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2023 Disruptive Dozen

The 12 Most Disruptive Technologies

The ”Disruptive Dozen” results from interviews of one hundred Mass General Brigham senior Harvard faculty followed by a rigorous selection process to identify the twelve mostly likely to have significant impact on healthcare.

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#12 | Slowing the Progression of Type 1 Diabetes

Rachel Whooten, MD

Pediatric Endocrinologist, MGH; Assistant Professor, HMS

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic illness that results when the body’s own immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, destroying the cells and creating a life-long dependence on exogenous insulin. Although insulin replacement is an effective treatment, it is not a cure. A newly approved drug that targets a critical protein on T-cells, deactivating them and thwarting their destruction of insulin-producing cells, has been shown to delay the onset of type 1 diabetes in children and young adults at high risk for the disease.

#11 | Toward a Simple, Cost-Effective Blood Test for Alzheimer’s Disease

Steven Arnold, MD

Director, Alzheimer’s Clinical & Translational Research Unit, Translational Neurology Head & Managing Director, Interdisciplinary Brain Center, MGH; Professor of Neurology, HMS

Researchers are working develop a simple, cost-effective way to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions decades before the onset of physical symptoms — when the course of the disease could potentially be halted or perhaps even reversed. Such a diagnostic test could rapidly accelerate the development of effective treatments for these diseases, and also form a key piece of the puzzle for lowering the future public health burden of Alzheimer’s disease, which is projected to skyrocket by 2050.