Takeaways from the East West Life Science Summit


The East West Life Science Summit last week, put on by Life Science Washington, focused on advancing neuroscience in Eastern Washington. Amy Bernard, Director of Scientific Strategy at Allen Institute for Brain Science, shared about creating a culture of collaboration at the Allen Institute with their method of ‘open science’, where they share data publicly. Leen Kawas, CEO and President of Athira Pharma, shared how their organization is on the cusp of providing new accessible and affordable therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. And in a video, Steve Gleason discussed renewed energy in ALS research with the new Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience.

Other presentations centered around the extensive and innovative programs that exist in our community at MultiCare, Providence, and St. Luke’s, as well as breakthroughs in technology to assist people with neurodegenerative diseases through virtual reality, wheelchair technology, and other forms of assistive technology. Education is another important piece of the life science puzzle, so a panel of five higher education experts shared about STEM programs that directly support innovations and breakthroughs in treatments and technology for neuroscience.

The two main takeaways from this summit are the opportunity for collaboration and the necessity to continue developing all the important aspects of the life science industry. There are opportunities to partner with research institutes like the Allen Institute for Brain Science, where sharing information and working together can create greater advancements. There is also the need to continue education programs and attract and grow life science-related businesses for the life science sector to flourish in our region.

The collaborative spirit was brought up multiple times during the summit as the key to attracting, retaining, and growing life sciences in our area. We’re excited to see where collaboration will take our region next!

For more information, check out our Life Sciences Spokane page.

Next year’s East West Life Science Summit topic will focus on innovation in rural health care – save the date for June 17-18, 2020.




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