inspiring discussions.

A Conversation with the New Secretary of Health and Human Services

Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services and the first Latino to hold the office, talks with PBS NewsHour’s Amna Nawaz about what the agency is doing to address long standing inequities in the healthcare system four months into the new administration. They discuss how HHS is tackling issues like COVID-19 vaccine access, improving access to affordable health coverage, protecting the safety and wellbeing of unaccompanied children and the border, and much more.

Breaking the Code: CRISPR and the Gene Editing Revolution

  • Jennifer Doudna
  • Walter Isaacson

CRISPR, the gene-editing technology, has the potential to transform the future of human health, but it is not without its challenges. While the technology has the ability to change DNA sequences to correct disease-causing mutations, it also comes with significant social and ethical questions. Walter Isaacson, author of the New York Times’ bestselling book, The Code Breaker, talked with Nobel Prize winning biochemist Dr. Jennifer Doudna during Aspen Ideas: Health 2021 about her discovery of CRISPR and how the technology is transforming the biotechnology and biomedicine.

Building a Better Brain at Any Age

  • Sanjay Gupta
  • Maria Shriver
  • Natalie Morales

Can we preserve our brain function as we age? How do diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia impact women differently than men? Dr. Sanjay Gupta, author of Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age, and Maria Shriver, founder of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, discuss our evolving understanding of the brain and aging with NBC’s Natalie Morales. In this conversation, the panelists cover how to identify signs and symptoms of brain disease, lifestyle changes that can improve brain function, and the impact on caregivers who are supporting those with dementia.

Deep Dive: From mRNA Science to Virus Vectors: It's Prime Time for Vaccine Technology

  • Adolfo García-Sastre
  • Özlem Türeci
  • John Torres

Promising advancements in the science of vaccinology have been fast-tracked by the extraordinary success of the record-breaking COVID-19 vaccine development process. From targeted mRNA cancer vaccines to a universal influenza vaccine, the potential to transform disease prevention and treatment efforts now reaches well beyond stopping the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Explore these possibilities and more with a panel of experts as they explain the new vaccine technologies and the promises they hold.

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