Speakers at ICG-13

Speakers at ICG-13

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Biography

After earning a Dipl.Ing. in Physics from the Technical University of Vienna, Dr. Hehenberger moved to Sweden and obtained Ph.D. / Dr.Sc. degrees in Quantum Chemistry from Uppsala University. He also spent two years at the University of Florida, Gainesville, as Visiting Associate Professor.

 

In 1985 he joined IBM in Stockholm where he initiated academic partnerships in computational chemistry and biology, structural engineering, campus networking and high performance computing. Throughout his IBM career which took him to Paris, California (San Jose / Almaden Research), and New York, he has led collaborations with academic and industrial life sciences organizations. The partnerships were based on the joint desire to extend the frontiers of molecular biology, information based medicine, bio-pharmaceutical drug discovery, unstructured data analytics, genomics and nanomedicine. His efforts have been documented in over 40 publications and book chapters. At the end of 2013, Dr. Hehenberger retired from IBM Research and started the HM NanoMed Partnership where he is focused on writing books, co-organizing conferences and pursuing nanomedical and genomic research topics.

 

His first book “Nanomedicine: Science, Business, and Impact”, published in 2015, covers both the underlying science and the steps needed to take a new biomedical breakthrough all the way from concept to patient benefit.


Abstract

What Sapiens can learn from studying other species

This talk will focus on benefits to human health and well-being that can possibly be derived from a deeper understanding of some animals’ evolutionary characteristics. While enjoying a superior brain, humans don't necessarily excel in all other areas of physical ability: When examining how we use our five senses – vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch -  we can easily find animals that outperform us in each category. Although being proud of our athletic abilities - we can run, we can jump, we can swim, we can climb mountains - our best Olympic performances are often lagging behind potential animal competitors! Our resistance to diseases and our ability to recover from injuries are other areas where our performance is not always impressive.

During millions of years, evolution has transformed many species into highly specialized and capable living organisms. As we are trying to overcome our many weaknesses, we should accept with gratitude what evolution can teach us about “best practices”.

We will cover a few animal examples that can be grouped into two categories:

(i) model organisms that have helped us to increase our understanding of genetics, molecular biology, cellular biology, perception, neuroscience, physiology and medicine;

(ii) animal species that can teach us lessons related to our understanding and, our attempts to cure, human disease.

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