Dreaming of Tenure and IPOs While Patients Suffer and Diseases Remain Untreated - What Prevents Open Approaches to Building Better Models of Disease?

Stephen Friend (Sage Bionetworks)
Location: Grand Ballroom B
Average rating: ****.
(4.43, 7 ratings)

I wonder what it will take to transition biomedical research to a haven for rapid learning, networked team approaches, and sharing insights that have been powering up the software industry and enabled physicists for decades. I wonder what it will take for citizens to rise up and say the current reward structures in academia where the majority of the NIH/government grants (that’s your money) is given to scientists who expect to not share their insights till submitted to journals, and current operation models for biotech where VCs patrol for breaches in secrecy around insights they have made about human diseases such as Parkinson’’s using samples from patients till they can take out patents. We need to show how a world of open science, building off of each other’s work can be rewarded, to show how challenges and open competitions lead to sharing.

Photo of Stephen Friend

Stephen Friend

Sage Bionetworks

Dr. Friend is the President of Sage Bionetworks. He is an authority in the field of cancer biology and a leader in efforts to make large scale, data-intensive biology broadly accessible to the entire research community. Dr. Friend has been a senior advisor to the NCI, several biotech companies, a Trustee of the AACR and is a AAAS and Ashoka Fellow as well as an editorial board memeber of Open Network Biology. Dr. Friend was previously Senior Vice President and Franchise Head for Oncology Research at Merck & Co., Inc. where he led Merck’s Basic Cancer Research efforts. Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Friend was recruited by Dr. Leland Hartwell to join the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Seattle Project, an advanced institute for drug discovery. While there Drs. Friend and Hartwell developed a method for examining large patterns of genes that led them to co-found Rosetta Inpharmatics in 2001. Dr. Friend has also held faculty positions at Harvard Medical School from 1987 to 1995 and at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1990 to 1995. He received his B.A. in philosophy, his Ph.D. in biochemistry and his M.D. from Indiana University.


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