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First Look

At the 2023 World Medical Innovation Forum, 16 Harvard-affiliated Mass General Brigham clinicians and researchers shared 10-minute presentations highlighting their discoveries and insights on the next wave of breakthroughs in healthcare. With topics ranging from targeting neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease and counteracting age-related cognitive decline, to the promise of immunotherapy for brain cancer and safe AI, experts shared previews of investment-ready, high-impact technologies likely to disrupt the fields of CNS/brain health, oncology, and inflammation and immunology.

These showcased technologies are designed to inform investors, entrepreneurs, investigators, donors and others who share a passion for accelerating the application of high impact technologies to the benefit of patients.

2023 Winners

The World Forum’s First Look sessions promote early-stage innovations from across Mass General Brigham. Two of these presentations were selected with additional recognition for addressing unmet need, having clinical impact, scientific strength, and collaboration opportunities. In 2023 the two First Look prizes were awarded to Li Chai, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Clotilde Lagier-Tourenne, MD, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital.

Novel mechanism and compound targeting oncogenic transcription factor SALL4 in cancer

Li Chai, MD

Pathologist and Principal Investigator, BWH; Associate Professor of Pathology, HMS

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Targeting disruption of stathmin-2 in neurodegenerative diseases

Clotilde Lagier-Tourenne, MD, PhD

Araminta Broch-Healey Endowed Chair in ALS, MGH; Associate Professor of Neurology, HMS

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2023 Presenters

TYK2 as a novel therapeutic target in a subset of Alzheimer’s Disease with neuroinfl ammation

Mark Albers, MD, PhD

Frank Wilkens Jr and Family Endowed Scholar in AD Research, MGH; Assistant Professor of Neurology, HMS

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Extracellular vesicle engineering to counteract age-related cognitive declines

Fabrisia Ambrosio, PhD

Atlantic Charter Director of the Discovery Center for Musculoskeletal Recovery, Schoen Adams Research Institute, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital; Faculty, HMS

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Delivering on the promise of immunotherapy for the treatment of brain cancer

Natalie Artzi, PhD

Associate Bioengineer, BWH; Associate Professor of Medicine, HMS

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Novel mechanism and compound targeting oncogenic transcription factor SALL4 in cancer

Li Chai, MD

Pathologist and Principal Investigator, BWH; Associate Professor of Pathology, HMS

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Leveraging the human virome to combat cancer, autoimmunity, and other ageassociated diseases

Shawn Demehri, MD, PhD

Director, High Risk Skin Cancer Clinic, MGH; MGH Research Scholar; Associate Professor, HMS

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SafeAI: Live Error-free or Die

Synho Do, PhD

Director, Lab of Medical Imaging and Computation, Mass General Brigham; Assistant Professor, HMS

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Astrocyte-derived SPP1 prevents age and glaucoma-related loss of vision

Tatjana Jakobs, MD

Associate Scientist, Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass Eye and Ear; Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, HMS

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Evaluating Novel Cancer Therapeutic Strategies Using Living Tumor Biopsies

Russell Jenkins, MD, PhD

Investigator, Center for Cancer Research, MGH; Assistant Professor of Medicine, HMS

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Targeting disruption of stathmin-2 in neurodegenerative diseases

Clotilde Lagier-Tourenne, MD, PhD

Araminta Broch-Healey Endowed Chair in ALS, MGH; Associate Professor of Neurology, HMS

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Novel CAR-T cells engineered to overcome obstacles observed in the clinic

Marcela Maus, MD, PhD

Director, Cellular Immunotherapy, MGH; Associate Professor, HMS

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Targeting neutrophils for T cell-mediated anti-tumor immunotherapy

Tanya Mayadas, PhD

Senior Staff Scientist, BWH; Professor of Pathology, HMS

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Unlocking aminoacyl-tRNAsynthetases as novel drug targets for first-in-class therapeutics

Ralph Mazitschek, PhD

Principal Investigator, MGH; Assistant Professor, HMS

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Untangling the role of rare genetic variants in protection against Alzheimer’s disease: From biomarkers to novel therapeutic targets

Yakeel Quiroz, PhD

Director, Familial Dementia Neuroimaging Lab and Director, Multicultural Alzheimer’s Prevention Program, MGH; Paul B. and Sandra M. Edgerley MGH Research Scholar; Associate Professor, HMS

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Preventing post-traumatic stress disorder: Novel pharmacological approaches based on the neuroscience of fear

Kerry Ressler, MD, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer, McLean Hospital; Professor of Psychiatry, HMS

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Using big data and AI to advance precision psychiatry and suicide prevention

Jordan Smoller, MD, ScD

Associate Chief for Research and Director, Center for Precision Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, MGH; Tepper Family MGH Research Scholar; Professor of Psychiatry, HMS

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Precision gene therapy for treating severe pain

Brian Wainger, MD, PhD

Trustees Endowed Scholar in Anesthesia and Alexander Healey Endowed Chair in ALS, Neurology & Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, MGH; Associate Professor, HMS

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