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Naturally Obsessed: The Making of a Scientist

A documentary about careers in science

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Naturally Obsessed

“So what is it that you actually do, Dr. Rifkind?” (groan, groan) It didn’t matter if the question was from my accountant, my dinner party companion or my cousin Minnie, I was never able to give an answer that satisfied either the questioner or me. That’s why, when I retired from the laboratory bench five years ago, I decided to tackle the challenge of making biomedical research more transparent.

Here is a recent keynote I gave for the Delaware Valley Innovation Network. The group is working on coordinating the activities of community colleges — and other parties –  between the adjacent Delaware, Philadelphia, and New Jersey regions. My objective was to use case studies to show that drawing circles around regions to count combined assets (as is too frequently done) is not enough; it is also necessary to find ways to drive collaboration.

The slideshow is shown below:

These papers are from the 2009 final projects in the NIH Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences TECH 366 — Biotechnology Management. The students were asked to tell a story based on the course lectures, and to expand with general lessons biotechnology company management:

Financial opportunities for early stage biotech companies
Tamara Jones

The changing roles of CRO
Alex Bao

Discovering potential drug targets
Myung K. Kim

The April 2009 issue of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology is now available. This special issue on education was guest-edited by Arlen Meyers.

The links below will take you to the abstract for each paper:

Volume 15, Issue 2

EditorialPDF
Arlen Meyers

Articles

Integrating virtual internships into online classroomsPDF
Richard Conroy, Rana Khan
The implementation of a proseminar course to lead change in the MS.MBA biotechnology programme at Johns Hopkins UniversityPDF
Lynn Johnson Langer
Creating bioentrepreneurs: How graduate student organisations foster science entrepreneurshipPDF
Justin T Brown, Andrew C Kant
Best practices for developing university bioentrepreneurship education programmesPDF
Thomas Crispeels, Oliver Uecke, Marc Goldchstein, Michael Schefczyk
Team-based learning in Keck Graduate Institute’s professional Master of Bioscience programmePDF
Jane G Tirrell, Thomas Gregory Dewey
Creating alternatives in sciencePDF
Nicole G Gravagna
Building the future biotechnology workforce: A University of Houston modelPDF
Rupa S Iyer, William E Fitzgibbon
The Bioentrepreneurship MBA: Options for mid-tier business schoolsPDF
Susan Malone Back

I will be opening the Business Matters for Scientists program at Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business on March 6th 2009. My focus will be providing an extensive overview of the biotechnology industry and insights on paths to entrepreneurship and business planning considerations. In addition to laying out the fundamentals for success, I will also address practical considerations in developing biotechnology companies and illustrate the diversity of entrepreneurial approaches and cases of unforeseen hurdles in biotechnology business development.

For those who cannot make it to Baltimore for the certificate program, two other options exist:

  1. Biotech-U.com is an online biotechnology education platform offering self-directed courses covering the scientific, legal, regulatory, political, and commercial aspects of biotechnology.
  2. My book, Building Biotechnology, is a comprehensive biotechnology industry primer.

After months of effort, I’m pleased to announce the launch of Biotech U, a biotechnology education resource featuring web-based lessons on biotechnology business, law, IP, politics, regulations, and science.

Biotech U is based on Building Biotechnology, the leading text used in business-of-biotechnology courses. The online-learning structure is designed to meet the needs of busy professionals who seek a robust educational resource but lack the time to attend traditional classes. Feel free to try the sample course, an Introduction to Biotechnology, and I hope you enjoy this new resource.