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Keypoint Newsletter: Health Equity Programming

New this year we added new Health Equity Programming to select meetings, to raise awareness for health disparities in various fields, and initiate discussions on how to rectify these health inequities through scientific research and discovery. Our goal is to embed health equity content across our meeting portfolio via the addition of speakers, sessions, workshops/panels, and virtual content that specifically address health equity research goals and strategiesThree meetings in 2023 featured health equity speakers and workshops.

Adipose Tissue: Energizing Good Fat

joint with Bioenergetics in Health & Disease 

  • Joint Keynote Address by Dr. Joshua J. Joseph (Ohio State University)
    Social Determinants of Health and Psychosocial Stress: Advancing Health Equity from Populations to Molecular Mechanisms
    Dr. Joseph presented quantitative analysis that reveals socio-economic factors as major contributors for metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, which disproportionately burden vulnerable communities. Dissecting these factors, he outlined how they impact cellular to systems-level mechanisms of psychosocial stress, providing mechanisms that directly increase risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

    Watch the panel recording below!

  • Joint Workshop and Panel Discussion
    Bridging Basic Science to Excellence in Clinical Trials through Diversity & Health Equity
    The panel discussion focused on topics of health disparities in research and drug discovery as it related to obesity and metabolic disease, and how development of appropriately diverse clinical trials may overcome these barriers. Panelists represented academic, industry and clinical perspectives: 
    • Silvia Corvera (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
    • Kendra K. Bence (Pfizer)
    • Ann-Marie T. Richard (Pfizer)
    • Rachel M. Bond (Chandler Regional Medical Center)
    • Andrea Phillips (Phillips Medical Services, PLLC)
    • Makeida Stubbs (Pfizer)

    Watch the panel recording below!

Type 2 Diabetes: Understanding Early Drivers & the Road to Therapeutics


  • Panel Discussion: A Research Roadmap to Address Heterogeneity of Diabetes
    This panel integrated academic, industry, government and clinical perspectives on how to design research strategies that account for differences in socio-economic, environmental and genetic factors, to pinpoint unique drivers of disease risk and progression, and identify appropriate treatments for all individuals.
    • William Cefalu (NIDDK, National Institutes of Health)
    • Brian Layden (University of Illinois at Chicago)
    • Jose C. Florez (Massachusetts General Hospital)
    • Kevin L. Grove (Novo Nordisk)
    • Abigael J. Cheruiyot (Joslin Diabetes Center/Harvard Medical School)

Listen to the panel recording here!

Upcoming Health Equity Programming

In further support of these efforts, we have established the Keystone Symposia Health Equity Working Group (HEWG) by engaging experts in the field of health equity/disparities research, to complement and expand upon the expertise on our Scientific Advisory Board.  Specifically, the HEWG seeks to advance our goal of embedding health equity content in our conferences by identifying key meeting topics within our future conference portfolio that are priorities to showcase health equity issues. This fall our vaccinology conference will highlight many aspects of health equity surrounding development and deployment of vaccines globally.

Vaccinology During and After COVID-19

Attend the meeting in Atlanta, or Register for Livestream or On Demand Access to see this important Health Equity Content!


  • Keynote Address by Dr. Barney S. Graham (Morehouse School of Medicine)
    Vaccine Equity and the Future of Global Health

  • Plenary Talk by Dr. Gagandeep Kang (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
    Enhancing Vaccine Equity Before and After COVID-19

  • Workshop: Equity in Vaccine Responses 
    This workshop will highlight biological differences in vaccine responses across different demographics of the population that should be considered when designing vaccines and developing dosing to ensure safety and efficacy across diverse populations. Speakers will represent diverse global perspectives:
    • Fan Zhou (University of Bergen, Norway)
      Age Related Differences in Kinetics and Magnitude of SARS-CoV-2 and Endemic Human Coronavirus Reactive Antibody Responses After Vaccination and Infection
    • Lobke Hensen (University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands)
      T cell Immune Response Induced by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Vaccination in Down Syndrome
    • Francesco Berlanda-Scorza† (GSK, Italy)
      A Strategic Model and Industry Collaboration for Sustainable Development of Vaccines against Neglected Diseases
    • Jerome Nyhalah Dinga (University of Buea, Cameroon)
      Combating the Loss in Childhood Immunization Gains in Rural Communities and Vaccination of Disabled Persons due to Covid-19: The Approach of Building Relationships and Harnessing Power in the Community
    • Ramya Madhavan (Christian Medical College, India)
      Characterization of Immune Responses to Two and Three Doses of the Adenoviral Vectored Vaccine ChAdOx1 nCov-19 and the Whole Virion Inactivated Vaccine BBV152 in a Mix-and-match Study in India

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Stay tuned for more Health Equity Programming Updates!

Donate to Support Keystone Symposia Diversity Initiatives Here!


CALL FOR NOMINATIONS!!!  We are looking for the scientific community to nominate scientists for consideration as future Keystone Symposia speakers and advisors in the area of health equity research!  We are especially interested in identifying researchers who explore how to rectify health inequities through molecular/cellular research and discovery vs. social determinants.

Please submit any suggestions through our online portal HERE!

For questions, contact

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Return to the September 2023 Keypoint Newsletter