That’s very interesting. I’m curious to ask is this because you know someone with heart disease or because you think its important to stop? I only ask as I know many people with heart disease, among other things, but for me the priority was always to help as many people as possible and more people die from bacterial infections than anything else. At the same time I know many people who became cancer researcher or similar because they had a personal attachment to the field and that helped to motivate them.
I would cure the current leading killer of children under the age of 5. Pneumococcal disease caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae.
I would pick HIV/ AIDS. About 2.5 million people die from it yearly, with about 35-40 million currently infected.
Not my field. But take your pick of fatal diseases that affect young children. I’d rather put effort into making sure children around the world get past that critical age of five, rather than putting effort into curing those diseases that preferentially affect people who are old. In my opinion, I think we put too much effort and expense into wringing an extra few years out of life. I may change my mind 30 years down the track, however.
If I have to pick only one then I think I might pick tuberculosis (TB). There are actually drug treatments for this disease but the bacterium responsible (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) is becoming extremely resistant to them, so we really do need to develop new drugs. The scary thing about this disease is that almost one-third of the total population of the planet is infected with M. tuberculosis (~2 billion people), but the disease can be in a “latent state” (inactive) for a long time (until it does become activated), so you wouldn’t necessarily know that you are infected or have been exposed to it by a carrier. TB also results in millions of deaths each year, and this is particularly bad in people who either already had or subsequently contract HIV/AIDS (both conditions can make the other one worse).
All the diseases we have picked are really horrible (as are several others, such as heart disease and cancers) and I think it is very difficult to pick one or the other that we would want to cure. It would be really fantastic if we could get rid of all the diseases, but no matter which one we talk about, it is going to take a lot of work before we can get there.