Bench to Bmore Blog

From Discovery in the Lab to Medical Product: Customer Discovery, Part II

As I mentioned in Part 1 of my series “From Discovery in the Lab to Medical Product”, I’m interested in sharing what I’ve learned through classwork and some real-life experience about medical product commercialization. In the first post, I covered the importance of protecting intellectual property and how that is done with a patent. Here I am going to cover what happens after a patent is granted but before a startup is launched.   Let’s say I work with the OTT to patent my idea for a bone healing device and, since the funding situation isn’t the best right now, I decide to...

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From Discovery in the Lab to Medical Product: Intellectual Property, Part I

Remember the school house rock song about how a bill becomes a law? Ever considered instead how a discovery in the lab becomes a medical product? Like many scientists, my commitment to research is motivated by my desire to make an impact in disease treatment. Until recently though, I was entirely ignorant as to how research findings actually get to the clinic. To rectify this, I probably took an overly ambitious approach. First, I enrolled in a course at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, titled Entrepreneurship in the Life Sciences. At the same time, my classmate and now business partner,...

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Most Americans are worried about using technology to ‘Enhance’ our abilities

A recent study from the Pew Research Center examined how the U.S. public feels about using biomedical technology to “enhance” human abilities1. Enhancement is defined as making biochemical, surgical or other changes to improve cognitive, psychological or physical capacity. Under such a liberal definition, humanity has already been practicing self-enhancement for some time. Enhancements already commonly practiced today include illegal anabolic steroid use by athletes, elective reproductive surgeries like vasectomies, and even purely cosmetic procedures like breast augmentation or nose jobs. In a phone and web survey involving 4,726 U.S. adults, Pew examined the response to 3 currently-hypothetical technologies that...

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5 on Friday

1.Viral infection in the marine environment may be having a bigger effect on the recycling of CO2 than we previously realized. Researchers at the University of Warwick published data this week suggesting viruses that infect marine cyanobacteria hijack the energy produced by photosynthesis in these cyanobateria so that it can no longer be used to capture CO2. Normally, photosynthesis uses light and water to make energy, which is used to capture CO2 and make sugar and O2. When the viruses infect these cyanobacteria, they hijack the energy so that it can’t capture the CO2. Because these viruses infect a lot...

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I’ve got a (scientific) crush on Immunotherapy

Do you have a “scientific crush”? sci·en·tif·ic crush noun An area of research that you are not actively science-ing but are constantly reading about and fascinated by A scientific phenomenon you want to discuss over a beer or two with your colleagues, or really anyone willing to listen An area of research that always gets your brain juices flowing and ends in a typical nerd-gasm (aka “it’s just SO cool!!!”)   The presenter at a recent journal club used this term to explain why he chose to present a particular article that wasn’t directly related to his own research. I...

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5 on Friday

Science in Pop Culture – John Oliver probably has a lot more fans that are scientists after a recent segment on his show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. This particular segment hilariously draws attention to how the news media often incorrectly reports scientific studies and how detrimental that can be for our society. If you haven’t watched the video, check it out here! Science Research – It’s been pretty well established that antibiotic use, espeically in children, can have long-term effects, such as increasing the risk of obesity or promoting antibiotic resistant bacterial species.  It’s also been well established that...

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5 on Friday

“The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.” – Edward Teller 1. Advance In Human Embryo Research Rekindles Ethical Debate Scientists have recently discovered a new way of keeping human embryos alive in a laboratory. Normally when it came to human embryos, researchers were unable to keep them alive for anything longer than a week once removed from the womb. This has significantly hindered human embryonic research for decades. But now, researchers have extended the lifespan of embryos in the laboratory by another week, encompassing a critical point in the development of organs and tissues. This advancement is a...

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5 on Friday

Friday already?! Check out some of this week’s science stories to finish out the work week! A literal brain map. In a recent study published in Nature, computational neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley strive to “map” regions of the brain that respond to words with similar meanings. Using functional MRI, they were able to catalog where over 900 concepts were processed in the brain. Read more about it here! Probiotics for your anaphylaxis. From 1997-2007, the number of children with food allergies increased by over 15%. For this reason, researchers at Korea’s Institute for Basic Science and the National Institute of Animal Science are working to...

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Job Interviewing Advice from Experts: Part 2

As promised, here is the second part of my summary from the panel discussion at the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering’s(ISPE) Mid-Atlantic Life Sciences Showcase entitled, “Engineering a Blockbuster Career.” This panel was full of practical job hunting and interviewing advice so if you missed the first part of the summer, check it out here! Rocking the Interview Once you’ve prepared and the interview day arrives, Myers urged interviewees, “You are selling yourselves – act like a sales person.” Penry pointed out, “Interviewers want to hear the candidate express him or herself” so don’t forget to utilize your communication skills. Chadha also...

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Cancer Stem Cells – Targeting the Mothership of a Tumor

There are moments while reflecting on my research that I imagine I’m in the movie Independence Day, gliding through outer space in a hijacked attack ship with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, locked in the alien mothership’s tractor beam. Little does the mothership know that inside this seemingly normal alien vessel sits a manmade nuclear bomb, primed for detonation. We creep up to the entrance of the great ship; its massive doors slowly open. Once inside, we see its vast inner workings. It is clear that they are mounting a new assault and we finally understand that this is the...

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