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Breakthroughs begin here: Charles River World Congress explores trends in reverse translational medicine

Anjli Venkateswaran, PhD, Program Committee Member for the Charles River World Congress on Animal Models`

It’s not an uncommon phenomenon—a drug performs well preclinically only to fail in Phase II or III trials. Historically, that failure would have sent researchers back to the drawing board. But today, many are utilizing reverse translation to open new doors with that failed clinical trial data.

In reverse translation, scientists use human data to inform new discoveries, identify new pathways and help refine preclinical models of disease. While a patient population may not respond to an investigational therapy in the clinic, even though preclinical results suggested they would, reverse translation can permit the investigators to look for other applications of the same therapy or find clues as to why the therapy failed.

Driven by the promise of the bedside-to-bench experience, Charles River is proud to partner with BioPharm America™ to introduce theInaugural Charles River World Congress on Animal Models in Drug Discovery & Development.

“As we work to develop breakthrough therapies, the importance of repurposing clinical data cannot be ignored,” said Joe Cornicelli, PhD, Program Director for the Charles River World Congress. “The World Congress will bring together leaders from across industry and academia, providing a platform to accelerate our collective understanding of reverse translational medicine.”

At this year’s World Congress, industry leaders will come together to discuss innovations and breakthroughs in translational tools and methods in drug discovery research and development. Attendees will gain insight into how clinical data can be used to successfully develop the next generation of animal models, in vitro screening assays, tools and technologies that lead to the development of effective therapies.

Keynote speakers and tracks

Ranging from academia to the commercial sector, the World Congress speakers are each regarded as leaders in their fields. Over the course of the two-day conference, attendees will have access to keynotes and breakout sessions focused on the major driving trends in reverse translational medicine. Keynote addresses will include:

  • The State of Translational Medicine

James C. Foster (Chairman, President and CEO, Charles River Laboratories)

  • Historical Perspective on Reverse Translational Medicine

Elazar Edelman, MD, PhD (Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Senior Attending Physician, Coronary Care Unit, Brigham and Women’s Hospital)

  • Understanding Complex Interactions in Metabolic and Cardiovascular Disease: Genetics, the Microbiome, Sex, and Diet

Jake Lusis, PhD (Professor of Microbiology, Human Genetics and Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Bench to Bedside in Oncology: Translation of Cancer Vaccines from Mouse Models to Human Clinical Trials

Jay Berzofsky, MD, PhD (Chief, Vaccine Branch; Senior Investigator Head, Molecular Immunogenetics and Vaccine Research Section, National Cancer Center, NIH)

  • A Unifying Model to Explain Primary and Compensatory Immune Resilience of Cancer

Francesco Marincola, MD, FACS (Distinguished Research Fellow in Immuno-Oncology, AbbVie)

  • Translating Animal Studies to Successful Human Therapies

James M. Wilson, MD, PhD (Professor, Internal Medicine and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine; Director, Gene Therapy Program, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Genetic Screens to Study Cancer Biology

David M. Sabatini, MD, PhD (Member, Whitehead Institute; Professor of Biology, MIT; Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Senior Associate Member, Broad Institute)

Charles River Research Models in Drug Discovery Award

On Tuesday, September 26, 2017, James Foster, Chairman, President and CEO at Charles River will present the first Charles River Research Models in Drug Discovery Award to Sonia Vallabh and Eric Minikel of the Prion Alliance.

In 2011, Vallabh learned that she had inherited a fatal mutation that causes genetic prion disease. In 2012 they founded Prion Alliance to fund research for a treatment or cure for human prion diseases. In 2014, Vallabh, a law school graduate, and Minikel, an urban planner, both started a PhD program at Harvard Medical School.

Today, Vallabh and Minikel work side by side at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard where, together with a team of allies and advisors, they have launched Prions@Broad, to advance the discovery of therapeutics for human prion diseases.

Conference Details

  • Dates: September 26 and 27, 2017
  • Location: Sheraton Copley Place, Boston, MA
  • Access: Attendees to the World Congress also receive full access to BioPharm America and all Biotech Week Boston events
  • Who Should Attend: Scientists from academia and industry, focused on pharmaceuticals and biotechnologies; executive-level CSOs and CMOs; venture capital executives and representatives
  • Registration: To learn more and register, visit
  • Join the Conversation: Follow #CRLworldcon on social media


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