Rare disease patients are exerting an increasing influence on every aspect of the healthcare continuum and this includes the area of academic research. The Stanford Medicine X Conference, held last month, is billed as “an academic conference for everyone.” We spoke to Emma Rooney, patient advocate, storyteller, and 2016 Med X ePatient delegate, about her experience at Med X, her discussions with other rare disease patients there, and the experience rare disease patients have going from children to adults with a rare disease.

Daniel S. Levine is an award-winning business journalist who has reported on the life sciences, economic development, and business policy issues throughout his 25-year career. He founded Levine Media Group in 2013 to provide strategic communications to life sciences companies. He is host of The Bio Report and RARECast podcasts, a senior fellow at the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, and a member of the advisory board of the California Biotechnology Council.