The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture and The Cura Foundation «Unite to Prevent»

VATICAN CITY and NEW YORK, April 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture and The Cura Foundation’s…

VATICAN CITY and NEW YORK, April 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture and The Cura Foundation’s Fifth International Vatican Conference will be held on May 6-8, 2021. The conference will unite the foremost leading physicians, scientists, leaders of faith, ethicists, patient advocates, policymakers, philanthropists and influencers to engage in powerful conversations on the latest breakthroughs in medicine, health care delivery and prevention, as well as the anthropological scientific and cultural impact of technological advances.

The new virtual format three-day conference, originally scheduled to take place at the Aula Nuova Del Sinodo in the Vatican City, will be presented in dynamic, short-segment programs. This event is the fifth in a series over the past decade aimed at exploring and enhancing cross-disciplinary collaborations to advance human health. The series has reached a wide global audience and included then Vice President Joe Biden addressing the 2016 conference in person. In 2018, Biden also addressed the #UniteToCure conference by video. This year’s conference will gather together a formidable group of speakers across all disciplines in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to share their insights about health, humanity and the future of medicine.

Moderated by the following acclaimed journalists:

  • Katie Couric, award-winning journalist, founder, Katie Couric Media and co-founder, Stand Up To Cancer.
  • Moira Forbes, executive vice president, Forbes.
  • Max Gomez, Ph.D., senior medical correspondent, CBS2 New York.
  • Sanjay Gupta, M.D., award-winning chief medical correspondent, CNN and neurosurgeon.
  • Richard Lui, anchor and journalist, MSNBC/NBC News.
  • Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., Emmy® Award-winning host, «The Dr. Oz Show,» cardiothoracic surgeon, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.
  • Amy J. Robach, co-anchor, «GMA3: What You Need to Know,» and «20/20» reporter, «Good Morning America» and ABC News Platforms.
  • Robin Roberts, co-anchor, «Good Morning America,» ABC and president, Rock’n Robin Productions.
  • Meredith Vieira, Emmy® Award-winning host, executive producer and anchor; founder and CEO, Meredith Vieira Productions.
  • Ron Winslow, freelance medical and science writer and former Wall Street Journal medical correspondent.

A full list of confirmed speakers is available on the conference website and as an addendum.

Conference organizers will also spotlight a conversation on «Bridging Science and Faith» by bringing together top physicians, scientists, leaders of faith, ethicists and theologians to explore the commonalities between religion and spirituality and health and wellbeing, as well as examine the relationship between the mind, body and soul. The discussion will delve into the anthropological and cultural dimensions of being human and look for areas of convergence between the humanities and the natural sciences. Discussions around the importance of empathy and compassion, ethical implications of advances in technology, including artificial intelligence, and the impact of innovation on anthropology are among the many areas where dialogue must occur. This important conversation is made possible through the generous support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

In addition to the John Templeton Foundation, conference supporters include Sanford Health, Celularity, Akkad Holdings, The Helmsley Charitable Trust, Sorrento Therapeutics, Aspire Capital Partners, Hackensack Meridian Health, T. Denny Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion at the University of California San Diego, United Therapeutics, Alliance Global Partners, The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation, Moderna, Inc. and many others.

The conference will close with a message for the participants from Pope Francis. Complete conference details including the full list of speakers, topics, media moderators and supporters are available on the conference website.

«We must consider the interplay between mind, body and soul if we hope to build a more equitable health care system and improve human health care globally,» said Robin Smith, M.D., M.B.A., founder and president of the Cura Foundation. «Providing an opportunity for experts from diverse disciplines to have a dialogue and share information and compare perspectives in a dynamic way and in partnership will inspire hope for patients, families and communities around the world. We often describe the conference as Davos but for health care; a multi-disciplinary approach that mobilizes global leaders to examine the world’s most pressing health challenges.»

Conference topics will address technology and new innovations in health care and how to make quality health care available and affordable, how to improve human health by addressing the mind, body and soul and how together with empathy, compassion and through the arts, we can make the environment and the world a better place. We will talk about the revolution of telemedicine, the need to provide care to rural and underserved communities and delivering care and treatment into the home and into the community through technology and innovation that will last far beyond the pandemic. We will learn about cutting-edge therapies, examine new regulatory paradigms in regenerative medicine, explore the medical risks of loneliness, and the importance of improving health and wellbeing, caring for others and helping people age with dignity. Complete descriptions of all conference topics are available on the conference website.

«Once again, we bring together scientists, physicians, health care providers, social workers, religious leaders of many different beliefs, representatives of law and industry, scholars of ethics, anthropology and philanthropy, and others, all representing different perspectives on the world,» said Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture. «No one approach can solve the perplexing and critical challenges of our times. More lenses are needed to bring into focus a complete picture of being and existence.»

Monsignor Tomasz Trafny, head of the Science and Faith Department of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said, «Together we will focus on advances in medical innovation and the creation of healthier communities and build bridges to catalyze the creation of new, interdisciplinary approaches and partnerships for improving health, wellbeing and understanding human uniqueness.»

To learn more about #UniteToPrevent, The Fifth International Vatican Conference, please visit:,, Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @CuraFdn and on Facebook at Follow the Pontifical Council for Culture on Twitter: @VaticanCultura and Facebook: Join the virtual conversation with #UniteToPrevent and #UniteToCure.

The Cura Foundation leads a major global health movement with the passionate purpose to improve human health. Cura unites public and private sectors, partnering with doctors, patients, business leaders, philanthropists and thought leaders to collaborate and create breakthroughs around the world. The foundation drives change by raising public awareness, supporting research and educating the next generation of thought leaders and medical professionals about innovations in medicine. The Cura Foundation is a nonsectarian, nonpartisan, public and tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. For more information, please visit:

The Pontifical Council for Culture is a dicastery of the Roman Curia charged with fostering the relationship of the Catholic Church with different cultures. Established in 1982 by Pope John Paul II, the Council is committed to the dialogue with many realities in their relation to culture and faith such as Art, Music, Cultural Goods, Cultures in the World, Mysticism, Atheism, Economics, Language & Communication, International Cultural Bodies, Sport and Science. For more information, please visit:

The Science and Faith (STOQ) Foundation is a Foundation under Vatican law promoted by the Pontifical Council for Culture. The Foundation aims to give continuity to the activities of Project STOQ, which emerged from the collaboration between the Pontifical Council for Culture and Pontifical Roman Universities following the Galileo Commission and the Jubilee of Scientists in the year 2000. Among the aims of the Foundation are research and study of the themes of dialogue between science, philosophy and theology; realization of conferences and other activities of high cultural and scientific value, even at the popular level; publication of works of merit on the main arguments of the science-faith dialogue.

Stem for Life, a Cura Foundation is the educational and advocacy subsidiary of the Cura Foundation and is devoted to fostering global awareness of the potential for regenerative medicine to treat and cure a range of deadly diseases and debilitating medical conditions, as opposed to merely treating their symptoms. The Foundation stands at the forefront of a fundamental shift away from traditional drug treatment in favor of amplifying the body’s natural repair mechanisms to vanquish disease. For more information, please visit:


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Addendum – The Fifth International Vatican Conference Speakers 2021 as of April 15:

Rabbi Elie Abadie, M.D., senior rabbi, Jewish Council of the Emirates and Association of Gulf Jewish Communities.

Jonathan J. Bush, Jr., executive chair, Firefly Health.

Amy Abernethy, M.D., Ph.D., former principal deputy commissioner and acting chief information officer, U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Deepak Chopra, M.D., founder, The Chopra Foundation and founder, Chopra Global.

Micah Aberson, executive vice president, Sanford Health.

George Church, Ph.D., founding core faculty and lead, Wyss Institute, Harvard University; professor of genetics, Harvard Medical School; professor of health sciences and technology, Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Gina Agiostratidou, Ph.D., program director, Type 1 diabetes program, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Ellen Wright Clayton, M.D., J.D., Craig-Weaver Professor of pediatrics and professor of health policy, Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and professor of law, Vanderbilt School of Law.

Rick Anderson, president and general manager, North America, DarioHealth.

Chelsea Clinton, D.Phil., M.P.H., vice chair, Clinton Foundation.

Stéphane Bancel, CEO, Moderna.

Kelly L. Close, co-founder and chair of the board, The diaTribe Foundation.

Justin L. Barrett, Ph.D., president, Blueprint 1543, honorary professor of theology and the sciences, St. Andrews University, School of Divinity.

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director, U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Nir Barzilai, M.D., The Rennert Chair of Aging Research, professor of medicine and genetics and director, Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Biology of Aging, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Cindy Crawford, model and entrepreneur.

Marc Benioff, chair and CEO, Salesforce.

John F. Crowley, chair of the board and CEO, Amicus Therapeutics, Inc.

Paul Bloom, Ph.D., Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology, Yale University.

Ray Dalio, founder, co-chair and co-chief information officer, Bridgewater Associates, New York Times best-selling author of «Principles: Life & Work.»

Emma Bloomberg, founder and CEO, Murmuration.

Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D., professor of psychology and psychiatry, and founder and director of the Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Albert Bourla, D.V.M., Ph.D., chair and CEO, Pfizer.

Grand Hospitaller, H.E. Dominique Prince de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel, Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion in Obedience, The Sovereign Order of Malta.

Otis W. Brawley, M.D., Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of oncology and epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University.

Marilyn Glassberg, M.D., division chief of pulmonary medicine, critical care and sleep medicine; senior director of clinical research for strategy and growth, department of internal medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine.

Dan Buettner, founder, Blue Zones.

Laurie H. Glimcher, M.D., president and CEO, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Richard and Susan Smith professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, director, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.

Ronald A. DePinho, M.D., Distinguished University Professor and past president, MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder, the Jane Goodall Institute and U.N. Messenger of Peace.

Joseph M. DeVivo, president, hospital and health systems, Teladoc Health.

Scott Gottlieb, M.D., resident fellow, American Enterprise Institute and 23rd commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Spencer P. Eccles, co-founder and managing partner, The Cynosure Group.

Andre Goy, M.D., physician-in-chief of Oncology Services, Hackensack Meridian Health; chair, John Theurer Cancer Center; founding chair of Oncology, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine.

Rev. Terrence P. Ehrman, C.S.C., Ph.D., visiting assistant teaching professor, department of theology, University of Notre Dame.

Kurt J. Griffin, M.D., Ph.D., Todd and Linda Broin Chair for Diabetes Research; director of clinical trials, The Sanford Project, Sanford Research; and associate professor, pediatric endocrinology, Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota.

Michael E. Farkouh, M.D., Peter Munk Chair in Multinational Clinical Trials; director, Heart & Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence; vice-chair, research and professor of medicine, department of medicine, University of Toronto.

Sanjay Gupta, M.D., award-winning chief medical correspondent, CNN and neurosurgeon.

Paul Farmer, M.D., Ph.D., Kolokotrones University professor and chair, department of global health and social medicine, Harvard Medical School; co-founder and chief strategist, Partners In Health.

Robert J. Hariri, M.D., Ph.D., founder, chair, and CEO, Celularity.

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Katherine High, M.D., president, therapeutics, AskBio.

Judy Faulkner, founder and CEO, Epic.

Marc Hodosh, founder and co-host, «LIFE ITSELF.»

David Feinberg, M.D., vice president, head of Google Health, Google.

Donald Hoffman, Ph.D., professor emeritus of cognitive sciences, University of California, Irvine.

Rev. Kevin T. FitzGerald, S.J., Ph.D., John A. Creighton University Professor and chair, department of medical humanities, Creighton University.

Jacquelyn Kulinski, M.D., director of the preventive cardiology program and associate professor of medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin.

Renée Fleming, soprano; arts and health advocate; artistic advisor, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Samarth Kulkarni, Ph.D., CEO, CRISPR Therapeutics.

Robert C. Garrett, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health.

Timothy A. Lash, president, West Health Policy Center.

Rebekah E. Gee, M.D., CEO, Louisiana State University Health Care Services; former secretary, Louisiana Department of Health.

William W. Li, M.D., president, medical director and CEO, The Angiogenesis Foundation.

Debra Houry, M.D., M.P.H., director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Peter Libby, M.D., cardiovascular specialist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Mallinckrodt Professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School.

Ryan Howard, founder and CEO, 100Plus.

Dan Liljenquist, senior vice president and chief strategy officer, Intermountain Healthcare.

Mark Hyman, M.D., head of strategy and innovation, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine.

Shelley Lyford, president and CEO, Gary and Mary West Foundation.

Elder William K. Jackson, M.D., General Authority Seventy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO, AARP.

Brandon Marshall, NFL athlete, co-founder, Project 375 and founder, House of Athlete.

Henry Ji, Ph.D., chair, president and CEO, Sorrento Therapeutics.

Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., director, Duke-Robert J. Margolis, M.D., Center for Health Policy, and the Robert J. Margolis, M.D., Professor of Business, Medicine, and Policy, Duke University.

Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D., president, Compassion Institute.

Gary Mendell, founder and CEO, Shatterproof.

Carl June, M.D., the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy and director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies, Perelman School of Medicine; director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, University of Pennsylvania.

Jamie Metzl, J.D., Ph.D., founder and chair, OneShared.World.

Cigall Kadoch, Ph.D., professor, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School; founder, Foghorn Therapeutics.

Matthew Might, Ph.D., professor and director, Hugh Kaul Precision Medicine Institute, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dean Kamen, president, DEKA R&D, chair ARMI, and founder, FIRST®.

Rosalind Picard, Sc.D., professor, MIT Media Lab; chief scientist and chair, Empatica.

Allen J. Karp, executive vice president, healthcare management and transformation, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.

Renato Poletti, president, Science and Faith (STOQ) Foundation and president, Foundation for Heritage and Cultural and Artistic Activities of the Church.

Kerry Kennedy, president, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president, Pontifical Council for Culture.

Stephen K. Klasko, M.D., president, Thomas Jefferson University, CEO, Jefferson Health.

Elder Dale G. Renlund, M.D., Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D., president and CEO, JDRF International.

David C. Rhew, M.D., chief medical officer and vice president of healthcare, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft.

Maria Millan, M.D., president and CEO, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. 

Walter Ricciardi, M.D., full professor in hygiene, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome; president, Mission Board for Cancer of the European Commission; president, World Federation of Public Health Associations.

Princess Dina Mired, immediate past president, Union for International Cancer Control; patron of SIOP; honorary president of EORTC; special envoy for NCD’s Vital Strategies; member of WHO Expert Group for the Elimination of Cervical Cancer.

Sheri L. Robb, Ph.D., professor, Indiana University School of Nursing.

William C. Mobley, M.D., Ph.D., associate dean for neurosciences initiatives, and interim director of the Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion, department of neurosciences, University of California San Diego.

Robert S. Rosenson, M.D., Director of Metabolism and Lipids, professor of medicine and cardiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., dean, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University.

Frank J. Sasinowski, J.D., M.P.H., director, Hyman, Phelps & McNamara.

Michael Murray, Ph.D., president, Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

Roy Schoenberg, M.D., M.P.H., president and co-CEO, Amwell.

Julien Musolino, Ph.D., associate professor, department of psychology, Rutgers University.

John Sculley, managing partner, Sculley Advisors.

David B. Nash, M.D., founding dean emeritus and the Raymond C. and Doris N. Grandon Professor of Health Policy, Jefferson College of Population Health.

Stephen Shaya, M.D., managing director, Akkad Holdings; executive servant leader, J&B Medical.

Timothy O’Connor, Ph.D., Mahlon Powell Professor of Philosophy, Indiana University.

Jerrell W. Shelton, chair, president and CEO, Cryoport.

Emmanuel «Manny» Ohonme, president and CEO, Samaritan’s Feet International.

Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D., president, Samaritan Health Initiatives; former Commissioner U.S. Food and Drug Administration and 12th Director, National Cancer Institute.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of state, Vatican.

David A. Pearce, Ph.D., president of innovation and research, Sanford Health. 

Warren J. von Eschenbach, Ph.D., associate vice president and assistant provost; associate teaching professor, department of philosophy and department of information technology, analytics & operations, University of Notre Dame.

Andrew Pecora, M.D., CEO, Outcomes Matter Innovations and director, Celularity.

Jill Weimer, Ph.D., senior director of therapeutic development, Sanford Research.

Joe Perry, lead guitarist, GRAMMY® Award-winning songwriter and co-founder of the American Rock and Roll Band, Aerosmith.  

Michael R. Yeaman, Ph.D., professor and chief of molecular medicine, UCLA School of Medicine; director, Institute for Infection & Immunity, Lundquist Institute at Harbor-UCLA; chair, medical sciences, Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation.

William Shrank, M.D., chief medical and corporate affairs officer, Humana.

Shaykh Asim Yusuf, M.B., Ch.B., chair, British Board of Scholars and Imams and fellow, Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Bernard Siegel, J.D., executive director, Regenerative Medicine Foundation.

David A. Sinclair, Ph.D., professor, department of genetics and co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research, Harvard Medical School.

Robin L. Smith, M.D., founder, president, and chair, Cura Foundation and Stem for Life; vice president and director, Science and Faith (STOQ) Foundation.

Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School.

Edward A. Tenthoff, managing director, senior biotechnology research analyst, Piper Sandler and Companies.

Cristian Tomasetti, Ph.D., associate professor of oncology and biostatistics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Monsignor Tomasz Trafny, head of science and faith department, Pontifical Council for Culture, and general secretary, Science and Faith (STOQ) Foundation.

Donato J. Tramuto, founder and chair, Health eVillages; founder and chair, Tramuto Foundation; author and health care activist.

Stephen Trzeciak, M.D., professor, chair and chief of medicine, Cooper University Health Care, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.

Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò, vice chancellor, Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.


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