I met Dr. Sanjay Bidichandani last night at the welcome reception — quite possibly my favorite person that I’ve met so far — and he assured me that he would be able to translate all of the scientific talk that I was quite positive would be well over my head. I think he may have even said, “Believe me, you’ll be fine…”
|Me and Dr. Sanjay Bidichandani|
He started his speech this morning with the acknowledgment that he knew the crowd was about 30 percent folks who were not coming from a scientific background and so he would be giving the basics of genetics, or a talk entitled “ABCs of Genetics,” and I thought to myself “Great! I know the ABCs — in fact I have a collection of ABC books in my classroom!”
So he began this basic talk with a picture of a cell and made reference to the nucleus — yay! I know what a nucleus is! I’m getting it…I am so smart! Then he pointed to the mitochondrial portion of a cell where the energy is — yes!! I’ve heard of that, too!! This is going to be great! At this point I was really feeling like I would be able to communicate to all of you at home the exciting genetic news that is coming out of Vegas this week.
And then, the next thing I knew, Dr. Bidichandani began rapidly churning out the following words for which I can provide no further description nor definition: exons, introns, heteroplasmy, homoplasmy, phenotype, heterogeneity, peripheral myelin proteins … seriously, he is quite possibly the most intelligent man I’ve ever heard — and this is only the beginning of the conference.
|Taking notes at the Conference|
Having said that, I know right now that my job is NOT to repeat back to you in layman’s terms what Dr. Bidichandani told me and a room full of hundreds of genetic experts. My job is to let you know that MDA has chosen a Vice President of Research who is passionate, personable and professional. His name is said with a smile by all who know him and he was certainly presented to me as one of the people I had to meet.
I firmly believe that, through the leadership of this great doctor, we will soon be hearing across the country some very clear and comprehensible statements from Dr. Bidichandani such as, “We have a new drug treatment for fill-in-the-blank muscular dystrophy!” And this, to me, is beyond exciting — and perhaps telling that the ABC’s of genetic diseases will one day stand for “Already Been Cured”!