Overcoming Dyslexia, Finding Passion – Piper Otterbein
Piper Otterbein is a senior at Cape Elizabeth High School. Piper was born in New York, but she has lived in Cape Elizabeth for the past eleven years. When Piper was in first grade, she was diagnosed with a learning disability. While Piper struggled throughout elementary school, it was not until 7th grade that this disability was identified as dyslexia. Piper and her family spent a great deal of time and resources trying to fix her dyslexia; during her middle school years, Piper spent countless hours after school in tutoring programs. Although she was determined to be successful in school, work took a long time to complete, and she frequently found herself frustrated and exhausted. When Piper entered high school, she had a revelation; rather than focusing all of her energy on the challenges in her life, she decided to alter her outlook and focus instead on her strengths. While she remained a conscientious student, Piper threw herself into what she loved most: the arts, event organizing, and community involvement. Today, Piper has a strong presence in the CEHS community. She juggles painting, ceramics, and drawing with her involvement in student council, SEED, the planning of the TEDx youth conference at CEHS, and her part-time jobs working in a furniture store and babysitting. All of Piper’s talent and hard work has paid off; next fall, she will be attending the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she will study interior design and accessory design.
Eric Dishman: Health care should be a team sport
When Eric Dishman was in college, doctors told him he had 2 to 3 years to live. That was a long time ago. Now, Dishman puts his experience and his expertise as a medical tech specialist together to suggest a bold idea for reinventing health care — by putting the patient at the center of a treatment team.
Eric Dishman does health care research for Intel — studying how new technology can solve big problems in the system for the sick, the aging and, well, all of us.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?
Eric Dishman is an Intel Fellow and general manager of Intel’s Health Strategy & Solutions Group. He founded the product research and innovation team responsible for driving Intel’s worldwide healthcare research, new product innovation, strategic planning, and health policy and standards activities.
Dishman is recognized globally for driving healthcare reform through home and community-based technologies and services, with a focus on enabling independent living for seniors. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post and Businessweek, and The Wall Street Journal named him one of “12 People Who Are Changing Your Retirement.” He has delivered keynotes on independent living for events such as the annual Consumer Electronics Show, the IAHSA International Conference and the National Governors Association. He has published numerous articles on independent living technologies and co-authored government reports on health information technologies and health reform.
He has co-founded organizations devoted to advancing independent living, including the Technology Research for Independent Living Centre, the Center for Aging Services Technologies, the Everyday Technologies for Alzheimer’s Care program, and the Oregon Center for Aging & Technology.
“‘All of health care is based on one idea from the 1850s,’ says social scientist Eric Dishman, Intel’s director of health innovation. ‘That it has to be delivered in a face-to-face setting.’ His research on aging is behind evolving systems to provide more effective home care. His goal is to enable 50% of care in the U.S. to be delivered in the home by 2020.” Fast Company
Wearable tech to help focus, lose weight
Smartphone-connected bracelets and headbands help you use tech attached to your body to monitor what’s going on inside of it.
Francis Collins: We need better drugs — now
Today we know the molecular cause of 4,000 diseases, but treatments are available for only 250 of them. So what’s taking so long? Geneticist and physician Francis Collins explains why systematic drug discovery is imperative, even for rare and complex diseases, and offers a few solutions — like teaching old drugs new tricks.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?
In 2000 the world saw the first working draft of the human genome, and that’s in no small part thanks to Francis Collins. Under his directorship at the National Human Genome Research Institute, the Human Genome Project was finished, a complete mapping of all 20,500 genes in the human genome, with a high-quality, reference sequence published in April 2003. In 2009 President Obama nominated Collins as the Director of the National Institutes of Health, and later that year he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Collins is also a self-described “serious Christian” and the author of several books on science and faith, including The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.
Ellen Jorgensen: Biohacking — you can do it, too
We have personal computing, why not personal biotech? That’s the question biologist Ellen Jorgensen and her colleagues asked themselves before opening Genspace, a nonprofit DIYbio lab in Brooklyn devoted to citizen science, where amateurs can go and tinker with biotechnology. Far from being a sinister Frankenstein’s lab (as some imagined it), Genspace offers a long list of fun, creative and practical uses for DIYbio.
Ellen Jorgensen is at the leading edge of the do-it-yourself biotechnology movement, which brings scientific exploration and understanding to the masses.
WHY LISTEN TO HER?
After many years of working as a molecular biologist in the biotechnology industry, Ellen Jorgensen needed a change. So, in 2009, bolstered by her belief in public science literacy, education, and outreach, together with TED Fellow Oliver Medvedik, she founded Genspace, the world’s first government-compliant DIY biotech lab.
Despite criticism that some research should be left to the experts, the Brooklyn-based lab continues to thrive. Amateur and professional scientists conduct award-winning research there on projects as diverse as identifying microbes that live in Earth’s atmosphere and (Jorgensen’s own pet project) DNA-barcoding plants from Alaska, to distinguish between species that look alike but may not be closely related evolutionarily.
“Ellen Jorgensen is helping to democratize biology—making it less the purview of academics and Big Pharma and more an enterprise accessible to anyone who wants a hands-on scientific experience.” Discover Magazine, October 2011