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Global challenges at SALSS

The Swedish-American Life Science Summit 2015 brought together top names to identify current issues and possible solutions to some of the world’s big health problems.

The annual event, traditionally arranged in a summer Stockholm setting, was as always packed with seminars and discussions on the most burning topics for the healthcare sector and the life science industry. The theme for SALSS 2015 was immunology, cancer breakthrough and infectious disease, with a special focus vaccines and antibiotic resistance.

On the morning of the first day of the conference, following the welcoming reception and dinner the preceding evening, the participants gathered in a spirit of excitement and curious chatting. The summit then started off with welcoming remarks by Ms Aida Hadzialic, Swedish Minister for Upper Secondary Schools, Adult Education and Training, who highlighted the need for investment in education and knowledge to maintain Sweden’s success story of economic growth and continuing competitiveness.

Hans Rosling on current challenges

Then it was time for Dr. Hans Rosling to come along and set the tone for the day. The well-known and popular Professor and lecturer swiftly captured the attention of the whole audience with his entertaining and interesting statistics presentation on the status of the world’s life expectancy, global health changes and current challenges. Following the historic development of infectious diseases, life expectancies and population growth, it was time for a research presentation by several well-known scientists on current issues and possibilities, such as a look at the ongoing problem of antibiotic resistance, by Dr. Otto Cars, Professor at the Department of Medical Sciences at Uppsala University. Dr. Cars addressed the crisis of antibiotic resistance, which he stressed has been “under the radar screen for too long.”

Sweden’s dilemma

The day continued with more inspiring seminars, including the potential Nobel Prize winner Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, speaking on genome engineering with CRISPR-Cas9, as well as a panel discussion on managing the new paradigm in cancer advancements. The last day of the summit was reserved for various seminars on the life science business. Barbro C. Ehnbom and the SALSS crew had decided to address a well-known dilemma for Sweden. A country that has global recognition for its medical research science, but is not as well-known when it comes to commercialization. New paths to take exciting scientific findings into successful business ventures through financial innovation were highlighted. The event included panel discussions on the financing of early stage life science and Jan-Olof Jacke, AstraZeneca AB’s President, talked about new models for a strengthened life science ecosystem.
Read more about SALSS 2015 in our upcoming issue of Nordic Life Science, published on August 28.

Photo: Professor Otto Cars. Photo Credit: Shaun Allen, SALSS.

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