Archive for the ‘Innovations’ Category

Real Time Coverage @BIOConvention #BIO2019: Gene Therapy 2.0: No Longer Science Fiction 1:00-2:15 pm June 3 Philadelphia PA

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams Ph.D. @StephenJWillia2


Other Articles on Gene Therapy on this Open Access Journal Include:

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Selection Process for Chief Innovation and Entrepreneurship Officer (CIEO) @Berkeley: Ecosystem Evangelist, Professor Richard Lyons, Berkeley’s ex-Dean of the Haas School of Business


Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN, Berkeley PhD’83


for @Berkeley Alumna Ecosystem Evangelist see


The University of California at Berkeley appointed professor Richard Lyons as the university’s first-ever chief innovation and entrepreneurship officer (CIEO).

The Selection Process

Professor Richard Lyons was selected for the CIEO position through a rigorous recruitment and selection process that attracted several hundred top-notch applications from all over the world. Throughout the process, Lyons stood out as a true visionary, a strategic leader and an ecosystem evangelist who could understand and activate the untapped potential of Berkeley’s innovation and entrepreneurship landscape.


“If together we can improve the transformation of Berkeley’s prodigious intellectual product, across the whole campus, into greater societal benefit, then we will have achieved a great deal,” said Lyons, in a statement.

Image Source: Courtesy of University of California, Berkeley, Doe Library Building with the  Campanile Tower in the background

Professor Richard Lyons,  Accomplishments as Berkeley’s ex-Dean of the Haas School of Business

  • He helped launch the Management, Entrepreneurship, & Technology (M.E.T.) dual-degree program in partnership with the College of Engineering.
  • He also initiated the Biology + Business dual degree program with Molecular & Cell Biology and
  • He revitalized the Berkeley-Haas Entrepreneurship Program (BHEP).
  • He helped the campus to launch the Berkeley SkyDeck startup accelerator in 2012 and served on its Governing Board, did that in collaboration with leadership in the Office of Research and College of Engineering.




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Research and Development (R&D) Expenditure by Country represent time, capital, and effort being put into researching and designing the products of the future – Data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics adjusted for purchasing-power parity (PPP).


Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN



Measuring R&D spend

Today’s infographic comes to us from HowMuch.net, and it compares R&D numbers for nearly every country in the world. It uses data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics adjusted for purchasing-power parity (PPP).

As a percentage of GDP

Measuring R&D in absolute terms shows where most of the world’s research happens, but it fails to capture the countries that are spending more in relative terms.

Which countries allocate the highest percentage of their economy to research and development?

As a percentage of GDP

Measuring R&D in absolute terms shows where most of the world’s research happens, but it fails to capture the countries that are spending more in relative terms.

Which countries allocate the highest percentage of their economy to research and development?

As you can see, countries like South Korea and Japan allocate the highest portion of their economies to R&D, which is part of the reason they rank so highly on the list in absolute terms as well.

As you can see, countries like South Korea and Japan allocate the highest portion of their economies to R&D, which is part of the reason they rank so highly on the list in absolute terms as well.

As you can see, R&D expenditures are heavily concentrated at the top of the food chain:

Put together the numbers for the U.S. ($476.5 billion) and China ($370.6 billion), and it amounts to 47.0% of total global R&D expenditures. Add in Japan and Germany, and the total goes to 62.5%.

At same time, the countries left off the above list don’t even combine for 15% of the world’s total R&D expenditures.

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Information Innovation and the Power of LPBI Group

Author: Rick Mandahl, MBA

LPBI Group, Business Development Team


“Science evolves”[1]. This simple quote from a position paper by William S. Harten[2], eminent database architect, genealogist and entrepreneur describes why he designed a new laboratory process management technology capable of adapting as processes changed. From the notion that the software system must support the science rather than the science being bound to the limitations of predefined rigid systems opened new vistas for exploration, and progress across many process intensive domains and certainly in the realm precision medicine moving into widespread clinical deployment. Science evolves.

Decades earlier Robert R. Johnson, PhD[3] leader of the GE engineering team responsible for computerizing the check processing system for the Bank of America, and in the process delivered technology that changed banking globally.  The initial exploratory endeavor began around 1950 at Stanford Research Institute [aka, SRI International, Menlo Park, CA] to address the exponential expansion of check processing bound by manual methods, thus the need to change a system that was conceived in Venice in 1431, roughly the same era as the invention of the Gutenberg Press. In Project ERMA among other things, developed the human and machine readable alphanumerics still found on every check issued in the world today. The same information could be shared by humans and machines and this realtime translation, realtime information [4] that helped manage the exponential increase in demand for financial services in the post World War Two era.

Technology supporting science, supporting commerce in our era changes centuries established methods.  Do scientific publications today advance science or simply report it? Can we do better?  How far are we beyond Gutenberg today? In 1995, Nicholas Negroponte of MIT’s Media Lab lamented that the FAX machine was barely a step beyond Gutenberg.[5] In the ensuing generation has scientific publishing advanced with the science it reports? LPBI Group thinks not.

What of new innovation in the expanding realm of life sciences? Where are the friction points that may impede progress in rapidly advancing areas of medical sciences – science whose validation rests on rigorous observation and adherence to scientific method, findings vetted by peer review and shared in scholarly journals of learned societies. Are there ways to improve, approaches to help ameliorate the current concern over “research productivity”?

Personal Reflection of an Innovation Case Study

In the early eighties upon returning from a year’s assignment in  France, I looked up a former skiing and climbing partner now Head Coach of the US Ski Team. I had heard that he was working on a new design of racing bicycle handle bars – which from afar seemed quite curious. A visit to his home near Sun Valley  resulted in an astonishing perspective. In a field where just about every innovation had been made for this simple machine, the bicycle, Boone Lennon theorized that aerodynamic improvement – the way a rider sat on the bicycle could deliver improved performance – this insight gained by observing and coaching some of the best ski racers in the world on improving their aerodynamic form in the greatest of alpine ski sports – the Downhill. Those body position principles, so important to a sport where the difference between victory or defeat is measured in hundredths of a second – those principles ought to apply to bicycle racing where on straight away courses with “two equally matched and equipped competitors, the racer with the new bars and improved aerodynamic position will win.”[6] The theory was proven when in 1989 Greg Lemond the first American to win the Tour de France used the new “aero bars” . This second of three Tour de France victories (also 1986 and 1990), was attributed by Mr. Lemond to the final time trial where he outpaced his opponent by eight seconds, the tightest margin in Tour de France history. LeMond’s superior aerodynamics brought him victory[7] – he triumphed where two comparably qualified and equipped competitors had different tools that resulted in different levels of efficiency, thus performance. 

Winning Strategy in the Information Age

In the competitive world of scientific and medical research, where can efficiencies be gained, productivity be improved?

  • Containing Information Explosion,
  • Combatting Information Obsolescence.

The game changing innovations of LPBI Group offer simple yet profound innovations to help scientists and clinicians advance at the pace they can reasonably pursue because LPBI Group’s products help keep pace with life sciences new research insights and scientific discoveries. LPBI Group  ongoing questions provide answers using curation of current scientific research results. 

  • No longer are scientific papers obsolete by the time they are published, rather
  • They are living and dynamic repositories of searchable curated knowledge to build upon, while leveraging past established benchmarks.
  • Equally qualified and equipped, what investigator, which team might advance faster?
  • Access to the best and current information would certainly be of help.
  • Access absent enormous subscription cost might help as well.
  • Accelerate information access, eliminate exorbitant access cost.

The Founders, The Finders, The Funders. 

To build a team, to create a venture, to have commercial impact, the initial founder(s) must be joined by team members who help build, refine, adapt and change as the initial concept grows to advancing stages of maturity.

The time comes when the greatest intellectual and commercial impact is likely delivered by partners whose established business channels and financial strength enable the full realization of innovation or enabling technology far beyond the operational capacities of the initial team, but exactly according their ultimate vision.

Thus, as LPBI Group grows, we seek to identify and recruit strategic partners to grow, to expand and to merge with a new structure to follow. The global community of scientists indeed all the humankind are the beneficiaries of our endeavors in knowledge creation and dissemination.

[1] UNIFlow® by UNIConnect White Paper, William S. Harten

[2] Mr. Harten in addition to being founder of UNIConnect, LC, acquired by Sunquest Information Systems is inventor of GEDCOM, the global standard for the exchange of genealogical information.

[3] Robert Royce Johnson, PhD Cal Tech, Leader of Project ERMA, VP of Engineering Emeritus- Burroughs; Professor and Chairman Emeritus Dept of Computer Science, University of Utah College of Engineering. Founder and Managing Partner n-Dimensional Visualization, LLC.

[4] Waves of Change, James L McKenney, Harvard Business School, Harvard Business Press, 1995

[5] Being Digital, Nicholas Negroponte, MIT Medial Lab, Random House 1995

[6] Personal conversations with Daniel “Boone” Lennon, Head Coach Emeritus, US Ski Team and inventor of the Aero Bar for cyclists.

[7] Simon Symthe, “How Greg LeMond’s aero bars revolutionized time trialling”, Cycling, July 9, 2015.

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Reporter and Curator: Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.


MRI-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) surgery is a noninvasive thermal ablation method that uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for target definition, treatment planning, and closed-loop control of energy deposition. Ultrasound is a form of energy that can pass through skin, muscle, fat and other soft tissue so no incisions or inserted probes are needed. High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) pinpoints a small target and provides a therapeutic effect by raising the temperature high enough to destroy the target with no damage to surrounding tissue. Integrating FUS and MRI as a therapy delivery system allows physicians to localize, target, and monitor in real time, and thus to ablate targeted tissue without damaging normal structures. This precision makes MRgFUS an attractive alternative to surgical resection or radiation therapy of benign and malignant tumors.


Hypothalamic hamartoma is a rare, benign (non-cancerous) brain tumor that can cause different types of seizures, cognitive problems or other symptoms. While the exact number of people with hypothalamic hamartomas is not known, it is estimated to occur in 1 out of 200,000 children and teenagers worldwide. In one such case at Nicklaus Children’s Brain Institute, USA the patient was able to return home the following day after FUS, resume normal regular activities and remained seizure free. Patients undergoing standard brain surgery to remove similar tumors are typically hospitalized for several days, require sutures, and are at risk of bleeding and infections.


MRgFUS is already approved for the treatment of uterine fibroids. It is in ongoing clinical trials for the treatment of breast, liver, prostate, and brain cancer and for the palliation of pain in bone metastasis. In addition to thermal ablation, FUS, with or without the use of microbubbles, can temporarily change vascular or cell membrane permeability and release or activate various compounds for targeted drug delivery or gene therapy. A disruptive technology, MRgFUS provides new therapeutic approaches and may cause major changes in patient management and several medical disciplines.














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HUBweek 2018, October 8-14, 2018, Greater Boston – “We The Future” – coming together, of breaking down barriers, of convening across disciplinary lines to shape our future

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN


HUBweek 2018

Hi Aviva,


At HUBweek and in this community, we believe a brighter future is built together. In these times of division, particularly when many are feeling excluded from the benefits brought forth by rapid technological development, there is critical importance in the act of coming together, of breaking down barriers, of convening across disciplinary lines to shape our future.

That’s why this year’s theme for HUBweek is We the Future. It is a call to action and an invitation. Throughout the week, we’ll bring together innovators, artists, and curious minds to explore the ways in which we can shape a more inclusive and equitable future for all.

Today, HUBweek kicks off with dozens of events taking place across the city–from public art tours, a drone zoo, and discussions on nuclear weapons and the impact of emerging technologies on people with disabilities, to a policy hackathon hosted by MIT and the first ever Change Maker Conference.

There are 225+ more experiences to take part in throughout HUBweek–a three-day Forum and a documentary film festival; open dialogues with leading thinkers; a robot block party; and collaborative and participatory art. And we’ve got a little fun in store for you, too–make sure you sign up and stop by The HUB later this week to check it all out.

At its core, HUBweek is a collaboration. If not for our partners and the unwavering support of this community, this would not be a reality. A big thank you to our presenting partners Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and Merck KGaA, to our sponsors, and to the hundreds of collaborating organizations, speakers, artists, and creative minds that are behind this year’s festival.

On behalf of the HUBweek team and our founders The Boston Globe, Harvard University, Mass. General Hospital, and MIT, we’re thrilled to invite you to join us at HUBweek 2018.


Linda Pizzuti Henry



From: Linda Pizzuti Henry <hello@hubweek.org>

Reply-To: <hello@hubweek.org>

Date: Monday, October 8, 2018 at 9:38 AM

To: Aviva Lev-Ari <AvivaLev-Ari@alum.berkeley.edu>

Subject: Welcome to HUBweek

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  1. Lungs can supply blood stem cells and also produce platelets: Lungs, known primarily for breathing, play a previously unrecognized role in blood production, with more than half of the platelets in a mouse’s circulation produced there. Furthermore, a previously unknown pool of blood stem cells has been identified that is capable of restoring blood production when bone marrow stem cells are depleted.


  1. A new drug for multiple sclerosis: A new multiple sclerosis (MS) drug, which grew out of the work of UCSF (University of California, San Francisco) neurologist was approved by the FDA. Ocrelizumab, the first drug to reflect current scientific understanding of MS, was approved to treat both relapsing-remitting MS and primary progressive MS.


  1. Marijuana legalized – research needed on therapeutic possibilities and negative effects: Recreational marijuana will be legal in California starting in January, and that has brought a renewed urgency to seek out more information on the drug’s health effects, both positive and negative. UCSF scientists recognize marijuana’s contradictory status: the drug has proven therapeutic uses, but it can also lead to tremendous public health problems.


  1. Source of autism discovered: In a finding that could help unlock the fundamental mysteries about how events early in brain development lead to autism, researchers traced how distinct sets of genetic defects in a single neuronal protein can lead to either epilepsy in infancy or to autism spectrum disorders in predictable ways.


  1. Protein found in diet responsible for inflammation in brain: Ketogenic diets, characterized by extreme low-carbohydrate, high-fat regimens are known to benefit people with epilepsy and other neurological illnesses by lowering inflammation in the brain. UCSF researchers discovered the previously undiscovered mechanism by which a low-carbohydrate diet reduces inflammation in the brain. Importantly, the team identified a pivotal protein that links the diet to inflammatory genes, which, if blocked, could mirror the anti-inflammatory effects of ketogenic diets.


  1. Learning and memory failure due to brain injury is now restorable by drug: In a finding that holds promise for treating people with traumatic brain injury, an experimental drug, ISRIB (integrated stress response inhibitor), completely reversed severe learning and memory impairments caused by traumatic brain injury in mice. The groundbreaking finding revealed that the drug fully restored the ability to learn and remember in the brain-injured mice even when the animals were initially treated as long as a month after injury.


  1. Regulatory T cells induce stem cells for promoting hair growth: In a finding that could impact baldness, researchers found that regulatory T cells, a type of immune cell generally associated with controlling inflammation, directly trigger stem cells in the skin to promote healthy hair growth. An experiment with mice revealed that without these immune cells as partners, stem cells cannot regenerate hair follicles, leading to baldness.


  1. More intake of good fat is also bad: Liberal consumption of good fat (monounsaturated fat) – found in olive oil and avocados – may lead to fatty liver disease, a risk factor for metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Eating the fat in combination with high starch content was found to cause the most severe fatty liver disease in mice.


  1. Chemical toxicity in almost every daily use products: Unregulated chemicals are increasingly prevalent in products people use every day, and that rise matches a concurrent rise in health conditions like cancers and childhood diseases, Thus, researcher in UCSF is working to understand the environment’s role – including exposure to chemicals – in health conditions.


  1. Cytomegalovirus found as common factor for diabetes and heart disease in young women: Cytomegalovirus is associated with risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease in women younger than 50. Women of normal weight who were infected with the typically asymptomatic cytomegalovirus, or CMV, were more likely to have metabolic syndrome. Surprisingly, the reverse was found in those with extreme obesity.


























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