On Friday, Sept. 28, Dr. Tamer Seckin will take the stage at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge to help kick off the university's medical conference, the Fourth Annual Open Endoscopy Forum. Although the event's name suggests a focus on gastroenterology, the three-day event will bring together thought-leaders including surgeons, scientists, entrepreneurs and engineers from a variety of fields.
The opening talks will be made by both Seckin and Padma Lakshmi, his co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America.
Event chairwoman Linda Griffith, Ph.D., a Professor of Biological Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at MIT, says attendees can expect a relaxed TED Talk-style of speaking rather than a traditional, buttoned-up conference.
"This meeting is a chance to kind of take a step back and have the folks who are in the trenches...pick something that is really important, they feel, for their colleagues to be thinking about," says Griffith.
An MIT committee selected about 20 speakers for being "a thought leader" and for being "provocative in thinking, 'We can do better,'" adds Griffith.
"Dr. Seckin has an enormous record of accomplishment for getting people to think across the different lines of clinical expertise, patients and scientists. We want everyone who speaks to be a really good speaker, someone who can convey a passionate message, and Dr. Seckin is certainly someone who can energize the crowd."
Griffith is particularly looking forward to Seckin's presentation, tentatively titled "In Bed With The Beast" because she has long suffered from endometriosis and says, to date, she has had nine surgeries in all. Her plight inspired her to launch MIT's Center for Gynepathology Research where she and co-chair Dr. Keith Isaacson have collaborated on endometriosis-related research together since 2009.
"I think MIT is a place that is important to have events like this. People pay attention. MIT, you think of it as a nerdy place with a bunch of guys. I think it's important for the guys to see this disease. It brings new research people into the endometriosis universe, and we need that so badly."
"I am most honored to join MIT for what will surely be an informative and interactive weekend," says Seckin. "MIT is the birthplace of an untold number of innovations, and as such, I plan an exciting presentation on endometriosis to present to my peers in hopes of spreading further endometriosis awareness, discussing disease etiology and progression, proper surgical techniques, and spurring improvements in the realm of women's reproductive health."
This is the first time that Seckin has been invited to attend the prestigious event. According to the Open Endoscopy Forum's website, other speaker's topics of discussion will include, “What can we learn about the patient’s brain, stress, and mood from a wristband?” and "What can surgeons learn from astronauts?”
Griffith says the event will take place in an intimate setting with an audience of about 100. Registration is open to the public. Tickets and a schedule of events are available here.
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