TEDx offers message of hope to spark next generation therapeutics for IBD


November 15, 2016, Blacksburg, VA—At the fifth annual TEDx Virginia Tech event, Dr. Josep Bassaganya-Riera delivered a message a message of hope and inspiration to a crowd of more than 600. The talk, entitled Accelerated Path to Cures, detailed the innovations in precision medicine and health led by the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory (NIMML).

Bassaganya-Riera began his session by asking, “How many of us have shunned, rejected or ignored medication because the treatment is worse than disease? How many of us have taken anti-inflammatory drugs only to experience side effects as bad as our disease symptoms?” highlighting the need to shift paradigms in the drug discovery and development field.

In line with the TEDx theme of Spark, Bassaganya-Riera’s talk centered on two sparks that are also cornerstones in the foundation of NIMML: the application of nutritional immunology to help address unmet clinical needs for safer and more effective treatments and the application of transdisciplinary computational modeling methods to dissect and comprehend complex massively interacting biological systems such as the immune system and the gut.

“It was an honor and privilege to be nominated for the 2016 TEDx Virginia Tech talk and to showcase our Accelerated Path to Cures. We have embarked on a journey to cure not only the disease and discomfort caused by IBD but to cure the inefficiency of the drug development process,” said Bassaganya-Riera, NIMML’s director.

At the conclusion of his session, Bassaganya-Riera set lofty, but achievable goals to establish a transformative pipeline with the potential to allow millions of people afflicted with IBD and other autoimmune diseases to live more normal lives that do not require surgeries and repeated hospital visits or spending $50,000 per year in unsafe drugs with major side effects, including cancer, infection and death. Accelerated Path to Cures provided a message of inspiration and hope.