who wants to live forever: PRECISÃO

Ana Teresa Freitas, Hedi Peterson, Maria do Carmo Fonseca

There is ever more software designed to make us more active in managing our health and recent studies have shown that knowledge of each person’s genetic make-up increases their commitment to therapies, dietary plans and physical exercise. These technologies help us make more informed decisions and are transforming our health and welfare services. The medicine centred on the individual is the fundamental pillar of the new paradigm for health management in the 21st century. How are artificial intelligence and technologies based on genetic knowledge changing our attitude to medicine? How do they promote amortality (living longer without ageing, reversing the characteristics of red cells to make them younger)?

Discussing this theme are Estonian Hedi Peterson, from the Genoma project, Maria do Carmo Fonseca, a professor at Lisbon University’s Faculty of Medicine and president of the João Lobo Antunes Institute of Molecular Medicine, and Ana Teresa Freitas, a professor at Instituto Superior Técnico and co-founder and CEO of HeartGenetics, Genetics and Biotechnology (digital health and human genetics).

20 MAY 2020
WED 16:00

Main Auditorium
*Entrada gratuita
Duration 2h

*Free entry, subject to availability tickets available on the day from 15:00 at the ticket-office

In English and Portuguese with simultaneous translation into English

Live streaming

Partnership

Fidelidade

PARCERIA

Fidelidade – Companhia de Seguros

PARCERIA CIENTÍFICA

Instituto Superior Técnico da Universidade de Lisboa (IST) e Nova SBE Health Economics and Management KC

CONSULTORES CIENTÍFICOS

Arlindo Oliveira (IST), Joaquim Sampaio Cabral (IST), Pedro Pita Barros (professor catedrático, Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

Presentations and bios Precision

Ana Teresa Freitas, Hedi Paterson, Maria do Carmo Fonseca

20 MAY, 16:00

 

How is the way in which we deal with medicine being transformed by technologies based on genetic knowledge, as well as the various software programmes and applications that also make use of the advances in the areas of artificial intelligence? This discussion will examine recent trends in the area of genetics which show us that it is possible to enjoy access to knowledge about the genetic make-up that each of us has, in order to be able to enter into the era of precision medicine centred on the individual, the fundamental pillar of the paradigm for health management in the twenty-first century. With the participation of Hedi Peterson, from the Genoma Project (Estonia), we will see what practices, as well as what public policies of access to these genetic data, are today being placed at the service of medicine in this area. Maria do Carmo Fonseca, the winner of the Pessoa Prize in 2010, is a Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon and president of the João Lobo Antunes Institute of Molecular Medicine (iMM), who will bring to the discussion the theme of amortality, or, in other words, the possibility of our living longer without aging, reversing the characteristics of old cells, by making them more similar to young cells. Ana Teresa Freitas, a Professor at the Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, in the Department of Computer Science Engineering, will talk to us about Precision Medicine.

 

Ana Teresa Freitas
Health and well-being in the digital era


Software and mobile applications for the health area, designed to encourage people to be more active in managing their health, are profoundly changing the way in which health and welfare services are made available. These technologies enable each individual to take decisions about their own health and well-being. Finally, we are entering the era of precision medicine centred on the individual, a fundamental pillar of the paradigm for health management in the twenty-first century.

Precision medicine makes use of technologies and information from different areas, such as bioinformatics, and the “omics” sciences (genomics, epigenomics, microbiomics, etc...), together with environmental, behavioural and clinical data from biomarkers, medical images and more traditional health records. Recent trends in the area of genetics clearly show that knowledge about each individual’s genetic make-up increases their commitment to therapies, dietary plans and physical exercise, significantly improving their health. Currently the paradigm of precision medicine is being imposed by all those who demand the right to participate actively and responsibly in their healthcare, in order to achieve a healthier longevity.

Ana Teresa Freitas is a Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Since 2013, she has also been the co-founder and CEO of HeartGenetics, Genetics and Biotechnology SA, a company that undertakes activity in the area of digital health and human genetics. The innovative work of HeartGenetics has won several international awards, and the company was a finalist at the World Health Summit 2016, in Berlin. She has a first degree, master’s degree and PhD in Electrotechincal Engineering and Computer Science, from IST. She took her post-doctoral “aggregation” qualification in the area of Computational Biology, into which she has been conducting research since 2000. She has a diploma from the programme of Advanced Management in Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics. In the European context, she was a representative of Portugal and vice-president, in 2017, of ESFRI ELIXIR, an institution that brings together the main computational biology organisations in Europe. Her scientific skills are in the areas of Computational Biology, Human Genetics, Algorithms and Data Analysis, and she is the author of more than 100 publications.

 

Professor Maria do Carmo Fonseca, President of IMM
Will we be able to be amortal?

 

Today, we are already living longer and, in the near and foreseeable future, we can expect our average life expectancy to continue to increase. This reality has led the World Health Organisation to revise the age at which we must consider ourselves to be old. According to the current classification, people remain young until they are 65 years old! At the age of 66, we enter middle age and only after we reach 80 do we become old. It is excellent to be 60 years old and still feel young, but will it be possible for us still to feel young at the age of 80? To designate the idea of living longer without aging, the writer Catherine Mayer coined the word “amortality”. Currently, scientists are already able to reverse the characteristics of old cells in the laboratory, by making them more similar to young cells. All that’s missing is for us to be able to reverse cellular aging in the human body. As a scientist, I believe that this will be possible. All we will have to do is wait some time (perhaps another 50 to 100 years) to attain amortality!

Maria do Carmo Fonseca is a Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon and President of the João Lobo Antunes Institute of Molecular Medicine (iMM). After taking a first degree in Medicine (1983), she took a PhD in Cellular Biology (1988), and is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and the Lisbon Academy of Sciences, as well as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Cell Science and the monthly journal RNA. In 2001, she was made a Commander of the Military Order of Sant'Iago da Espada. Having already been awarded the Gulbenkian Prize for Science (2007) and the Pessoa Prize (2010), she was further distinguished with the Gold Medal of the Ministry of Health (2012), and the Centenary Prize, attributed by the students of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon (2013). She is the author of roughly 150 international publications that have been quoted more than 10 thousand times, and the research undertaken by her team has contributed to a better understanding of how human genes function. By focusing on the molecules of RNA, one of her team’s most recent discoveries has revealed a type of RNA that, when appropriately manipulated, can reverse cellular aging.

 

Hedi Peterson (Estónia)
Living by knowing the odds, is it making life better or worse?


Our genetic makeup is like a lottery ticket bought at a fair where all the tickets win. The only question is who gets what kind of a prize. Some of us get the best genes in order to become fast, have excellent body coordination and become football stars. The other ones become good at questioning everything and might become scientists instead. We also get a different starting position to live a long and healthy life. Although, we do not need to know our exact genetic background to know what are the odds. In many cases, it is enough to know well what has troubled your parents and their parents, your aunts, and uncles.  However, this informaiton is not always available. Moreover, as humans, we are curious and want to learn more about our individual chances of living a long healthy life. This urge also drives scientists to uncover all the potential relationships between genes and diseases, and make them find effective treatments. In this talk, I will share with you the reasons why 20% of Estonian adult population has joined Estonian Genome project and if their hopes for an outcome can and will be matched by the project.


Hedi Peterson is Estonian researcher who’s work is at the intersection of biology and computer science. She is one of the first researchers in Estonia trained in the field of bioinformatics and has more than 17 years of experience in solving biological problems with the help of computers. At the University of Tartu she leads a research group interested in combining data from different omics experiments. They work with Estonian Genome Center data, but also collaborate internationally and make use of data available in public domain. With the help of bioinformatics they aim to identify causal genes for diseases and pinpoint markers that could be used to confirm or rule out diagnosis. Also, as a Deputy Head of Node of ELIXIR Estonia, she oversees the everyday actions of building and maintaining life science infrastructure in Estonia. The software development team led by her provides popular web based bioinformatics tools used by thousands of life scientists across the world.

Who wants to live forever? Longevidade: Regeneração, Precisão, Implicações Sociais

Research in regenerative medicine and genetics, the individualisation of healthcare and the accuracy of diagnoses takes us to the possibility of prolonging our lifetime. What knowledge and techniques are being applied? What transformations do they bring to the way in which we care for and protect our health? What economic and social implications may occur? What are the biological and ethical limits of this search for a perpetual life?

In this lecture cycle, we will be looking for answers to these and other questions and revealing the challenges that we face, in order to welcome the contribution of those people who are living for longer.

15 APR QUA

16:00 REGENERAÇÃO
18:30 O PAPEL DA MEDICINA REGENERATIVA NA LONGEVIDADE with Joaquim Sampaio Cabral

20 MAI QUA

16:00 PRECISÃO
18:30 PREVENÇÃO PRECISA with Jonas Almeida

3 JUN QUA

16:00 IMPLICAÇÕES SOCIAIS
18:30 ENVELHECIMENTO SAUDÁVEL: COMPORTAMENTOS SOCIAIS E AMBIENTAIS with Asghar Zaidi

 

PARTNERSHIP

Fidelidade - Companhia de Seguros
Culturgest

SCIENTIFIC PARTNERSHIP

Instituto Superior Técnico da Universidade de Lisboa (IST) e Nova SBE Health Economics and Management KC

SCIENTIFIC CONSULTANTS

Arlindo Oliveira (IST), Joaquim Sampaio Cabral (IST), Pedro Pita Barros (professor catedrático, Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

Ciclo Fidelidade - Culturgest

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