is a local San Antonio non-profit organization built around our growing biotechnology, medical, and military community. They host monthly events to encourage networking among the community and serve as a platform for innovation.
Every year, The Health Cell turns it up a notch with their annual dinner event – State of the Industry. The dinner is a wonderful evening to hear from and meet leaders in the biomedical industry. The dinner celebrates the advancements made by San Antonio researchers, doctors and entrepreneurs.
The evening begins with a networking and cocktail hour, a relaxed setting to mingle with biomedical professionals. The cocktail hour leads into the dinner, which is reminiscent of the famed TED talks. Throughout the dinner you are presented with five stories on the trials, tribulations and success of improving health outcomes. Each of the presenters has a deep passion for the people they help.
Maria Zannes, J.D., CEO and president of bioAffinity Technologies began the evening with a compelling story of her family’s history with cancer, the brave battle her brother fought and the cutting edge early cancer detection technology being developed at bioAffinity Technologies.
An equally heartwarming story of a woman’s battle with endometrial cancer and a new life saving treatment was given by Dr. Drew Rasco, M.D., Associate Director of Clinical Research with The START Center for Cancer Care. Dr. Rasco, M.D., explained the lack of novel treatments for endometrial cancer and the new hope that PD1/PDL1 inhibiting drugs provide.
UT Health San Antonio and Texas Biomedical Research Institute’s own Dr. Marcel Daadi, Ph.D., and Dr. Corinna Ross, Ph.D., spoke about their research. Dr. Daadi presented the promise of neural stem cells to treat Parkinson’s disease and a way to deliver the regenerative cells precisely to the area of the brain in need of restored function. Dr. Ross’s love and respect for the marmosets she works with highlighted the importance of her research on protecting health as you age.
Also from UT Health San Antonio, Leonid Bunegin, BSc, awed the crowd when he placed his ULiSSES device, complete with animal heart, on display. ULiSSES is a compact device for the preservation and transport of transplant organs. He joyfully detailed his misadventures with the device, and the whirlwind of the long journey it took for ULiSSES to become a product.
Lastly, Joseph J. Moffett and Mark Q. Neiderauer, Ph.D. with EO2 Concepts, Inc. discussed the issues they encountered obtaining approval for insurance and Medicare to cover the cost of their wound healing device. The level of healing that direct oxygen therapy can provide is impressive. EO2’s TransCu O2 device overcomes problems with prior wound oxygen delivery and can prevent the need for costly amputations. To conclude the evening was an award presentation to all of the innovators showcased at The Health Cell – State of the Industry.
It was refreshing to hear that the long days in the lab and clinic have a real impact on persons in the community. Typical conferences can be overwhelming with data and lacking in tangible stories. An evening that celebrates the people and passion behind the technology is a great way to remember what brought us to the biomedical industry in the first place.
This article was written by Desirée Denman, a graduate student in the M.S. in Infection and Immunology program at UT Health San Antonio. Photos provided by the Office of Vice President of Research at UT Health San Antonio.