Good morning readers from sunny San Francisco, (actually it has been kinda cloudy and rainy here, though I can’t complain compared to the winter in much of North America)
Just wanted to let you know that things are starting to get pretty busy for me and I might not be able to post as often as before. What started off as just a curiosity I foolishly thought to pursue seems to now be having a tangible impact and possibly turning into a real career. (I know, I know, my parents are going to be very disappointed in me 😉 )
This blog began as just an outlet for my ramblings about the future. But as my interest focused on neuroscience and Parkinson’s disease I found myself slowly gaining some credibility in this field. Now, just over 150 entries and 75+ interviews later, I look back and wonder myself how this all came together. In 2018 it got me invited to the Sergei Brin Family Foundation’s ASAP meeting, the European Parliament, the Synuclein Conference, Toronto StemCell Talks, the Cure Parkinson’s Trust Rallying to the Challenge, Partnerships in Clinical Trials Europe, Roche, Sanofi, BioLegend, the Ontario Brain Institute, Parkinson Canada’s leadership day and more. I’m also now an advisor to the World Parkinson Congress, the Ontario Neurodegenerative Research Institute, as well as a published author in three major medical journals including co-first author of the cover piece of Trends in Neuroscience, and I was recently named to the editorial board of the Journal of Parkinson.
While it has been quite a ride, I am reminded of a poem I used to torture my students in China with as I prepared them for university in America.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’
– Robert Frost
There are still plenty of obstacles to overcome and a lot of work left to be done. The various stakeholders: the patients, researchers, scientists, funders, and more, still don’t understand each other very well, and our medical systems still often do more to impede progress rather than advance it.
But, I hope I can give hope to others that there is a life to be had after diagnosis. I also want to note that I am certainly not the only one who has figured out a way to make a difference. Two in particular who I want to thank for helping show me the way are Gerold Riempp and Sara Riggare. (Sara was actually just named Swede of the Year in Medicine.)
Finally, I wanted to share with you my upcoming speaking schedule. If you happen to be in any of the areas feel free to reach out, or if you know any organizations that might like to have me speak please give them my contact information below.
Upcoming Speaking Schedule
(Note: this is a tentative schedule that I will be updating in the tab above as more get confirmed)
February 4 – 23andMe (Mountain View, CA)
February 5 – The Buck Institute (Novato, CA)
February 7 – System1 Biosciences (San Francisco, CA)
February 20 – Zambon (Milan, Italy)
February 25-28 – Chan Zuckerburg Initiative Neurodegeneration Challenge Network Meeting
March 7 – McGill (Montreal, Quebec)
March 9 – Local PD group (Hamilton, Ontario)
March 25-29 – AD/PD Meeting (Lisbon, Portugal)
April 1 – Local PD group (Whitby, Ontario)
Aprl 13 – Living Better (Toronto, Ontario)
June 4-7 – World Parkinson’s Congress (Kyoto, Japan)
For inquirers and booking information contact me at benjaminstecher (at) gmail (dot) com
Looking forward to what the year of the pig has in store…