Sarah Hooper was hard at work in the intensive care unit at Frederick Memorial Hospital. The young nurse had joined the hospital staff in 1981—her first nursing position—and was spending her days monitoring, caring for, and helping patients in critical condition. All around her, they were struggling with respiratory problems, cardiac issues, and infections. But four beds were special. They were reserved for cancer patients participating in the Biological Response Modifiers Program.
The morning of April 20, 1981, dawned over Frederick, dismal and gray. A canopy of clouds hid the sun, and a springtime chill clung to the city, stirring into a cold breeze later in the day. Despite the ostensibly ill omen, it was an important day for biomedical research. The first patients would be admitted to the Biological Response Modifiers Program (BRMP) inpatient unit at Frederick Memorial Hospital.
It was a party of international stature. More than 300 scientists from 27 countries dined and rubbed elbows in the J. Harper Poor Mansion in Manhattan, a three-story abode that in past years had welcomed the likes of President John F. Kennedy, comedian Jack Benny, and actress Marilyn Monroe. At the center of it all were the Krims, who had invited the droves of researchers into their home for a celebration to kick off an international workshop at Rockefeller University. The subject was interferon, a class of natural proteins associated with the immune system.
Across the world, conferencing software flicked open on computer screens. It was 8 a.m. in San Francisco, 11 a.m. in Frederick, 5 p.m. in Madrid, 11 p.m. in Hong Kong. The first day of the Third National Cancer Institute RAS Initiative Symposium was about to begin. Time zones notwithstanding, scientists and onlookers were tuning in from offices, studies, and living rooms to watch the livestream of the virtual event.
Block off the afternoon of September 1, 2021, in your calendar because the Technology Showcase is returning for its fifth year. The event will be fully virtual and, as always, feature exciting biomedical technologies, panels on important topics for industry stakeholders, and various poster pitches. New this year is an increased focus on the patient’s voice.