Welcome to D4P: People and Medicine
For as long as humans have been around, we’ve sought to understand how our bodies work and get better at healing our illnesses. While this curiosity has enabled some life-changing discoveries, including antibiotics and vaccines for once deadly infections, many diseases still elude our grasp. During this season of D4P, we explored the science of how we study ourselves, and how our complexity, both as biological systems and as people with unique lives and identities, creates challenges and opportunities for improving human health. We drew through-lines from the past to the present, examining how historical biases and power structures have influenced the way scientific knowledge is generated, valued, and transformed into medical advances. Drawing from recent research, we considered the question “how do we study ourselves?” through topics like the ethics of genome sequencing studies, the rationale for gender- and race-balanced clinical trials, and the role of social inequities in healthcare access and outcomes. We also explored new, innovative practices–from designing experiments that more closely match our biology to uniting patients and scientists in the study of rare diseases–to ask the next, even more important question: “how do we get better at it?”
Each paper featured in a D4P webinar is presented by a scientific trainee — either a graduate student or a postdoc — who is passionate about connecting with others through science, resulting in low-key, accessible, and informative presentations. Catch up our previous seasons and read about our origin story!