Human vs Technology or Human with Technology – What’s better?

Satish Medicetty | November 15th, 2017

This continues to be an interesting question, and I approached it with a different perspective from a recent experience. I just got back from the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) 49th Annual Meeting, which had almost 30,000 attendees. I have been at this meeting many times in the past and yet I am surprised by the crowd; it’s a village/town of neuroscientists and the support network. Although technological advancement over the years provides many electronic sources of communication, learning, resource gathering, etc., people still like to attend meetings in person. It is no secret that humans are “social beings” and the technology may not be able to replace the social aspect of human race. Whether it is large or small meeting, the ability to build interpersonal relationships is perhaps the most important attribute of in-person meetings that cannot be replaced by electronic means. However, technological advancements, such as networking and partnering Apps, electronic posters, etc., certainly increased the efficiency and experience of these meetings.

meet - Human vs Technology or Human with Technology – What’s better?

When it comes to collaborations, partnerships and business deals, people work with people, people buy from people, and people invest in people. No matter how good the technology or the product is, it is important to have the social element to make the final call in many cases. I believe the best is differentiated by the second best by the human element.  I truly enjoyed the human element with the technology to enhance experience at the SFN meeting. For me, Human with Technology is better. I believe technology will not be able to replace the social aspect – what do you think?

World Food Day

GTCbio | October 16th, 2017

foodday - World Food Day

It is alarming to hear that for the first time in a decade the global hunger increased affecting 815 million people or 11 percent of the world population. The increase is largely attributed to increase in violent conflicts across the world and climate change. We somehow don’t realize how much food is going to waste every day, which impacts the environment and our community in so many ways. Just a little thought and planning will help save money, reduce our carbon footprint, and keep the valuable resources and energy used to produce and distribute food from going to waste!

We can each do our part to stop the global food crisis! GTCbio pledges to support our community by providing donated untouched food that would have otherwise gone to waste to those who might not have a steady food supply. Our donation will go to Foothill Unity Center, Inc., a local non-profit dedicated in providing food, temporary shelter, transportation, and a variety of health services for low-income and homeless people in Los Angeles County.

Where will your donation go?

Cogentis Therapeutics is the Winner of the New Company/Technology Pitch Competition at the CNS Diseases Summit

Satish Medicetty | September 21st, 2017

We were truly excited to conduct our inaugural new company/technology pitch competition at last week’s CNS diseases summit in Boston, MA. Four finalists, Orion Biosciences, Cogentis Therapeutics, Neurolucent and Acelot, participated in this fast-paced pitch session that included rating from judges as well as audience. The judges, Christine Brennan from MRL Ventures, Barbara Tate from SV Life Sciences and Ole Isacson from Harvard Medical School, rated the presentations based on the following categories, (1) Technology description (2) Market need (3) Proof-of-concept data (4) Commercialization potential and (5) Presentation skills. Audience had an opportunity to rate all the companies through a web portal. And the final result was………Cogentis Therapeutics was the winner of the “Most Promising Technology” award and a $5000 check. Kent Werner was ecstatic and so was I to present the trophy and the check to Cogentis. I also would like to congratulate Joshua Sestak from Orion Biosciences, Bill Kohl Brenner from Neurolucent and Ambuj Singh from Acelot, for being the finalists and participating in this competition.

Cogentis Winner

GTCbio’s goal is to provide a platform for new companies/technologies that can eventually benefit the patients. We will continue to provide visibility to all finalists and we will work with Cogentis to continue to update everyone about their progress. As part of our Start-Up Corner initiative, I welcome all life-science startups and new technologies to reach out to us to discuss more on how we can help.

Start-up Corner at GTCbio

Satish Medicetty | June 23rd, 2017

GTCbio is undertaking a new initiative to support start-up companies. GTCbio’s “Ready, Set, Grow – New Company / New Technology Pitch Competition” at the focused therapeutic conferences is designed to provide visibility and expert feedback for the participating new companies and technologies.

GTCbio conferences provide a unique community of professionals from academia, biotech and pharma industry, contract research organizations, regulatory and funding agencies, all of which will provide an excellent opportunity for the start-up to seek feedback and identify potential advisors and partners.

In addition, the winner of the New Company/Technology Pitch Competition will receive $5000 monetary award from GTCbio’s Emerging Technology and Talent Fund (ETTF). Please review the Start-up Corner page for more information.

startup 300x300 - Start-up Corner at GTCbio

What is the future of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in life sciences?

Satish Medicetty | April 24th, 2017

At a recent GTCbio conference I had a conversation with a well-known and highly accomplished Professor about his interaction with a group of graduate students. The Professor was apparently invited to give a guest-lecture and it is common to engage with graduate students during these visits. The Professor was sitting on a round table with 20 graduate students or postdoctoral fellows. He asked them “before starting your graduate studies how many of you intended to pursue a career in academia after graduation?” A total of 15 out of 20 students lifted their hands. Then he asked the question “now how many of you intend to pursue a career in academia after graduation?” Only 2 out of 20 students lifted their hands.

This conversation reminded me of the questions that I faced when I was in graduate school many years ago. The question was not new, but the answer was very different than what I remember from back then. It is true that a very small percentage of students are willing to take the route of being an academic researcher. Much of this change is attributed to the herculean task of getting grant funding, which to a large extent determines the future of an academic researcher.

The Professor and I went on to discuss that many of these young professionals are faced with one of the two broad options listed below:

  1. Find job opportunities in the industry
  2. Continue in academia but work on getting industry funding in addition to government funding

degree750 - What is the future of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in life sciences?

Each one of these options require specific skill sets, which are typically not part of the curriculum at any graduate school. A few pharma companies are offering postdoctoral positions to facilitate a better transition from academia to industry. While these opportunities seem to provide a great transitional platform, these positions are limited. Moreover, there industry postdoctoral positions are not available for all disciplines.

I have known many talented doctoral candidates and postdoctoral fellows who struggled to find their way into sustainable academic or industry careers. It is critical for these young professionals to have good mentors and to acquire good partnering skills to excel in the current environment. The conversation with the Professor and other similar considerations has motivated me to incorporate specific opportunities for young professionals at all the future GTCbio conferences. As our conferences offer small and focused platforms within a specific scientific discipline, these will be effective vehicles to facilitate specific mentoring and partnering sessions as described below:

  1. From Summer 2017 all GTCbio conferences will include “Breakfast with Mentors from Academia and Industry”, where young professionals can sign up to spend more time with senior faculty and corporate executives to receive expert advice and guidance.
  2. From Fall 2017 we are engaging Program Partners and interested organizations in Focus Group Meetings (FGM) that will be held on the evening before the actual conference. These FGMs are meant to facilitate partnering at various levels, and we will be inviting a few selected young professionals to participate in these meetings to acquire skills that would prepare them to find and build successful partnerships. In addition, we will have a session focused on partnering between academia and industry in all our future conferences.

I strongly believe that GTCbio conferences will turn into effective mentoring and partnering platforms. Visit the Education page on our website for more information. Please forward this information to any young professional or their PI that may benefit from this opportunity. I would also appreciate any feedback!

How conferences can be transformational platforms?

Satish Medicetty | March 2nd, 2017

A month ago I shared my initial thoughts on how gtcbio is promoting a “Drive Together” concept to change conferences to transformational platforms. The image below will provide a high-level overview of our approach.  All our platforms will be built on key central pillars: content, stakeholders, relationships and connectivity.  Each individual pillar will have its own support system and “Together we Drive the Future”.

transformational platforms - How conferences can be transformational platforms?

Changing conferences to transformational platforms

Satish Medicetty | February 2nd, 2017

Few months ago when I acquired GTCbio, a company that develops and organizes conferences, my colleagues and friends were wondering if this was a change in my biotech & pharma career path. However, I see this as a strategic opportunity to create a platform that can discuss new  ideas and technologies to enable transformation of future healthcare options. I believe this will allow me to be a part of many new projects and teams, and also create great opportunities for other professionals. Whether it is a diagnostic or a therapeutic everything starts with an idea that requires researchers, clinicians, investors, policy makers and eventually the patients to “Come Together” as a team to turn it into a healthcare option. The “Come Together” part is what a typical conference/meeting does, however just coming together is not sufficient. It is important to turn a conference into a transformational platform that promotes the concept of “Drive Together” to get the best results. In line with my vision we have a new tagline for GTCBio – “Together we Drive the Future”.

I hope to share my thoughts and how we are creating conferences that will promote the “Drive Together” concept and I would welcome any feedback and ideas from you all. Historically GTCbio has been conducting small conferences that will provide better networking opportunities for all attendees. We are in the process of implementing several changes that we believe will change our conferences to transformational platforms. Stay tuned for more …..

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