Public Release: 

Leading experts confront global burden of chronic disease 8 Dec. at Abelson Science Seminar

Abelson Advancing Science Seminar

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Reporters are invited to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 8 December, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., for the Philip Hauge Abelson Advancing Science Seminar, "New Directions in Health: The Global Burden of Chronic Disease."

The program, presenting the newest understandings for preventing, treating, and managing chronic disease, will feature a global chronic disease specialist, nine leading medical researchers and scientists who are pioneers in the fields of medicine and health, and a global policy strategist.

Speakers will include: Robert Beaglehole, World Health Organization; Robert S. Langer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Eric J. Topol, Case Western Reserve University; Gerald I. Shulman, Yale University; Michael Liebman, Windber Research Institute; Napoleone Ferrara, Genentech; Holly Wyatt, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center; Rick Lifton, Yale University School of Medicine; Robert T.V. Kung, ABIOMED; Michael Sefton, University of Toronto; and Susan Raymond, Changing Our World, Inc.

Cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity now account for almost half the global burden of disease. These chronic diseases are no longer a developed country problem. More people die from so-called "rich country diseases" in low- and middle-income countries than in the developed world. Of the 177 million people affected by diabetes, two-thirds live in the developing world. As new directions in technology and treatment are uncovered and strategies reassessed, the goal of relieving the global burden of these diseases becomes ever more reachable.

The series namesake, Dr. Philip Hauge Abelson, was one of the most remarkable scientists of our age. He made major contributions to physics, geology, geochemistry, geophysics and molecular biology. His positions of leadership and service on national advisory committees enabled him to shape national science and technology policy. And under his 22-year tenure as the editor of the journal Science, he took the journal to a new level of quality and prominence. As AAAS senior adviser and Science editor emeritus, Dr. Abelson focused on the cutting edge and the future, not the past. He founded and sponsored "The Advancing Science Seminar Series," to encourage participants to think about where science is going, not where it has been. Dr. Abelson died on 1 August 2004. Through his estate and in honor of his legacy, AAAS established the Philip Hauge Abelson Fund and designated it for the continuation of the "Abelson Advancing Science Seminar Series." The series, featuring leading experts and showcasing innovative approaches to existing challenges, focuses on the frontiers of science and technology and promotes the exchange of cutting-edge information. Dr. Abelson's enthusiasm for science will be felt by generations of scientists around the world for a long time to come.

Global health and policy specialists and leading medical researchers and scientists who are pioneers in the fields of medicine and health

AAAS and the Philip Hauge Abelson Advancing Science Seminar Series

AAAS, the science society, at 12th and H Streets, NW, Washington, DC 20005

8 December 2005, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

To showcase innovative approaches to existing challenges, focus on the frontiers of science and technology, and promote the exchange of cutting-edge information

Reporters, please RSVP to Barbara Rice at AAAS, 202-326-6436,, to learn more and reserve a seat at the seminar.


The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science ( AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of one million. The non-profit AAAS ( is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!,, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

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