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Emily and Tom Whitehead, Dean Kamen to Deliver Keynote Addresses at DIA 2024 Global Annual Meeting

Speakers exemplify what it means to break barriers in the search for novel treatments


WASHINGTON — April 23, 2024 — DIA, a global organization of life sciences professionals, will feature the patient perspectives of Emily and Tom Whitehead and insights from inventor Dean Kamen during keynote addresses at the DIA 2024 Global Annual Meeting, to be held June 16-20 in San Diego.

The speakers will share their experiences of being at the forefront of emerging treatments and discuss some of the more pressing issues in healthcare, including advanced and regenerative therapies, the role of the patient in clinical trial design, and innovations in drug and device development.

Emily Whitehead was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in May 2010, when she was 5 years old. Children have an 85% to 90% chance of being cured of this disease, but existing treatment options did not work for Emily. Her parents, Tom and Kari, enrolled her in a clinical trial, and she became the first pediatric patient in the world to undergo chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy. Emily has been cancer free for more than a decade.

Kamen is an entrepreneur and advocate for science and technology who holds more than 1,000 U.S. and foreign patents. He invented the wearable infusion pump, the HomeChoice peritoneal dialysis system, the iBOT motorized wheelchair, and the Segway, among many other devices. He also established the youth robotics organization FIRST in 1989.

"The stories of Emily and Tom Whitehead and the work of Dean Kamen are powerful reminders of the impact we can have when we refuse to accept limitations," said Marwan Fathallah, DIA's President and Global Chief Executive. "Their courage to venture into the unknown has redefined what's possible in healthcare and delivered hope to patients facing seemingly insurmountable challenges."

Thousands of biopharmaceutical experts, regulators, innovators, academics, and patients will convene for the Global Annual Meeting, the world's preeminent multi-disciplinary life sciences forum, which will feature 220 sessions and more than 500 speakers across 13 engaging content tracks.

The Whiteheads will present their “Patient Experience with CAR-T Therapy” and Kamen will deliver “The Future of Regenerative Therapies, How Public-Private Partnerships Can Impact Advancement” during the opening plenary at 8 a.m. on Monday, June 17.

To register or view the event program, visit Media members can request credentials by emailing


Media Contact

Denise DiMeglio
Gregory FCA

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