Dinner with New Horizons: The Woman who Led Us to Pluto
KCNQ2 Cure Alliance, The Australian Financial Review Business Summit and PwC Australia
invite you to dinner and discussion with Alice Bowman
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory,
Missions Operations Manager of NASA’s New Horizons Mission
Alice Bowman agreed to be the keynote speaker at our first KCNQ2 Cure Alliance Australian fundraiser. She was joined on stage by our scientific advisor, Professor Ingrid Scheffer. The sell-out crowd sat spellbound as two world-leading scientists spoke of “New Horizons” on the macro and micro scale, in space and genetics.
Our event was hosted and sponsored by PwC Australia, which provided a fabulous three course meal and wine for two hundred people in their glittering office tower on the banks of Melbourne’s Yarra River. And they didn’t charge us a cent. Thanks to that generosity, we raised nearly $50,000 – all of which will go to scientific research.
That kind of generosity makes me think about something Alice said about the Pluto mission. You see, getting someplace that is 2.6 billion miles away — 4.2 billion kilometres — is pretty daunting. Even when a spacecraft is traveling 36,000 miles an hour. The one-way trip was scheduled to take twelve years. But Alice and her team figure out a way to use the planet Jupiter as a sort of slingshot. They could send the New Horizons spacecraft hurtling forward using the planet’s gravitational orbit. It wasn’t easy, but they did it, and Alice adds, “And Jupiter didn’t miss it.” Jupiter’s gravitational gift was massive. “Sling-shotting off Jupiter shaved three years off our mission,” said Alice.
Rare Disease affects 1 in 10 Americans and includes over 7,000 known diseases. Currently there are no cures and very few treatments. However, there are organizations that are innovating and moving forward research that not only have implications to help these individual rare diseases, but have shown broader promise for treating more common conditions.
Global Genes works with patient advocates and organizations in an effort to help eliminate the challenges of rare disease. Together with the Cure GM1 Foundation, Grace Wilsey Foundation and KCNQ2 Cure Foundation, we hope to build awareness of the common challenges and needs that impact rare disease patients, and fund innovative research to support the discovery of cures for GM1, NGLY1 and KCNQ2.