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Disc Medicine Expands Scientific Advisory Board with Leading Experts in Hepcidin Biology

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Disc Medicine, a company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel therapeutic candidates for serious and debilitating hematologic diseases, today announced the appointment of Tomas Ganz, MD, PhD and Elizabeta Nemeth, PhD to its scientific advisory board, adding valuable expertise in hepcidin biology.

Disc Medicine is a hematology company harnessing new insights in hepcidin biology to address ineffective red blood cell production (erythropoiesis) in hematologic diseases. Focused on the hepcidin pathway, the master regulator of iron metabolism, Disc is advancing first-in-class therapies to transform the treatment of hematologic diseases. (PRNewsfoto/Disc Medicine)

“We are thrilled to welcome  Dr. Ganz and Dr. Nemeth to our Scientific Advisory Board, particularly at such an exciting time in a field that they helped pioneer,” said John Quisel, JD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer at Disc Medicine. “Together they were instrumental in characterizing the fundamental role of hepcidin in iron homeostasis, and I’m delighted to be working with them as we advance our hepcidin-targeted programs into the clinic.”

Dr. Ganz is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where he studies the role of small peptide regulators in human physiology and disease and is credited for the discovery of the iron-regulatory hormone hepcidin. Dr. Ganz received his PhD in Applied Physics from Caltech and his MD from UCLA, joining UCLA as a faculty member in 1983 after having completed training in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine. In 2005 he received the Marcel Simon Prize of the International Bioiron Society for the discovery of hepcidin and in 2014 was honored by the E. Donnall Thomas Award from the American Society of Hematology for his research in iron homeostasis, including the discovery of the iron-regulatory hormone hepcidin and investigation of its roles in iron metabolism.

“It has been immensely gratifying to see the hepcidin story unfold as our understanding of hepcidin’s role across different diseases has grown,” said Tomas Ganz, MD PhD. “Disc has taken a compelling approach to targeting hepcidin with two programs guided by human genetic findings. I’m delighted to be a part of this vision, particularly as they look to enter the clinic with their first program next year.”

Dr. Nemeth is a Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Director of the UCLA Center for Iron Disorders. Dr. Nemeth received her PhD in Cell, Molecular and Neurosciences at the University of Hawaii and completed a postdoctoral fellowship studying the pathobiology of hepcidin at UCLA. During her tenure she has made major contributions to the understanding of iron homeostasis and its dysregulation in disease, such as characterizing the regulation of hepcidin production by inflammation and iron and elucidating the mechanism of action of hepcidin in regulating dietary iron absorption and release from stores. Dr. Nemeth also described the role of hepcidin in various iron disorders including hereditary hemochromatosis, iron-loading anemias and iron-restricted anemias. Dr. Nemeth was a standing member of the Molecular and Cellular Hematology Study Section of the National Institutes of Health, is President-Elect of the International BioIron Society, and an associate editor of the American Journal of Hematology. Dr. Ganz and Nemeth co-founded three biotechnology companies focused on hepcidin-targeted

New AHA Scientific Statement on Heart Health for LGBTQ Adults

Cardiovascular health should be routinely assessed and addressed in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) adults, the American Heart Association (AHA) concludes in a new scientific statement.

“Among the most important takeaways from this scientific statement is the need for healthcare providers in clinical settings to routinely assess sexual orientation and gender identity,” Billy A. Caceres, PhD, RN, chair of the statement writing group, told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.



Billy A. Caceres, PhD, RN

“This will help healthcare providers engage LGBTQ patients in discussions about their heart health that account for the unique experiences of this population,” said Caceres, assistant professor, Columbia University School of Nursing, New York.

The statement was published online October 8 in Circulation.

“Invisible” Population

There are roughly 11 million LGBTQ adults in the United States, yet they are often “invisible in healthcare settings and cardiovascular research,” Caceres noted. The AHA scientific statement is the first from a national organization in the United States to comprehensively summarize the evidence on cardiovascular (CV) research in LGBTQ adults, he said.

There is mounting evidence that LGBTQ adults experience worse CV health relative to their cisgender heterosexual peers. Disparities in CV health may be driven by unique psychosocial stressors in the LGBTQ individuals such as family rejection and anxiety of concealment of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

While there is limited information on the CV health of LGBTQ people, the writing group says providers should be aware of the following:

  • LGBTQ adults are more likely to use tobacco than their cisgender heterosexual peers.

  • Transgender adults may be less physically active than their cisgender counterparts. Gender-affirming care might play a role in promoting physical activity among transgender people.

  • Transgender women may be at increased risk for heart disease due to behavioral and clinical factors (such as the use of gender-affirming hormones like estrogen).

  • Transgender women and nonbinary persons are more likely to binge drink.

  • Lesbian and bisexual women have a higher prevalence of obesity than heterosexual women do.

“We need to better understand how to support LGBTQ adults in optimizing their CV health. To do this, we will need rigorous research that examines potential explanations for the CV health disparities that have been observed in LGBTQ adults,” Caceres told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.

He noted that research is also needed within the LGBTQ population among groups that might be at greater risk for heart disease, including racial and ethnic minority and low-income LGBTQ adults.

“Researchers should also design and test evidence-based interventions to promote the heart health of LGBTQ adults. This is an area that is greatly lacking within CV health research,” said Caceres.

Discrimination in Healthcare

Discrimination against LGBTQ adults in healthcare settings also remains a problem, the authors note.

The writing group cites data showing that nearly 56% of sexual minority and 70% of gender minority adults report having experienced some form of discrimination from clinicians, including the use of harsh/abusive language.

“Perhaps most alarming,” roughly 8% of sexual minority and 25% of transgender

NIH whistleblower quits, says administration ‘ignores scientific expertise’

Dr. Rick Bright says if we don’t figure out the coronavirus now we could have a challenging winter.

Dr. Rick Bright has officially quit his position at the National Institutes of Health.

Not only has the immunologist quit, he says it’s because the Trump administration didn’t listen to the scientific evidence available to stop the spread of the coronavirus, per The Guardian. He also says his plan to develop a testing infrastructure for the country was ignored.

Read More: Cynthia Bailey defends having 250 guests at wedding despite COVID-19

The doctor used to lead a team at the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a department of the U.S. Health and Human Services. The agency, responsible for helping fight public health conditions such as bioterrorism attacks and pandemics, is currently working on a coronavirus vaccine.

Bright was transferred this spring and believes it’s retaliation for refusing to sign on to the decision to give New Yorkers hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug Trump claimed as a COVID-19 remedy. He also claims senior NIH executives ignored his suggestion to provide healthcare workers with N95 respirator masks around the time the pandemic started.

Dr. Richard Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing to discuss protecting scientific integrity in response to the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday, May 14, 2020. in Washington, DC. Warning that COVID-19 could make ‘2020 will be the darkest winter in modern history,’ Rick Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has filed a federal whistleblower complaint alleging he was fired for opposing the use of a drug promoted by President Donald Trump as a potential coronavirus treatment. (Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)
Dr. Richard Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing to discuss protecting scientific integrity in response to the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday, May 14, 2020. in Washington, DC. Warning that COVID-19 could make ‘2020 will be the darkest winter in modern history,’ Rick Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has filed a federal whistleblower complaint alleging he was fired for opposing the use of a drug promoted by President Donald Trump as a potential coronavirus treatment. (Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)

He went public with the complaint he filed in May about his COVID-19 warnings being ignored.  

“I was pressured to let politics and cronyism drive decisions over the opinions of the best scientists we have in government,” Bright said on a call per CNN, after filing the complaint.

When he testified before Congress in May, Bright said the US could undergo the darkest winter of modern history if it did not formulate a strategy to combat the virus.

Read More: Cuomo orders lockdown for parts of NYC after COVID-19 uptick

Dr. Bright’s attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks said in a statement, “Dr. Bright was forced to leave his position at NIH because he can no longer sit idly by and work for an administration that ignores scientific expertise, overrules public health guidance, and disrespects career scientists, resulting in the sickness and death of hundreds of thousands of Americans.”

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EyeGuide Adds Six Sports Medicine, Neuroscience Experts to Scientific Advisory Board

EyeGuide Inc., a health technology and bioinformatics company revolutionizing the way brain health is monitored, has announced the expansion of its scientific advisory board with the additions of Dr. Anne Naclerio, Dr. Dhiren Naidu, Dr. Jon Patricios, Dr. Kathryn Schneider, Dr. Karen Sutton and Dr. Michael Turner. Each of these leading scientific experts brings specialized skills, knowledge and experience to help the EyeGuide team build a world-class advisory board.

“EyeGuide is doing important work to improve ocular-motor assessment of athletes with suspected brain injuries, to advance brain health, and to improve the wellness and performance of athletes of all ages. This is an exciting step forward for EyeGuide as the company now gains further support from an array of respected senior experts across the field of sports medicine and neuroscience,” said Dr. Ruben Echemendia, Chairperson of EyeGuide Scientific Advisory Board, which was established earlier this year. “I am eager to work together with this impressive team of advisers as well as collaborate on providing insight and guidance to EyeGuide so its products may help improve the lives of many people across the U.S. and around the world.”

The new members of EyeGuide’s Scientific Advisory Board include:

  • Dr. Anne Naclerio has spent the past 10 years working as chief of clinical operations for the Regional Health Command Atlantic, deputy surgeon for the U.S. Army in Europe, the command surgeon for the Army National Guard, and the chief of medical readiness and policy for the U.S. Army Surgeon General. Dr. Naclerio served in the Army for over 30 years and has earned numerous decorations including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and the Legion of Merit. She also established and led the Women’s Health Taskforce to enable the services to better understand and meet the unique needs of female service members.

  • Dr. Dhiren Naidu is a tenured associate professor in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Alberta. He is also currently the head team physician for the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers, the lead physician for the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos, the head physician for the University of Alberta Golden Bears football team and a health physician for their varsity athletic program.

  • Dr. Jon Patricios is an associate professor in the Wits Faculty of Health Sciences and director of Wits Sport and Health (WiSH). He is also the current director of Waterfall Sports Orthopaedic Surgery in Johannesburg; founder and Director of Sports Concussion South Africa; sports concussion consultant to World Rugby; a board member of the international Concussion in Sports Group; and on the Scientific Committee for the International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport. He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, the Faculty of Sports & Exercise Medicine (UK) and the International Sports Medicine Federation. Jon serves on the advisory board of the Sports Health and Safety Institute at the University of Washington, Seattle. Apart from sports concussion, he has an interest in the pediatric and aging athlete, joint disease, tendinopathy, and