In 1962, the Seattle World's Fair was held in the northwestern capital city. The legacy of that event goes well beyond the iconic Seattle Space Needle (right) and is explored in a panoply of summer and fall educational and entertainment festivities celebrating the 50th Anniversary. One of the "Next50" happenings is an interactive exhibit to highlight the role of Washington State's life science research innovations in addressing global health challenges. If space exploration was the governing dream of the near future in the 1960's, our generation's overriding fascination may be with possibilties inherent in life science research discoveries and their applications for transforming the health of millions of people worldwide in order to lead fuller, longer lives.
The exhibit is called The Global Health Experience, and it focusses on invention and outreach in the areas of malaria treatment, maternal and newborn child health, diabetes, cancer, and water and sanitation. It all starts in Washington's research laboratories, and sponsors know Seattle's status as a hub of global-health research is good not only for the world, but for the local economy as well. The exhibition event is put on by the Washington Global Health Alliance (WGHA), which supports and advocates for Washington state's global health community as a nexus for research, education, training, commercialization, and delivery on the world stage. Formed with funding from the Gates Foundation in 2007, a look at WGHA's membership gives you some idea of how many bioscience research institutions there are in the state and why it's not hyperbolic to speak of Seattle especially as a "hotbed of activity" in the life sciences, as University of Washington researcher Elain Fu does in a Seattle Times article.
[Village-like display at the Seattle Global Health research exhibition]
Dr. Elain Fu is an assistant professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington, and her lab-on-a-chip research is one of the featured innovations at the World Health exhibit. She says of her work in her UW bio:
My research activities encompass microfluidics and sensor technology development for biomedical applications with the aim of increasing the performance and capabilities of microfluidics-based sensors for point of care (POC) diagnostics.
Certainly lab-on-a-chip technology is enormously promising in the search for accurate and affordable diagnositic equipment and tools in resource-limited parts of the world. A cell phone becomes a cytometer? Truly, at a point in time when the costs of healthcare in this country are at an all-time high and the nation battles over how to offer affordable access to health care to its own citizens, the innovations that promise help to villages in Africa may very well be those that improve our own lives as well.
For earlier blogs of ours on this scaled-down diagnostics technology, follow this link.
The Next50 celebratory events will go on through October 21, 2012. The Global Health Experience will continue through August 19th.
Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. will hold its own events focusing on Washington state's life science technology and the research partnerships between scientists and the science equipment industry with our 3 fall professional tradeshows:
- 10/23/2012 -- Washington State University BioResearch Product Faire event, Pullman
- 10/24/2012 -- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center BRPF event, Seattle
- 10/25/2012 -- University of Washington Front Line event, Seattle
For information on exhibiting at the University of Washington show in particular, and receiving a university research funding report, click here:
Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. is a full service event marketing and planning company producing on-campus, life science research tradeshows nationwide for the past 20 years. We plan and promote each event to bring the best products and services to the best research campuses across the country.