Howell Speakers

May, 2019

Why Palliative Medicine Must Become Mainstream

Daniel Hoefer, MD This event featured guest speaker Dr. Hoefer, Chief Medical Officer, Outpatient Palliative Care Program, at Sharp Healthcare. Dr. Hoefer made the case that palliative care is no longer just the responsibility of specialists in geriatrics but is important for all specialties in medicine. He explained why overtreatment is a deadly disease and all the things that can compromise a patient’s well-being during a hospital admission. Dr. Hoefer's slides

February, 2019

Women and Diabetes: Use of digital technologies in diabetes care

Athena Philis-Tsimikas, MD. This event featured guest speaker Dr. Philis-Tsimikas, Corporate Vice President of the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute at Scripps Health and the Director of Community Engagement at Scripps Translational Science Institute in San Diego, California. Dr. Philis-Tsimikas Slides

November, 2018

Dementia: perspectives, progress and promise

Amy Borenstein, PhD and Pamela Maher, PhD. - Dr. Borenstein is Professor of Epidemiology at UC-San Diego. Dr. Borenstein described dementia and its major subtypes as well as the most important risk factors for dementia and Alzheimer's disease. She also discussed ongoing trials of antibodies against the Alzheimer protein beta-amyloid as well as lifestyle changes that may delay the onset of the disease to later ages.  Dr. Maher is a Senior Staff Scientist at The Salk Institute. Dr. Maher discussed the rationale behind the Salk Institute's approach to the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of AD. She provided examples of the use of this approach, and summarized where research is right now and what she hopes to accomplish in the future.

August, 2018

Addiction: it’s not just drugs and alcohol

Carolyn Coker Ross, MD - Dr. Carolyn Coker Ross addressed multiple addictions, the common factors and novel remedies. Dr. Ross maintains private practices in Denver and San Diego using both western and complimentary medicine to treat a wide array of addictions. Click here for more information:

June, 2018

Health & Happiness Evening Series 

Improving Benefits and Reducing Harms from Breast Cancer Screening: The WISDOM Trial

Barbara A Parker, MD, Andrea Z. LaCroix, PhD and Lisa Madlensky, PhD - In support of the WISDOM (Women Informed to Screen Depending On Measures of risk) trial, the event focused on informing the audience about current breast screening technologies, and the research currently being conducted to establish the guidelines based on personal history and genetics.  Hosting three renowned specialists in the areas of oncology, epidemiology and genetic testing, the objective was to inform the San Diego community about the latest research being conducted regarding breast cancer screening guidelines, their efficacy, and the steps required to provide women with accurate, personalized prevention processes that effectively diagnose and treat breast cancer on an individualized basis.  For an event summary and detailed information from the speakers, please visit

Dr. Parker's slides Dr. Madlensky's slides Dr. LaCroix's slides

May, 2018

Advanced Tissue Therapies - Progress in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

Benjamin Shepherd, PhD - Dr. Benjamin Shepherd presented the latest and most innovative developments in using cultured human tissues for vital organ transplantation. Dr. Shepherd is Senior Director of Therapeutics at Organovo.

February, 2018

Latest Advances in Medical and Surgical Treatment of Heart Disease

Anthony De Maria, MD - Dr. Anthony De Maria, Judith and Jack White Chair of Cardiology and Founding Director of the UCSD Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, presented the latest advances in medical and surgical treatment of heart disease.  

November, 2017

Be Better Fed: Fasting, Fats and (Plant Based) Food

Speakers Panel:

Katherine (Meg) Richman, MD, FACR - "Healthy, (Nutrient) Wealthy, Wise: The Benefits of Plant-based Nutrition to Prevent Cancer, Osteoporosis, & Dementia"

Abigail D'Agostino, RN, BSN, MBA - "Fasting: to eat or not to eat (and when), those are the questions!"

Carole L. Banka, PhD - "In Defense of Fats"

August, 2017

Improving the snooze: Sleeping better as we age

Andrea Z. LaCroix, PhD. - Dr. Andrea LaCroix, Professor and Chief of Epidemiology in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UCSD, spoke about how sleep changes as we age, the problems that women experience with sleep in midlife and beyond, and the ways we are learning to improve sleep without using sedative and hypnotic drugs.  Click here for Dr. LaCroix's slides.

May, 2017

Cannabis: the good, the bad, the myths and the reality

Igor Grant, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C) and Susan F. Tapert, Ph.D. - With the passage of Proposition 64 legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in California last November, it seemed timely to hear about research surrounding this issue. Dr, Grant discussed his research on clinical use of cannabis. Dr. Tapert addressed the effects of cannabis on the adolescent brain. Click here for slides:  Dr. Grant's presentation and Dr. Tapert's presentation

March, 2017

Ending the arms race with infectious diseases

Janelle Ayres, Ph.D. - Dr. Ayres's fascinating presentation outlined her ultimate goal to develop treatments for infectious and non-infectious diseases without the need for antibiotics.

February, 2017

Chocolate and Cardiovascular Disease: The Bitter Truth

Pam R. Taub, MD FACC - Dr. Taub discussed cardiovascular disease in women, the risk factors for heart disease, preventive measures for heart disease and the story of chocolate.  Presentation slides.

January, 2017

Health & Happiness Symposium

New year, new life! How to better manage stress including the hidden disorder that no one talks about. The Howell Foundation’s Health and Happiness Series presented its first symposium focused on sources, health consequences and coping skills related to stress. With the key note presentation on Hoarding by Dr. Sanjaya Saxena delivered an in depth understanding of the differences between cluttering and hoarding and the tools to mitigate the stress of dealing with either. We also had the honor of hosting experts who gave us an in-depth perspective on how to manage the stress that derives from this and other sources, including: ‘Using mantram meditation to reduce stress’,with Dr. Jill Bormann, ‘Using Pilates to reduce stress’, with Laura Sepulveda, and ‘Stress and your health: consequences and coping – gender matters,’ with our own Dr. Carole Banka. On-site Massage therapy was provided by the Wellness Institute of America

Pilates presentation slides: click here
Mantram Meditation info:  click here  
Hoarding presentation slides: click here

November, 2016

Intelligent Aging

Claudia Kawas, MD and Cheryl Wilson, RN, MA, LNHA  - The Howell Foundation celebrated its last luncheon of 2016 with a topic that concerns us all: "Intelligent Aging". We had the honor of hosting two experts that gave us an in-depth perspective on the intelligent steps to take in our aging journey.  

September, 2016

Health & Happiness Evening Series

The Happy Map

Hilary Stokes, Ph.D. and Kimberly Ward, Ph.D.  - Drs. Stokes and Ward took attendees on a step by step journey to developing the habit of happiness. The novelty that Kim and Hilary bring to the search for happiness is an understanding of the latest neurological research and a method for reprogramming your brain to achieve happiness. CLICK HERE for the presentation slides.

August, 2016

Unlocking the Power of the Genome

Karen Possemato - Genomics is changing human health – in areas such as Food Safety and Supply, Forensics, Genetic Disease Oncology and Reproductive Health. Ms. Possemato gave an overview that covered the basics of genomics, its potential and the impact it is having today. Slides from the from the presentation: Slides 1-25 and Slides 26-50

May, 2016

Simple Lifestyle Changes for Improving Women’s Health

Dorothy D. Sears, Ph.D. - Dr. Sears presented the latest information about how eating patterns and sedentary behavior are associated with the risk for chronic diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. She shared insights from her latest women’s health-focused research and newly-funded projects in these areas.  

February, 2016

Understanding the genome 10,000 experiments at a time: applying genomic approaches to understand autoimmune disease in women

Sonia Sharma, PhD - Dr. Sharma's presentation focused on applying genomic approaches to the understanding of autoimmune disease in women. Autoimmune disorders are the third most common cause of disease in Americans, after cancer and cardiovascular disease. There are as many as 80 types of diseases classified as autoimmune and, for reasons largely unclear, women represent 80% of the affected population. CLICK HERE for Dr.Sharma's presentation.

November, 2015

One world, one health

Stanely Maloy, PhD - Infectious diseases are arising at an alarming frequency, making it imperative to understand where emerging diseases come from and why. Although the health of humans, animals, and the environment are inextricably interconnected, practices in human and veterinary medicine rarely recognize these linkages. Dr. Maloy presented how the "One Health" initiative integrates these three disciplines to develop upstream approaches to prevent disease.

October, 2015

Health & Happiness Evening Series

Hormones & Happiness

Carole L. Banka, Ph.D.  - Dr. Banka presented the latest research on hormones are interconnected and the potential they have for making us happy or totally miserable.

August, 2015

The promise of the microbiome in human gastrointestinal health

Sarah K. Highlander, PhD - Dr. Highlander's presentation focused on how studies of the gastrointestinal tract in particular are allowing us to better understand the role of microbes in educating the immune system, response to infectious agents, and in diseases such as gastrointestinal cancers, Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and various autoimmune disease conditions. 

May, 2015

Bone Up: What you need to know about Osteoporosis in 2015

Heather Hofflich, DO, FACE - Dr. Hofflich presented new concepts in diagnosis, treatment, and fracture prevention strategies for Osteoporosis. 5-28-15 PowerPoint Slides

February, 2015

Telemedicine – Bridging the gap between humans and machines

Todd Coleman, Ph.D. - Dr. Coleman's presentation focused on merging the most recent wireless technologies to medical care. Read more about his lecture here.

November, 2014

Parkinson’s Disease:  The Road Ahead

Sherrie Gould, MSN, NP-C, Jeanne F.  Loring, Ph.D., James R. Paterniti, Ph.D., Goldie Sinegal - The panel presented and discussed topics related to the research advancements currently being conducted, the efforts of the Parkinson’s Disease Association to continue funding Parkinson’s Disease research, testimony from a Parkinson’s patient, the latest in treatment, and a caregiver’s perspective on the challenges of providing care for a Parkinson’s Disease patient. Click here for more info.

October, 2014

Health & Happiness Evening Series

Depression vs. Sadness...Learning to Know the Differences

Christina Zampitella, FT, Psy.D.  - Dr. Zampitella presented the skills to be able to distinguish sadness from depression, identify when professional help is needed, determine when sadness or depression is improving and how to improve hope while decreasing sadness or depression.

August, 2014

The Unmentionables: What Every Woman Should Know About Pelvic Health

Emily Lukacz, M.D., M.A.S. - Dr.  Lukacz discussed the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the common pelvic disorders, incontinence and prolapse. Her talk focused on both conservative and surgical treatment options for women faced with incontinence and prolapse including behavioral approaches to treatment.

April, 2014

Nutrition: A Novel Approach to Pain Management

Robert Bonakdar, M.D. - Examined the current body of science on pain and diet. Included discussion of nutritional factors that may exacerbate pain, approaches for reversing this as well as diet and supplement prescriptions for optimizing pain and related symptoms. 

March, 2014

Health and Happiness Evening Series

An Integrative Approach to Stress Management: Reducing Stress & Increasing Happiness

Tahir Bhatti, M.D., Integrative Psychiatrist and Wellness Physician, UCSD

Carole Banka, Ph.D., Dept. of Medicine, UCSD

Presented the concept of “relational wellness” influences stress management and how “Western” and “complimentary” medicine can be integrated to reduce stress for men and women. 

Materials presented:  3-18-14 PowerPoint slides

February, 2014

The meal you miss could save your life: How intermittent fasting may extend health-span

Roberta Gottlieb, M.D. - Dr. Gottlieb presented the latest research on the relationship between fasting and the benefits that ultimately lead not only to a healthier life, but a longer one.

Materials presented at this lecture:  PowerPoint presentation slides 1-20   PowerPoint slides 21-43.

November, 2013

The Latest Update on Breast Cancer and Reconstruction

Anne Wallace, M.D. - Presented a compelling review of the latest advances in breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and reconstructive surgery. 

October, 2013

Health and Happiness Evening Series 

An Evening of Flow & Mindfulness: Powerful Tools for Increasing Your Happiness

John Coffey, MA, MSW, PhD -  "Flow" is the state of intense focus. The presentation included how to create more opportunities to experience "Flow" in your life.  Materials presented: Flow-Finding Optimal Experience in Daily Life

Steven Hickman, PsyD - "Mindfulness" is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment - and accepting it without judgement. This presentation included learning practices for increasing Mindfulness in your daily life. Center for Mindfulness, UCSD. Materials presented: Mindfulness at the Heart of Healing

July, 2013

Recent Advances in Management of Lung Cancer

Ajay Sandhu, MD, DMRT  - Dr. Sandhu discussed new and innovative technology which offers remarkably effective and incredibly safe treatment for patients with early stage lung cancer.

May, 2013

The Road to a Gene Therapy for Heart Disease and Beyond: You Got to Know When to Fold ‘Um

Christopher Glembotski, Ph.D. - Researchers in Dr. Glembotski’s group recently discovered that heart disease damages proteins in the heart, causing them to misfold, resulting in life threatening losses of heart tissue and function. This protein misfolding is similar to what happens in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases.

Sample of presentation materials presented at this lecture: The Road to a Gene Therapy for Heart Disease and Beyond

January, 2013

How to Prevent Bone Loss

Shirin Hooshmand, Ph.D. - Presentation on which certain functional foods as whole, fractionated, or isolated forms prevent and/or reverse bone loss.

Materials presented at this lecture: How To Prevent Bone Loss

September and November, 2012

Intentional Happiness: Current Research and Practical Tools for Increasing Happiness

Peg Neuhauser, Kristin Layous and Katie Nelson - This lively and informative series focused on research that is shedding new light on why individual happiness levels vary and what a person can do to increase her happiness level.

Materials presented at this event: Session 1 powerpoint and Session 2 powerpoint and Research Articles.

October, 2012

The New Normal: Navigating a Hospital Visit in the 21st Century

Marguerite Parzen, R.N., G.N.P. and H. Elizabeth Noll, M.D. - A panel of experts educated the audience on the critical factors you need to know to navigate a hospital visit in today’s medical arena.

Materials presented at this lecture: Planning for the Best Hospitalization and Electronic Health Record Powerpoint

July, 2012

Gut Health, Nutrition and Well-being

Vijaya Pratha, M.D. - Overview of the critical functions of the digestive tract in processing, absorbing and detoxifying our food.

April, 2012

Update on Pancreatic Cancer: Are we making any progress?

Michael Bouvet, M.D., FACS - The symptoms and factors thought to contribute, and current research strategies as well as novel techniques for intraoperative imaging.

January, 2012

Migraine and Vestibular Migraine in Women

Ian M. Purcell, M.D., Ph.D. - A discussion of migraine headaches, the pathophysiology, diagnostic criteria, and treatment.

November, 2011

How Do We Treat Ovarian Cancer in the Genomic Age?

Stephen Howell, M.D. - How individualized treatment for patients is being explored via The Cancer Genome Atlas Project.

July, 2011

Myths of Osteoarthritis

Gregg Middleton, M.D.  - Overview of different types of arthritis, the myths and causes of osteoarthritis, what can be done to help people have less pain, better function, and an improved quality of life.

May, 2011

Type 2 Diabetes, An Emerging Epidemic

Lynn Hedrick, Ph.D. - Discussion on how diabetes accelerates vascular processes leading to heart attacks, and also the impact of gender on cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

January, 2011

Women and Heart Disease - Gender Matters

Carole Banka, Ph.D. - More women than men die of heart disease in the U.S. This presentation explored the reasons for the gender discrepancy, the symptoms & the treatment and life style changes and easy adjustments that women can adopt to lower their risk. 

October, 2010

Autism - Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together

Joan M. Reese, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, Robert M. Gray, Ph.D., Beth Calarco, M.S., B.C.B.A., and Gigi Benter - The myths and the realities explored by four experts.

August, 2010

Stem Cell Biology -- A Key to Regenerative Medicine

Evan Snyder, M.D. - The study of stem cell biology will provide insights into many areas: developmental biology, homeostasis in the normal adult, and recovery from injury.

April, 2010

Advances in Gynecologic Technologies; A Minimally Invasive Approach to Women

David Harari, M.D. -  Presentation on how doctors can now operate with greater precision and control, minimizing the pain and risk associated with large incisions and hastening recovery time. 


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