I had the pleasure of attending the two day GoldLab Symposium 2015 in Boulder, CO. The annual event seeks to bring together critical thinkers in bioscience, medicine, public policy, and the humanities to discuss complexities and barriers for improving health care. Its mission is to build an informed community of scientists, public influencers, and other stakeholders to bring light to the nation’s healthcare crisis and provide exciting concepts as potential solutions.
The symposium is the brain child of Larry Gold, Professor at The University of Colorado Boulder and a serial entrepreneur. His latest commercial successes are as Founder/Chairman of the Board of Somalogic. For this year’s symposium, titled the “The Tug of War for Better Healthcare”, Larry and his team created a two day conference with a dazzling array of bioscience & healthcare topics, excellent presenters including a knight (Sir Marc Feldmann), and a Nobel Prize winner (Tom Cech). They interspersed the serious discussions with musical comedy by two MDs about healthcare in America called Damaged Care (Barry Levy and Greg LaGana). The agenda included talks on Cancer & Health, Big Data & Big Problems, Rare Diseases, Reductions, Death and Wellness. Some of these talks were deep biology dives, filled with hard-core science, like Anna Marie Pyle’s intriguing presentation on Pattern Recognition Receptors (PRRs) as an infectious disease defense mechanism, while others were tailored more towards the layperson, such as Harriet Warshaw’s presentation on how to have that end of life planning discussions with loved ones. You can view videos from the meeting on the site.
We all recognize the importance of “open access”, the concept of sharing ideas and research in a way that is unencumbered by royalties and paid subscriptions. Likewise, many of us are busy connecting with either social media, e-mail, or tweets, but Larry Gold seems to have accomplished something more. He has a keen recognition and focus on some of the most important topics in bioscience and healthcare and is able to bring luminaries together in an open and engaging format that encourages active debate. And lastly, he enthusiastically and unreservedly invites others to join this community and share ideas. What an absolute delight to spend two days in Larry Gold’s orbit.
Don’t forget to save the date for next year…
The 7th Annual GoldLab Symposium is planned for May 20-21, 2016 in Boulder, Colorado.