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Friday, June 7, 2024

Asian Trailblazers Make Top Time Health List


Asian Trailblazers Make Top Time Health List. In a groundbreaking recognition of Asian talent and innovation, several individuals from the region have been featured in the prestigious Time Health List. This highlights their remarkable contributions to healthcare and medical advancements. From pioneering diagnostics to groundbreaking treatments. these individuals are shaping the future of healthcare on a global scale.

Venkat Shastri: Catching Alzheimer’s Early

The first on the list is Venkat Shastri, whose company, ALZPath, has developed a revolutionary blood test for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.

With Alzheimer’s therapies increasingly focusing on addressing the root causes of the disorder. Shastri’s blood test for the key marker ptau217 offers a non-invasive and cost-effective diagnostic solution.

A 2024 study confirmed the test’s accuracy, positioning it to become a routine part of blood tests for older individuals, potentially revolutionizing Alzheimer’s diagnosis worldwide.

Bobby Gaspar: A Genetic Miracle

Dr. Bobby Gaspar, CEO of Orchard Therapeutics, has made history with the development of Lenmeldy, a groundbreaking gene therapy for metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD).

Priced at $4.5 million per dose. Lenmeldy offers hope to children with MLD, a rare inherited disorder.

Gaspar’s pioneering work in gene therapy has the potential to transform the lives of thousands of children worldwide. This marks a significant milestone in the field of genetic medicine.

Avindra Nath: Demystifying Exhaustion

Dr. Avindra Nath’s landmark study on myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). The study sheds light on the complex interplay between viral infections and neurological disorders.

Through extensive research and testing, Nath’s team uncovered insights into the immune dysregulation underlying ME/CFS, paving the way for targeted treatments and interventions. Nath’s work not only advances our understanding of ME/CFS but also holds promise for addressing related conditions like Long COVID, offering hope to millions worldwide.

Alka Dwivedi: Lowering Cancer Costs

Alka Dwivedi’s groundbreaking work on NexCar19, a cost-effective cancer treatment developed in India, has the potential to revolutionize cancer care globally.

With NexCar19 offering a more affordable alternative to CAR T-cell therapy. Dwivedi aims to make lifesaving treatments accessible to millions of patients, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

Her efforts exemplify the power of innovation in addressing healthcare disparities and improving patient outcomes.

Pam Cheng: Earth-friendly pharma

Pam Cheng is leading the charge towards a more sustainable future in the pharmaceutical industry. As the executive vice president of operations and IT at AstraZeneca, she is not only overseeing manufacturing and supply chains worldwide but also serving as the company’s chief sustainability officer.

Recognizing the industry’s significant environmental impact, Cheng is spearheading efforts to reduce carbon emissions and embrace eco-friendly practices. Since joining AstraZeneca in 2015, she has propelled the company to the forefront of sustainability, becoming one of the first global firms to have its greenhouse gas emission targets verified by the Science-Based Target Initiative. Under her leadership, AstraZeneca launched the ambitious $1 billion Ambition Zero Carbon program in 2020, aiming for net-zero emissions.

Vivek Murthy: Doctor of Human Connection

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy’s advocacy for addressing loneliness and social isolation underscores the importance of human connection in promoting overall health and well-being. Through research-backed initiatives and public health advisories. Murthy aims to raise awareness about the profound impact of loneliness on mental health and social cohesion. By fostering community engagement and social support networks. Murthy’s efforts offer a path towards building resilient and connected communities.

Zahid Maleque: Disease Fighter

Zahid Maleque’s leadership in Bangladesh’s healthcare sector has led to significant strides in disease eradication and public health initiatives.

From eliminating kala-azar to spearheading efforts against lymphatic filariasis. Maleque’s contributions have saved countless lives and improved the well-being of millions.

His dedication to improving healthcare accessibility and combating infectious diseases exemplifies the transformative impact of strategic leadership and public health interventions.

Sumbul Desai: Reaching the Masses

Dr. Sumbul Desai’s innovative health tools on Apple devices are revolutionizing digital health monitoring and personalized care. Through groundbreaking studies and partnerships with leading research institutions.

Desai aims to leverage technology to empower individuals in managing their health and well-being. With features like “State of Mind,” Desai’s work on mental health awareness and prevention represents a significant step towards integrating technology and healthcare for improved patient outcomes.

Ivan Cheung: A calculated risk

In 2019, Cheung made a daring decision to persist in the development of lecanemab, despite conflicting results from aducanumab, a drug working similarly, which raised doubts among experts.

Motivated by promising early results from his team, Cheung trusted the data, convinced of the need to advance. His conviction bore fruit when lecanemab gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2023, while aducanumab’s production ceased the following year.

Now at the helm of NextPoint Therapeutics, focusing on promising cancer treatments, Cheung views lecanemab as the harbinger of a potential array of therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. He envisions a future marked by a comprehensive ecosystem of therapeutic, diagnostic, and screening options.

Katsuhiko Hayashi: Defying biology

Last year, Katsuhiko Hayashi of Osaka University challenged the traditional understanding of mammalian reproduction by reprogramming male mouse cells to develop into eggs, which successfully led to healthy offspring when fertilized with sperm. This breakthrough, inspired by Nobel laureate Shinya Yamanaka’s cell reprogramming technique, revealed the instability of sex chromosomes during cell division, offering insights into embryo development. Though the process yielded only seven mice from over 600 embryos, it represents a pivotal step in reshaping reproductive norms. While interest grows, particularly from male couples seeking biological parenthood, human application remains at least a decade away, pending further safety studies and ethical considerations.

Beyond human reproduction, Hayashi’s discovery holds promise for conservation efforts, notably for the endangered northern white rhino. By applying similar techniques, researchers aim to generate eggs from preserved male rhino cells, offering hope for species preservation. As science progresses, Hayashi emphasizes the imperative of societal deliberation on the ethical implications and usage of such advancements.

Akiko Iwasaki: A better booster

As of May 2, 2024, while current COVID-19 vaccines effectively reduce severe illness and mortality, they do not entirely prevent infections.

To address this gap, Professor Akiko Iwasaki and her team at Yale School of Medicine are pioneering a novel vaccination strategy: administering booster doses via the nasal route.

By leveraging their expertise in virology, they aim to bolster the body’s defenses at the site of viral entry, particularly the nose, where the virus commonly infiltrates. Additionally, through her role at Xanadu Bio, Iwasaki is spearheading efforts to bring nasal vaccines for COVID-19, flu, and RSV to market.

Complementing her vaccine research, Iwasaki investigates postinfectious conditions like Long COVID as the director of Yale’s Center for Infection and Immunity. She believes that reducing COVID-19 infections through nasal vaccines could significantly mitigate Long COVID cases.

Shahzad Baig: Eradicating Polio

Dr. Shahzad Baig’s tireless efforts in Pakistan’s polio-eradication program have brought the country closer than ever to eliminating the disease. Through comprehensive vaccination campaigns and community outreach initiatives.

Baig has overcome significant challenges to protect millions of children from polio. His commitment to public health and disease prevention exemplifies the power of collective action and strategic leadership in addressing global health challenges.

As Asian individuals continue to make significant strides in healthcare and medical innovation. Their contributions underscore the region’s growing influence and impact on the global health landscape. From pioneering research to transformative treatments, these trailblazers are shaping a healthier and more equitable future for all.


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