The Conference Challenges to Modern Medicine was organized by the Armenise Harvard Foundation on November 9th 2015 at the Senate of Rome. This one-day event revolved around four thematic roundtables, each gathering researchers working in different fields of biomedical sciences.

The speakers have diverse backgrounds, from biology to chemistry, and neuroscience to immunology: all of them created their own laboratories in Italy after a period of research abroad, thanks to the Giovanni Armenise Harvard Foundation Career Development Award (CDA) program.

The CDA grant recipients gathered to discuss some of the main challenges of modern medicine, giving transversal talks in order to allow a truly interdisciplinary dialogue.

After the opening remarks of Lisa Mayer and Marino Zerial, four roundtables were convened, all introduced by a well-known scientist who posed some open questions to the speakers, playing the role of the “challenger”.

The challenges covered during the roundtables were:

  • Stem cells and regenerative medicine
  • The dream of personalized medicine
  • The nervous system, the next frontier
  • The war on cancer

Then the roundtable participants explained how their basic research, even though it may seem distant from that particular problem, could actually be the key to solve that and other similar challenges.