Archive for June, 2009
The National Institutes of Health course on “Medicine in the Media” I am attending is a reminder that scientific studies cannot be taken at face value. Somebody needs to double-check the numbers, put them into perspective and expose hidden conflicts of interest researchers may have.
Arrived at the National Institutes of Health for the “Medicine in the Media” course just in time to learn that money paid to researchers with a conflict of interest attracts more attention than bad science resulting from their work.
It hit me when my mind wandered through a blog post by Robert Lee Hotz, a Wall Street Journal science writer, about research that explores the brain during sudden Eureka moments. Also a contributing factor was a book, that, as I’m reading it, makes me wonder whether it’s smarter to be a nematode or a human.
Vipin Garg, the chief executive of Tranzyme Pharma, a small Durham drug development company, has the credentials to get invited to official events in the Research Triangle area, such as the opening of Quintiles Transnational’s new headquarters last month. But until now, he has shown no appetite for stepping out into the limelight himself.
The Entrepreneur of the Year awards program, run by Ernst & Young, one of the four big business auditing companies, is changing that.
I was one of about two dozen visitors Thursday who took a first look at the new Hamner Institute for Drug Safety Sciences. Also among the visitors was Janet Woodcock, a Food and Drug Administration top executive who oversees the approval and regulation of all U.S. medicines. Woodcock called the opening of the 14,000-square-foot research laboratory in Research Triangle Park a “milestone in drug safety regulation.”
It’s an encouraging historical fact that creativity rises when the economy tanks.
That means, the time to plant seeds for tomorrow’s innovation is now, when the global economy is shrinking, unemployment is rising and one of the world’s largest carmakers, General Moters, is about to restructure in the biggest industrial bankruptcy in U.S. history.