Open Science Champions: NCBI Director, 16-Year-Old Researcher Among White House Honorees

June 28, 2013
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Data transparency word cloud

(First published in MedCityNews)

Data transparency word cloud

(First published in MedCityNews)

More personalized treatments for cancer. Diagnostics that enable earlier detection of disease. Better ways to screen drug candidates. Those are a few of the things that can be created with the help of shared data, according to a group of science leaders honored by the White House last week.

The latest class of Champions of Change are all advocates of open science, a mission that’s certainly driving innovation in healthcare. Last week, the program honored 13 open science entrepreneurs, academics and researchers, and there were a few familiar faces representing medicine and healthcare:

  • Dr. David J. Lipman – He’s the founding director of the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the NIH’s National Library of Medicine, which has built upon the DNA database GenBank and launched PubMed Central to make more biomedical data available to scientists.
  • Kathy Giusti (@Kathy Giusti) – Under her leadership as founder and CEO, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation launched the CoMMpass study, which will follow 1,000 newly diagnosed patients over five years with the mission of uncovering the molecular segments and variations in multiple myeloma. Researchers will have access to data and insights from the study through an open-access platform.
  • Dr. Atul Butte (@atulbutte) – A pediatrician, geneticist and computer science who founded NuMedii, a company using data to screen drug candidates, and Personalis, a genome-guided medicine company.
  • Dr. David Altshuler – The co-founder of the Broad Institute is an endocrinologist and geneticist whose work has contributed to the identification of genes associated with the risk of common conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and myocardial infarction. He’s also a professor at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.
  • Jack Andraka (@jackandraka) – The youngest person on the list, he’s a Maryland high school student whose research at Johnson Hopkins University led him to develop a dip-stick test for early stage pancreatic cancer.
  • Dr. Stephen Friend (@stephen_friend) – A pediatric oncologist by training, he founded Sage Bionetworks in 2009 to build platforms and services that facilitate data sharing and collaboration.
  • John Quackenbush (@johnquackenbush) – Co-founder of GenoSpace, which develops decision support and clinical reporting software to providers, and professor of biostatistics and computational biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Public Health.
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Click here to see all of the honorees.