PatientsLikeMe Co-Founder Jamie Heywood to Kick Off Conference
Jamie Heywood, patient engagement and research pioneer, will deliver the keynote address at the DIA 2014 50th Annual Meeting, to be held June 15–19 at the San Diego Convention Center. Heywood is co-founder of PatientsLikeMe, a groundbreaking online platform where hundreds of thousands of patients connect with one another to track their experiences with diseases, share details of their medical records and provide vital data the medical community can use.
Heywood’s work on behalf of patients worldwide, driven by his brother Stephen’s diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 1998, has been critical to therapeutic innovation. The keynote address for the DIA 2014 50th Annual Meeting, “Celebrate the Past—Invent the Future,” will be delivered on Monday, June 16, at 2:30 p.m.
“Mr. Heywood is a champion of putting the patients first to advance the way we think about treating disease, which is a mission of DIA as we work to strengthen the role of the patient in the development of much-needed treatments,” said Barbara Lopez Kunz, DIA’s global chief executive. “He’s an esteemed, inspirational and talented force for the patient and medical community and we are honored to welcome him to our milestone conference.”
After his brother’s diagnosis, Heywood, an engineer trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, launched the ALS Therapy Development Institute
(ALS TDI) to spearhead research to develop effective therapies that slow and stop ALS. People with the disease have a life expectancy of two to five years from the time of diagnosis, so the work ALS TDI performs is vital: The nonprofit biotechnology company has been acclaimed as one of the most promising and innovative research organizations, screening more potential drugs for ALS than any other research lab in the world. ALS TDI is also the first organization to run an open research program, posting the results of studies in real time.
Heywood’s story of working to find treatment for his brother’s disease was chronicled in the book “His Brother’s Keeper,” and the award-winning documentary “So Much So Fast. ”
to learn more about the DIA 2014 50th Annual Meeting.
Contact: Tiffany Cohen
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