Brain Mapping Foundation tackles COVID-19 pandemic through science, technology, innovation, and policy endorsing California Proposition 14-2020
Proposition 14-2020 provides $5.5B in total to continue stem cell research including $1.5B for the support of research and development of treatments toward neurological disorders.
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Brain Mapping Foundation (BMF) and Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (SBMT) have been on the forefront of combatting COVID-19 with their enormous network of scientists, physicians, and engineers worldwide. BMF and SBMT formed a COVID-19 global taskforce in February of 2020 and by the first week of March they were connected to 5 different global taskforces in Asia, South America, North America, Middle East and India in real time. “Our taskforce coordinated efforts with our global membership and collaborators to rapidly advance our understanding of COVID-19,” said Vicky Yamamoto, Ph.D., Executive Director of SBMT, Co-Chair of COVID-19 Taskforce and Cancer Scientist, USC-Keck School of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery and USC-Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The Foundation distributed near 500 food servings to medical staffs at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s COVID ward and California Rehabilitation Institute during the curfew in LA. Two-truck loads of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) were donated to the City of Hope Cancer Center in collaboration with Mr. Bobak Kalhor, Apex Studio. “We diligently care for immune compromised cancer patients. Cancer care needs to continue regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic. The generous gift of PPE from Brain Mapping Foundation helped us stay on mission in caring for our vulnerable patient population,” said Ellie Maghami, M.D., F.A.C.S., Chief, Division of Otolaryngology, the Norman and Sadie Lee Foundation Endowed Professor in Head & Neck Cancer at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Society and Foundation have been also engaged in advancing therapeutics through direct collaboration with pharmaceuticals including Nymirum Pharma for preclinical studies and Celularity, which received an FDA approval for its COVID-19 Immunotherapeutic. “It is clear that COVID represents a viral syndrome that affects patients more severely if there are underlying co-morbidities often associated with immunologic dysfunction. The observation that abnormal Natural Killer and T cell responses supported the use of a cellular immunotherapeutic. We proposed the use of placental natural killer cells to augment innate anti-viral activity. Our early clinical experience this far has shown this approach to be well tolerated,” said Robert Hariri, M.D., Ph.D., Founding Chairman of Celularity and 18th President of SBMT, Professor of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell School of Medicine.
BMF/SBMT also built a collaboration with Florida State University to build an Electronic Nose, which could be used in sniffing COVID-19. This technology has been used in the past by NASA for air quality control and was investigated for sniffing brain tumors by Drs. Kateb and Chen at the City of Hope in 2009. “There has been a lot of excitement about using the electronic nose as a breathalyzer for COVID-19. Early studies are very promising,” said Mike Chen, M.D., Ph.D., 9th President of SBMT, Professor of Neurosurgery at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The foundation has been also focused on educating the public about the current state of the science through programs such as: Montel Moments, Free Thinking with Montel Williams, 670 AM Live with Rudi Bakhtiar, Inner Voice with Dr. Foojan Zieni, Dr. Peyman Raoofi show, and weekly electronic News. The Society also published a major landmark comprehensive review paper on COVID-19 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease under the title of: COVID-19: Review of a 21st Century Pandemic from Etiology to Neuro-psychiatric Implications ” it took 7 months for 36 physicians and scientists from BMF, SBMT, Cedars-Sinai, USC, UCLA, Stanford, UCI, Cornell, NYU, LLU, California Rehabilitation Institute, Beyond Imagination, T-NeuroPharma, Celularity, NCNBE, Florida Poly Technic University and BTIP to review over 1000 papers, reference 425 of them covering etiology, pathophysiology, diagnostics, therapeutics and write the most comprehensive review on COVID-19,” said Babak Kateb, M.D., Chairman of the Board of SBMT, President of BMF and senior author of the publication. “We also used my own mother’s COVID-19 case to write the paper that is based on rock solid basic and clinical science. I must say that this team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center saved her life during her 63 days of hospitalization; I am grateful to them and their collaboration for putting this paper together with the rest of our taskforce,” he continued.
The Foundation also helped with creating an effective COVID-19 tracking in the LA county online: https://www.themiswebtechnologies.com/covid19/ and has partnered with Inspecra Thermal Solutions to provide pre-screening for fever detection at 18th Annual World Congress of SBMT (Brain, Spine and Mental Disorders) scheduled for March 5-7th 2021 at the LA Convention Center. “SBMT remained engaged from pushing global policy to publishing landmark papers, particularly the most recent and most comprehensive review of COVID-19. The goal remains furthering global policies for fast-tracking therapeutics, impacting thoughtful regulatory reform and encouraging a more innovative application of technologies, like infrared thermal technology, not only for prescreening processes, but integrating it more into the clinical setting so-as-to help transform the treatment of dementias, degenerative neurological diseases and brain cancer with the same urgency by which we have tackled this pandemic,” said Jason Cormier, MD, President-Elect of SBMT, Board Certified Neurosurgeon, CEO and Founder of Motorsports Safety Group, CEO and Founder of Motorsports Brain and Spine Foundation, FDA Consultant to the Neurological Devices Panel, Panels of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee and to the Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
The Society has been active on pushing for creation of Brain technology and Innovation Park at the Opportunity and Promise Zone in downtown LA and supports California proposition 14-2020 ballot initiative, which is aimed at funding stem cell research as well as research and treatment development for neurological disorders. “I just recently lost my mother to Alzheimer’s Disease and believe BMF and SBMT are equip to fast track diagnostics and therapeutics for Neurological disorders because we have spent 18 years to build a 100,000+ global multidisciplinary consortium and collaborative teams of surgeons, physician, engineers and scientists and if the funding is provided we can rapidly introduce game changing therapeutics for neurological disorders,” said Ret. Commander Ken Green, DMD, VP of Brain Mapping Foundation and Member of the Executive Board of SBMT.
The society also has a global G20 summit Neuroscience-20 consortium aimed at building international partnership in last 10 years. “The Foundation and Society are not only on the forefront of science, technology and policy but also helped with humanitarian efforts during the pandemic to the local hospitals and healthcare workers. We are delighted to not only endorse proposition 14-2020 but also make sure it will succeed with its goals,” said Aaron Filler, MD, PhD, JD, 13th President of SBMT, VP of Legal Affairs and Policy at SBMT and Neurosurgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
About SBMT: www.WorldBrainMapping.Org
About BMF: www.BrainMappingFoundation.Org
Joe Bolanos, MD
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SOURCE Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics