For Immediate Release


Yvonne M. Psaila

Director, Marketing & Communications

Keystone Symposia on Molecular & Cellular Biology

+ 1 970-262-2676



Keystone Symposia Announces Virtual Symposium on Health Disparities Relating to Type 2 Diabetes


SILVERTHORNE, CO – August 1, 2018 – Keystone Symposia is pleased to announce a free, open ePanel on “Health Disparities: Type 2 Diabetes, Research and Policy” to be held on August 7, 2018 at 2:30 PM ET. Sponsored by Biogen and co-organized with the Keystone Policy Center, the 90-minute event will be broadcast globally and will include a 30-minute audience Q&A session. The event is open to everyone; online registration is required at Audience members can enter a question for the panel either during registration or during the event broadcast via the chat room.


The panel discussion will be moderated by Brad Sperber, Senior Policy Director at the Keystone Policy Center, a nonprofit not affiliated with Keystone Symposia but also headquartered in Summit County, Colorado. The panelists are Dr. Felicia Hill-Briggs of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Sacoby Wilson of the University of Maryland School of Public Health, Dr. Alina Baciu of the National Academies of Sciences, and Dr. Roland J. Thorpe of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


Since 2003, Congress has mandated that the Federal government produce the annual National Healthcare Disparities Report as part of the effort to monitor national progress in achieving health equity. The 2016 iteration of that report indicates that racial and ethnic minorities represent a disproportionate share of the Type 2 diabetes epidemic in the United States. According to Dr. Briggs, who is the current President of Health Care and Education for the American Diabetes Association, the prevalence is two times higher in African Americans and Hispanics than Caucasian Americans, and more than two times higher in Native Americans. This panel discussion will explore the key factors driving the disparity in Type 2 diabetes incidence, research and care, including behavioral factors, the role of culture and community, and socioeconomic variables.


Dr. Irelene P. Ricks, Keystone Symposia’s Director of Diversity in Life Science Programs, notes: “For a while now, Keystone Symposia has sought to focus attention on health disparities through workshops at Keystone Symposia conferences and a health disparities taskforce comprised of Keystone Symposia Fellows and Diversity Advisory Committee members. This ePanel is a further extension of this effort that we hope will shed even broader light on the issue, with the hope being that more research into the causes and consequences of health disparities will inform future public policy decisions. We are truly grateful to the support of Biogen in making this event possible.”




About Virtual Keystone Symposia


Keystone Symposia’s “Virtual Keystone Symposia” format is a way to hold short symposia and panel discussions on timely topics that can benefit from an accelerated production schedule. The format also serves as a way to share the insights gained with a more extensive global audience than those who can attend face-to-face conferences. To date since this new programming model was launched about four years ago, more than 12,000 people have participated in Virtual Keystone Symposia events, which have been held on diverse scientific topics including neuroscience, genome editing, noncoding RNAs, malaria, HIV and multiple sclerosis, as well as broader topics such as drug discovery, health disparities, mentoring, tech transfer and reproducibility in biomedical research. All events are available to view in archived form at In addition to virtual events, this site also houses various scientific video talks filmed at various Keystone Symposia conferences.




About Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology


Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has been conducting internationally renowned, open scientific conferences since its founding as UCLA Symposia in 1972 and has been headquartered in Summit County, Colorado, USA since 1990.


Keystone Symposia will convene 59 face-to-face conferences in the 2018-2019 season, the majority of which take place between January and April 2019, on topics ranging from cancer and immunology to neuroscience and genomics. Registration fees are supplemented by generous financial support from corporate, foundation and individual donors as well as government grants.


From 2016 to 2018, the organization marked a special two-year period of “Celebrating Diversity” and is pleased to report that during this period, representation by invited female speakers at the podium increased from 28% to 33% of overall speakers across the Keystone Symposia conference portfolio, while representation of UR invited speakers increased from approximately 3% to 5%. Keystone Symposia’s Diversity in Life Science initiatives include the Keystone Symposia Fellows Program, travel awards for early-career UR investigators to attend Keystone Symposia conferences, and a variety of mentoring opportunities.


More information about the organization and its conferences is located at and, respectively.