Lissa Rankin, MD is an OB/GYN physician, author, keynote speaker, consultant to health care visionaries, professional artist, and founder of the women’s health and wellness community OwningPink.com. Discouraged by the broken, patriarchal health care system, she left her medical practice in 2007 only to realize that you can quit your job, but you can’t quit your calling. This epiphany launched her on a journey of discovery that led her to become a leader in the field of mind/body medicine, which she blogs about at OwningPink.com and is writing about in her third book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013).
She teaches both patients and health care professionals how to make the body ripe for miracles by healing the mind and being healthy in all aspects of life, not just by promoting healthy behaviors like good nutrition, exercise, and adequate sleep, but by encouraging health and authenticity in relationships, work, creative expression, spirituality, sexuality, finances, and living environment. She is leading a revolution to feminize how health care is received and delivered by encouraging collaboration, fostering self-healing, reconnecting health care and spirituality, empowering patients to tap into the mind’s power to heal the body, and encouraging women not to settle for being merely well, but to strive for living vital, joyful, authentic lives full of “mojo.”
When not spreading the word, she chills out, paints, does yoga, and hikes in Marin County, CA with her husband and daughter.
Geraldine Hamilton: Body parts on a chip
It’s relatively easy to imagine a new medicine, a better cure for some disease. The hard part, though, is testing it, and that can delay promising new cures for years. In this well-explained talk, Geraldine Hamilton shows how her lab creates organs and body parts on a chip, simple structures with all the pieces essential to testing new medications — even custom cures for one specific person. (Filmed at TEDxBoston)
Geraldine Hamilton builds organs and body parts on a chip — to test new, custom cures.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HER?
Geraldine Hamilton’s career spans from academic research to biotech start-ups to pharma. Her research focus has been on the development and application of human-relevant in-vitro models for drug discovery. She was one of the founding scientists, VP of Scientific Operations and Director of Cell Products, in a start-up biotech company (CellzDirect), that successfully translated and commercialized technology from academic research to supply the pharmaceutical industry with hepatic cell products and services for safety assessment and drug-metabolism studies.
Hamilton received her Ph.D. in cell biology/toxicology from the University of Hertfordshire (England) in conjunction with GlaxoSmithkline, followed by a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of North Carolina. Her current research interests and prior experience include: organs on-a-chip, toxicology and drug metabolism, liver cell biology, mechanisms regulating gene expression and differentiation, regulation of nuclear receptors and transcriptional activation in hepatocytes by xenobiotics, human cell isolation and cryopreservation techniques.
The future of health is here today: John Lewis, Ph.D.
John Lewis, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Lewis is the principal investigator of several nutrition, dietary supplement, and exercise studies.
H. Rafael Chacón- What My Genes Tell Me
Art Historian H. Rafael Chacón talks about how an academic exercise turned into a personal journey when he had his DNA sequenced by the National Geographic Geno 2.0 project. Rafael is professor of Art History and Criticism in the School of Art at the University of Montana. A specialist on renaissance and baroque art, Rafael teaches a range of topical courses on the history of art and art criticism. His academic interests lie in the ways societies articulate their most profound values through art; in particular he researches, lectures and writes about architectural history and historic preservation.
Sleep deprivation & disparities in health, economic and social wellbeing: Lauren Hale
Is anyone getting enough sleep? What difference does it make? Everyone knows what it feels like when you have a rough night but are there larger implications? Sleep researcher, Dr. Lauren Hale, talks animatedly about the social patterning of sleep and how it contributes to a cycle of inequality in health and well-being. With funding from National Institute for Child Health and Development, National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the National Institute of Aging, she analyzes demographic, behavioral, and neighborhood data from large-scale studies to identify patterns of sleep and wellness in child, adolescent, adult, and aging populations. Dr. Hale suggests that the results raise concerns about public health and social justice; she also presents some initial thoughts on what we, as individuals and a society, might do about it. Dr. Hale has published over 45 published peer-reviewed articles in Sleep, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Journal of Sleep Research, Pediatrics, among numerous other peer-reviewed journals. Dr.Hale is Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University where she is Core Faculty in the Program in Public Health. She received her PhD from Princeton University. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Sleep Foundation.
Margaret Heffernan: The dangers of “willful blindness”
Gayla Benefield was just doing her job — until she uncovered an awful secret about her hometown that meant its mortality rate was 80 times higher than anywhere else in the U.S. But when she tried to tell people about it, she learned an even more shocking truth: People didn’t want to know. In a talk that’s part history lesson, part call-to-action, Margaret Heffernan demonstrates the danger of “willful blindness” and praises ordinary people like Benefield who are willing to speak up. (Filmed at TEDxDanubia.)
The former CEO of five businesses, Margaret Heffernan explores the all-too-human thought patterns — like conflict avoidance and selective blindness — that lead managers and organizations astray.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HER?
How do organizations think? In her book, Willful Blindness, Margaret Heffernan examines why businesses and the people who run them often ignore the obvious — with consequences as dire as the global financial crisis and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Heffernan’s third book, Willful Blindness was shortlisted for the Financial Times/GoldmanSachs Best Business Book award in 2011.
Margaret Heffernan began her career in television production, building a track record at the BBC before going on to run the film and television producer trade association, IPPA. In the United States, Heffernan became a serial entrepreneur and CEO in the wild early days of web business and was named one of the Internet’s Top 100 by Silicon Alley Reporter in 1999.
In addition to writing books, Heffernan blogs for the Huffington Post and BNET.com and is a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Simmons College in Boston and the Executive in Residence at Babson College.
Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend
Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.
Kelly McGonigal translates academic research into practical strategies for health, happiness and personal success.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HER?
Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal is a leader in the growing field of “science-help.” Through books, articles, courses and workshops, McGonigal works to help us understand and implement the latest scientific findings in psychology, neuroscience and medicine.
Straddling the worlds of research and practice, McGonigal holds positions in both the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the School of Medicine. Her most recent book, The Willpower Instinct, explores the latest research on motivation, temptation and procrastination, as well as what it takes to transform habits, persevere at challenges and make a successful change.
She is now researching a new book about the “upside of stress,” which will look at both why stress is good for us, and what makes us good at stress. In her words: “The old understanding of stress as a unhelpful relic of our animal instincts is being replaced by the understanding that stress actually makes us socially smart — it’s what allows us to be fully human.”
Hacking the supply chain: Pete Russell
Pete Russell is a local food advocate, social entrepreneur and founder of Ooooby. After seeing first hand the destructive nature of globalized food and the accelerating demand for local alternatives during his time at a multi-million dollar food business, Pete became committed to working in the local food space. Driven by a passion for developing smart systems for food sales and logistics, Out of our own backyards (Ooooby) is the result of his work — a local food operation delivering to hundreds of Auckland doorsteps each week.
Is Medicine Killing You?: Lissa Rankin, MD
Lissa Rankin, MD is a physician and New York Times bestselling author of “Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself”, and the founder of Dr. Lissa Rankin’s Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers. She was featured on the public television special Heal Yourself: Mind Over Medicine, and will soon appear in a documentary film about her work. Dr. Rankin is on a grassroots mission to heal healthcare by repairing the doctor-patient relationship, while empowering both patients and health care providers to marry the best of Western medicine with mind-body approaches scientifically proven to activate the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms. Join the revolution at HealHealthCareNow.com and follow Dr. Rankin on her blog at LissaRankin.com or on Facebook.
Russell Foster: Why do we sleep?
Russell Foster is a circadian neuroscientist: He studies the sleep cycles of the brain. And he asks: What do we know about sleep? Not a lot, it turns out, for something we do with one-third of our lives. In this talk, Foster shares three popular theories about why we sleep, busts some myths about how much sleep we need at different ages — and hints at some bold new uses of sleep as a predictor of mental health.
Russell Foster studies sleep and its role in our lives, examining how our perception of light influences our sleep-wake rhythms.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?
Much as your ear does double duty (balance plus hearing), Russell Foster posits that the eye has two jobs: creating vision, but also — as a completely separate function — managing our perception of light and dark, providing the clues that our circadian rhythms need to regulate sleep-wake cycles. He and his team at the University of Oxford are exploring a third kind of photoreceptor in the eye: not a rod or a cone but a photosensitive retinal ganglion cell (pRGC) that detects light/dark and feeds that information to the circadian system. As Foster explains: “Embedded within our genes, and almost all life on Earth, are the instructions for a biological clock that marks the passage of approximately 24 hours.” Light and dark help us synchronize this inner clock with the outside world.
The research on light perception hits home as we age — faced with fading vision, we also risk disrupted sleep cycles, which have very serious consequences, including lack of concentration, depression and cognitive decline. The more we learn about how our eyes and bodies create our sleep cycles, the more seriously we can begin to take sleep as a therapy.
Why Does My Brain Sleep?
We spend one third of our lives asleep, yet doctors and scientists still have no complete understanding as to why. It is one of the last great scientific mysteries. This talk will describe new discoveries suggesting that, far from being a time when the brain is dormant, sleep is a highly active process critical for a constellation of different functions. These include the importance of sleep for learning, memory and brain plasticity. Furthermore, a role for sleep in intelligently synthesizing new memories together will be examined, the result of which is next-day creative insights. Finally, a new role for sleep in regulating emotional brain networks will be discussed, optimally preparing us for next day social and psychological challenges.
Matthew Walker earned his PhD in neurophysiology from the Medical Research Council in London, UK, and subsequently became an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School in 2004. He is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of California Berkeley. He is the recipient of funding awards from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. In 2006 he became a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences. His research examines the impact of sleep on human brain function in healthy and disease populations.
Pills that improve morality: Julian Savulescu
Julian Savulescu is an australian philosopher and bioethicist. He is Uehiro Professor of Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford, Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Sir Louis Matheson Distinguished Visiting Professor at Monash University, and Head of the Melbourne–Oxford Stem Cell Collaboration, which is devoted to examining the ethical implications ofcloning and embryonic stem cell research.
In his talk, Julian shows us that technology advanced rapidly but morality did not. Ethics and religions do not have the answers to the questions nowadays, also because the world – thanks to technology – is a completely different one than it was when moral rules were defined and written down. These rules need to be enhanced.
Robert Burton: “A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind”
Despite 2500 years of contemplation by the world’s greatest minds and the more recent phenomenal advances in basic neuroscience, neither neuroscientists nor philosophers have a decent understanding of what the mind is or how it works. Nevertheless, with powerful new tools such as the fMRI scan, neuroscience has become the de facto mode of explanation of behavior.
In A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind, Robert Burton brings together clinical observations, practical thought experiments, personal anecdotes, and cutting-edge neuroscience to decipher what neuroscience can tell us about ourselves– and where it falls woefully short. At the same time, he offers a new vision of how to think about what the mind might be and how it works.
A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind is a critical, startling, and expansive journey into the mysteries of the brain and what makes us human.
As an introduction, you can also catch his discussion of his previous book, On Being Certain, at Authors at Google, June 9, 2008 here.
About the Author: Robert Burton, M.D. graduated from Yale University and University of California at San Francisco medical school, where he also completed his neurology residency. At age 33, he was appointed chief of the Division of Neurology at Mt. Zion-UCSF Hospital, where he subsequently became Associate Chief of the Department of Neurosciences. His non-neurology writing career includes three critically acclaimed novels and On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not. He lives in Sausalito, California.