Reflections On My First ASGCT Meeting

27/05/2019

 

Around a month ago I set off for my first American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy meeting in Washington DC. I was excited to see what our innovative and increasingly lucrative medical field had been researching. I presented our work from Talee Bio and the University of Iowa at the the first official day of the conference and it was well received by the attendees in the session. Among the highlights were a plenary session from George Church, one of the fathers of CRISPR from the MIT/BROAD side and talks from a Harvard group who claim they can speed up AAV production by hundreds of times (thus reducing cost of production) using fossilized Diatoms. There were plenty of talks and posters featuring gene therapy for cystic fibrosis and pulmonary diseases, which could be a reflection of how the Cystic Fibrosis foundations from both Europe and the US have increasingly invested their efforts. It was also fun to see progress made in just the last few years with gene therapy research in neurological disorders affecting the brain. Overall I think it was a jam packed meeting with something of interest for everyone working in academia and industry.

This was by no means my first scientific meeting or my first presentation at a conference. In fact, Washington DC is a home town of sorts for me, since my mother works and commutes there daily from the suburbs. The Union Station food court mall was where I used to watch movies at the weekend, in between writing my PhD dissertation. Dupont Circle was where I used to take a stroll to de-stress in between finding my first postdoc position. The US Navy Yard was where I crossed and completed my fastest ever half marathon time. I have always felt at home in the DC metro area while staying with my mother in the comfort of her small house.

However, having been relocated to the Mid-West in relatively population-sparse Iowa for the past two years, I found my senses shocked by the deluge of crowds at the ASGCT conference. At this conference, some 4000 attendees were squeezed into the Washington Hilton Hotel. While this hotel plays host to some of the biggest national events, such as the annual White House Correspondent's Dinner, the venue has clearly become too small to accommodate a modern-day international meeting on the scale requred for the ASGCT. Chief among my gripes with the venue include not having meeting rooms to host many presentations (I had to present in a hurriedly-assembled marquee at the courtyard). There was no map for the meeting rooms and you had to scramble to find where you wanted to go. The poster sessions turned out to be human traffic jams where attendees waiting in line for hors d'oeuvres packed next to scientists trying to explain their posters to large crowds, which spilled into the vendor area. There were also relatively few restaurant choices around the Hilton where people could slip off to for a quick lunch. Long lines of hungry attendees would form outside even the most obscure small bistros everyday creating long waits. This, though is a feature of meetings held in DC. Even when I used to attend the significantly larger Convention Center in Gallery Place, I could not find a huge choice of affordable restaurants. Having said that, the benefits of holding the ASGCT at a real convention center in future would be great, given the ever exploding interest in gene therapy and CRISPR technologies.

It is understandable that the ASGCT started off as a rather small, focussed meeting over 20 years ago attended by just a few hundred scientists, well before anyone could dream of gene therapy drugs being approved by the FDA. However, given the deep impact that our field is beginning to have on society the meeting structure will have to start copying more prominent conferences such as ASCO, BIO and my old favorite, SfN.

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    American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT)

19/04/2019

On April 29th I will be presenting our research this year at the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy at the Washington Hilton in Washington DC for Talee Bio, Inc:

Abstract Title: Delivery of AAV-CFTR to Bronchial Epithelial Cells from Cystic Fibrosis Patients Augments Functional Recovery of Chloride Conductance
Session Title: Pulmonary Gene Therapy
Date/Time: Monday April 29th, 11.15-11.30am
Location: Heights Courtyard 3.

On the same day our co-founder and University of Iowa professor, John Engelhardt will be presenting some of his cool data from ferrets. Details here:

Scientific Symposium: Pharmacologic Rescue and Gene Therapy Endpoints in Ferret Models of Cystic Fibrosis
Session Title: Novel Strategies for Lung and GI Tract-directed Genetic Therapies - Organized by the Respiratory & GI Tract Gene & Cell Therapy Committee
Date/Time: Monday April 29th, 8.00-8.30am
Location: Georgetown Room

My colleague will also be presenting his work in a poster that day:

Abstract Title: Study of the Neutralizing Antibody after rAAV.TL65 Transduction in Ferret Airway
Session Title: Immunological Aspects of Gene Therapy and Vaccines
Date/Time: Monday April 29th, 5.00-6.00pm
Location: Poster session, Board no. 130  

This will be the first time I attend this meeting and I look forward to potentially networking with some leading scientists as well as companies working to develop gene therapy products. Since Talee Bio, Inc does not have a social media or publicity machine in place yet (and personally neither do I!) I will put this message out for our company. However, as a disclaimer all of the views I have expressed on this website, in my previous posts and in my subsequent posts reflect my sole opinions and do not reflect that of my biotech company.

Those who know me well will remember that I have family in the DMV area and that I will be staying at home in Virginia from April 27th to May 4th. I welcome any suggestions to network and meet up in the local area.

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    Alzheimer’s Drug Failure - Ending Biotech’s Disastrous Love Affair with Beta-Amyloid

31/03/2019

Last week another potential blockbuster Alzheimer’s drug failed and two late Phase 3 clinical trials have had to be cancelled. Aducanamab, an antibody drug designed to target beta-amyloid, a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, has failed to meet its clinically significant endpoint. Biogen and Eisai, the sponsoring companies behind this latest Alzheimer’s endeavor has suffered a great loss with its stock prices plunging. But the human cost to Alzheimer’s patients, communities and their clinicians, who were expecting to see a cure, will be even greater as they pick up the pieces of another failed promise. There are nearly 6 million people who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease in the US and at least 50 million people world wide.

Nearly twenty years ago, when I first learnt about Alzheimer’s disease in university, people were talking about beta-amyloid and tau. Beta-amyloid forms deadly plaques in the brain and tau accumulates as neurofibrillary tangles inside neurons, contributing to the death of brain cells. The trigger for Alzheimer’s disease was thought to come from build-up of either beta-amyloid or tau (or both) and these were the most dominant theories. Decades later, after so many biotech companies have tried throwing anti-beta-amyloid drugs into clinical trials to treat patients, none have shown efficacy and not one has been approved by the FDA during that time (trials that have tried to target tau have not faired much better). Large companies from Merck and Eli Lilly to Pfizer, Johnson&Johnson and Roche have all fallen short of bringing a cure to the table.

As Matthew Herper from STATnews recently commented on The Readout Loud podcast, the drug industry has had “a disastrous love affair with beta amyloid. It was like Amyloid would come into the bar and they would meet one drug company and it would end terribly. Everybody else would see it but the next day, somebody else would come in and fall head over heals for Amyloid again.” The latest failure of Biogen’s drug could now put a nail in the coffin for the beta-amyloid hypothesis in spite of its ardent supporters.

The end of Biotech and Beta-Amyloid's love affair?

There are a number of other treatments for Alzheimer’s that are still being worked on in clinical trials. Chief among these are BACE inhibitors (AMG520 by Amgen and Novartis), NMDA receptor antagonists and serotonin / norepinephrine agonists (AXS-05 by Axsome and AVP786 by Avanir). There is even talk of a gene therapy trial to test for targeting the subpopulation of patients who have the APOE4 gene mutation. However these clinical trials are all trying to beat tough odds. In 2017 an Alzheimer’s drug named Interpirdine, a 5HT-6 antagonist, failed to show clinical efficacy. Pulling this drug off the pipeline caused a major setback for the sponsoring company Axovant, which had gone public with the most lucrative IPO in biotech history.

Surely for Alzheimer’s disease, biotech exuberance must give way to scientific reality - they must go back to the drawing board at the research bench and figure out the basic science behind what is actually causing Alzheimer’s. For a multifactorial disease that is so complicated it seems unlikely that a single magic bullet cure would ever work.

References:

Images: Schnabel J, Alzheimer's Theory Makes a Splash, 2009, Nature (459; 310)

Brooks K, The Cut, Failing at trying to have an affair. 2018

STATnews: https://www.statnews.com/2019/03/21/biogen-eisai-alzheimer-trial-stopped/

https://soundcloud.com/readout-loud/episode-54-another-big-alzheimers-failure-postpartum-progress-and-long-island-shores

Motley Fool: https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/03/30/3-leading-alzheimers-disease-drugs-in-development.aspx

https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/03/28/why-biogens-alzheimers-drug-failure-may-have-a-sil.aspx

 

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    Changing Your Habits

09/03/2019

When I first started working in my current job at this biotech startup I wanted to see if I could bring something new to the way I organized my experiments and shed some of my old academic habits of doldrum. I decided to jump onto the bandwagon of Electronic Laboratory Notebooks (ELNs). I quickly signed onto SciNote, one of the leading ELNs and, after talking with the management team, decided to stay with using it for the duration of my time in the lab.

ELNs are essentially online cloud storage platforms that are set to replace the traditional lab notebook - think of them as Dropbox for the lab. Instead of writing down protocols, large amounts of data and administrative rules for the lab in a physical book you can now upload everything onto the cloud. This allows everyone who has secure access to be able to see your lab book instantly. Potentially this could help share data between lab personnel and between collaborators more quickly and accurately. Online reviews of ELNs have hailed them as the future of knowledge-sharing platforms. But traditionalists and labs that have settled into a fixed way of managing projects will probably detest the idea.

Here are some advantages of ELNs I can think of:

- ELNs have been granted the same validity as paper records.
- 17% of all research data is lost in physical lab notebooks.
- You can search through your entire lab book for a specific query on a piece of data quickly.
- Upload different files (word, ppt, txt, jpeg, tiffs) instantly.
- Upload large amounts of data directly from a computer integrated with the ELN cloud.
- You will not have to worry about reading illegible handwriting anymore.
- Generate reports and even use the platform to help formulate a manuscript quickly.
- Experimental lab records must be signed and validated in order for drug product development to move through the FDA approval process. This is part of a regulation that must be satisfied for Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) Studies (21 CFR Part 11).

Here are some disadvantages of ELNs:

- Privacy could potentially be breached by bad actors / hackers. Given the number of issues we now have with personal data breaches and sharing with third party advertisers this could be a big concern for many people moving into online repositories of data.
- Updating electronic notebooks can still be as manually intensive and tedious as writing notes in paper lab books.
- Changing from a system of written notes to electronic notes takes a long time for larger labs that are used to doing things a certain way. This can also be time-consuming.
- You must have access to the internet and an electronic device at all times to read the notes.
- ELNs can charge a lot for their premium services, such as larger amounts of data storage and validation signatures.
- Adding extra people onto an ELN platform can also incur extra costs. This could be frustrating when just one or two new people join a lab and want to briefly look at your old data.

A traditional laboratory notebook in the lab:

My SciNote ELN with various windows open showing my workflow through various projects:

How ever you look at it, ELNs are probably here to stay for good. There is an increasing push in our culture to automate dull and mundane work as well as to share our growing amounts of data with a wider range of audience. There may well be a day when the more tedious jobs of pipetting and pouring liquids at the laboratory bench are totally eliminated for human beings (thus eliminating the need for technicians, graduate students and postdocs). But when that day comes, ELNs will provide a vital role for scientists managing projects to make the important Go-No-Go decisions on innovative experiments.

References

https://splice-bio.com/the-7-best-electronic-lab-notebooks-eln-for-your-research/

https://scinote.net/blog/electronic-lab-notebook-guide/

Image from: Kowk R, How to pick and electronic laboratory notebook, Nature 560, 269-270 (2018)

 

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    How to Write Effectively and Get People to Care

09/12/2018

"You have a problem with something and it needs to be solved. I will show you where your problem is and provide you with a solution!”. That, according to Larry McEnerney of the University of Chicago, is how we should all start a piece of writing in order to be effective. Looking back at all of my previous blogs I am kicking myself and realizing that although I have constructed some interesting, well-written articles about science, law, policy and healthcare, it has all been written primarily for myself. I have disregarded you, the audience (whoever you are), and am being punished with having relatively few readers. But the problem goes deeper than that and it affects many writers from all areas of society. A lot of people write blogs, papers and even grant proposals expecting everyone to read it and expecting the world to change. In fact the world ignores these articles or just rejects them out right because no one actually cares. We, the ineffective writers, have forgotten the principle rule of writing - to cater to the right audience with things they care about. It turns out that while writing is done by ourselves, locked away in a room, the purpose of writing is to start a relationship with the audience, continuing an interactive dialogue. Only then do we present a possibility of providing value, giving them a sense that the article is worth reading on. With that I will jump straight into what I have learnt from watching a couple of McEnerney’s videos on how to write effectively. You can watch the videos here and here.

1. Your writing must be Valuable.

We have all been taught that writing should be persuasive, organized, clear and somewhat valuable. However, the most important aspect is creating VALUE! We have to identify the target audience and write in a language that the audience wants emotionally. If we write just for ourselves, it’s all over for the audience. People get annoyed, bored and stop reading - but please don’t do that here!

2. You write for the readers, not for yourself.

Everything we have ever been taught by our English teachers up to high school has been WRONG (except for spelling and basic grammar). We have been trained to write out our ideas, submit it as text into the world and everyone will read it. But our readers in school have always been teachers (or parents) who are paid to care about what we think or know. However, in the real world, the function of text is to cause readers’ minds to change. Readers will not care about what I think. Readers only care about what they think or do! The text must flow with the audience’s expectations, not with my own experience.

3. Pamper the audience.


What is important to the reader? There are two types of audiences that we, the writers, have often failed to satisfy. One is the general public and the second is the expert in academia. Let’s start with the academic because they are most familiar to me.

(i) The expert in academia who decides whether to fund your grant proposal

We were taught in school about a “Positivistic World”. We were taught that knowledge is built up over time and every time we found out a bit about something we did not know, we could just add it to the existing pool of knowledge. We thought that as long as knowledge grows in any shape or form, everybody will be happy. This is inconsistent with the real world! In the real world there are a bunch of people who get to decide what knowledge is and what is important. Who are they and why do they get to decide? Well, they are the experts in your community and they just get to do it. Their conversations matter and luckily their conversations will change over time. Over time, some knowledge gets accepted and some knowledge gets left behind. However, when you submit a paper or a grant, you have to deal with these experts, to convince them that you can also join in on the conversation. You must get to know who the experts are in your field and what they did to become so important.

Learn the code: In order to join in on their high level conversation and get your findings published, you have to learn the code. The code is to begin every paper with a variation of an ego massage, ie. “Wow are you smart! You have contributed to the community in fabulous ways! Your work is excellent!….. BUT, there is this little tiny thing you got wrong…” then come in with your argument. Then you point to the anomaly but you leave it open to explanations. Only then will the expert reviewer or grant referee decide to maybe read on. Never introduce your paper by saying “There is something I want to add to the field…”. No expert will want to read it.

(ii) The average reader of the New York Times, CNN and Medium

Unlike in school, readers in the real world do not care about your objective arguments. People read in order to be entertained on some level. Entertainment is the value they seek and the bread and butter of major news outlets (I know, this sounds cynical). Often, New York Times articles are written in shorter sentences. This allows the reader who is on the move, reading on the train, on the smartphone, to get the idea quickly. The longer your sentences are, the more you will interfere with the reader’s thinking processes. If your writing interferes with their thinking, they will get annoyed, bored and stop reading. People like to have their attention captured and if it’s shocking or bad, it will attract people even more. This leads onto the final point:

4. Create valuable tension

Always sprinkle your first few paragraphs with words that cause tension. Tension is valuable to the reader because they will be attracted to it. McEnerney gave an example of five words:

But
Although
However
Inconsistent
Anomaly

(Notice how I have added these words into the above paragraphs!!)

These words, among others, create instability for the reader and get them engaged. It highlights a problem you are introducing. If you know the readers in your community, you can address them directly and find a polite way to say, “Hey readers, I have read your stuff. I know what you think. But, you are wrong!!! Here is why… and here is how to solve it…” Obviously it is impolite to directly write this in the introduction. Therefore you must learn the code, write something that validates the community’s past thinking, appreciate their previous work and then hit them with what has been missing. People love to have a problem presented to them and see it become enriched. The most effective papers are not structured purely as the classic “Introduction, Middle and Conclusions”. The best literature reviews enrich a problem and create instability.

After watching McEnerney’s writing classes I have to agree with him that some of these ideas seem controversial, even verging on Fascist. You are not being encouraged to think for ourselves or to be brave about broadcasting our thoughts to the world. However, if your career depends on a grant proposal, a paper or a news media article, you have to play by the rules of this society. Ultimately, you have to give the people what they want.

References:

Image: https://media.springernature.com/original/springer-static/image/chp%3A10.1007%2F978-981-10-4720-6_15/MediaObjects/433448_1_En_15_Figa_HTML.gif

Youtube videos of Larry McEnerney

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtIzMaLkCaM&t=1040s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFwVf5a3pZM

 

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    We Need to Talk About Mental Health for Graduate Students

03/11/2018

As I sat in at a small church group last Friday evening listening to people discuss their anxieties and their struggle to find meaning, two people started talking about their emotional stress stories of dealing with failed experiments in their laboratories.  One person recounted a near mental breakdown at one point and how they cried in that moment of despair.  Another described a feeling of loneliness when pushed to over work at the bench.   Both were biomedical scientists in the early stages of their careers perhaps facing turmoil with their thesis advisors and within the academic system. During my drive back home I pondered about how I could relate to their situation. I remember feeling the same way when I was in graduate school and during parts of my postdoc.  It also echoes what I have been hearing for years at career development meetings and online in science careers columns.

I don’t consider myself as someone who has endured extraordinary hardship.  From a high level perspective I have had it relatively easy, having gone through graduate school and an early career in academia without suffering too much stress. I always had plenty of support from my mentors and my family.  Indeed there were times when I felt challenged and depressed towards the end of my PhD studies, while rushing to finish up my dissertation, but this is just what every graduate student goes through in some way or another.  However, I have seen the toll that graduate school takes on people who have not been as fortunate as me or who lacked the network of emotional support.  For many young academics, especially those who are the first generation of their family to attend graduate school, it is important to find support when dealing with emotional turmoil while they undergo technical and personal challenges.

In March this year, Nature Biotechnology published a report of mental health and clinical anxiety in over 2,000 graduate students in PhD and Masters programs covering everything from biological/physical sciences to humanities and the social sciences.  The results showed that graduate students were six times more likely to experience depression and anxiety than the general population.  39% of graduate students were scored as moderate to severely depressed compared to just 6% in the general population.  Up to 56% of students sampled disagreed with the statement, “I have a good work-life balance”. Up to 50% of those in the anxiety/depression group disagreed with the statement that their PI or advisor provided “real” mentorship or support while only 36% agreed with the statement.  Furthermore, the report provided strong data to show women and transgender students are under increased risk of depression and anxiety compared to men.

It has long been known that people with higher level graduate degrees are more susceptible to depression and feelings of alienation.  Only recently, however, has this been recognized as a crisis and has anyone attempted to address the issues from a national and institutional level.  The NIH introduced the “Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST)” award program within the NIH campus at the Office of Intramural Training and Education.  This has helped broaden the career aspirations of scientists within their campus.  NIH grants now include mandatory sections for mentors to address how they will help trainees better develop their careers.  Certain training grants, such as the K - grants mandate principle investigators (PIs) to serve a minimum of 75% professional effort on research, development and mentoring.  Many local institutions have graduate school programs that try to help with professional development by introducing individual development plans (IDPs), something that has been offered by Science for a number of years now.  At the postdoctoral level I was intimately familiar with the National Postdoctoral Association.  I personally worked at setting up nationally recognized Postdoctoral Associations during my training to introduce career development at my old school - admittedly without much success!

However, all of these institutional groups still fall short when it comes to solving the mental health crisis.  At issue are two things that, in part, are a reflection of our changing society.  The first is the problem of modern work culture.  The second is economic turmoil that has led to geopolitical division.  I will focus on the former, since the latter requires an altogether different blog – suffice to say it has resulted in a manifestation of nationalism and alternative facts that denigrate everything we strive for in knowledge development. 

The academic system is built on the backs of many hard-working junior scientist who serve a few prominent PIs in order to drive innovative research.  In the old days an academic career was straight forward.  At the end of a productive graduate school and postdoctoral training, one was able to attain a tenure track faculty position in a university as a full professor.  Today, the sheer number of people graduating with a PhD has saturated the job market while research funding, especially within academia, has shrunk, without even accounting for rising inflation.  The guarantee of finding meaningful employment as a tenure track faculty, doing globally impactful research is simply a lie.  It is therefore difficult for career development institutions that work under the NIH and within universities to fundamentally challenge the academic culture that feeds them.  Thus, many graduate students and postdocs in their early career fall through the cracks of emotional support during times of need.

Shortly after the mental health report was published, hundreds of scientists contacted Nature to contribute their personal stories.  One individual, Robbie Hable, a PhD student in engineering, wrote about how he was hospitalized for depression in graduate school.  He then mentioned finding out about the Cheeky Scientist Association (CSA), created by Isaiah Hankel. The CSA provides a platform for PhD students and postdocs to support each other both technically and emotionally as they look for jobs in industry, transitioning out of academia.  On their forum there is a common thread of success stories which researchers post during the interview and transition process designed for encouragement, often during times of rejection.  In the UK there are national frameworks set up, such as #stepchange, which works to improves mental health of faculty and students in higher education.  There are also mental-health charities, such as Student Mindswhich seek to help students psychologically.

For those who are open to the idea, there is always sanctuary in religion, if all other methods seem out of reach.  This may seem counter-intuitive to many people in higher education STEM fields, myself included, who come from atheist families with secular upbringings.  What use is God and a chronicle of bizarre miracles if you champion intellectual philosophers borne out of the enlightenment era to rationally explain your problems?  Religion, however, as I have discovered in recent years, brings with it a form of comfort and community not offered by university or secular institutions.  There are therapeutic stories such as in Mark 4:38-39, Jesus calms the storm in the Sea of Galilea and asks his disciples to stay calm, have faith in him. These stories have a remarkably calming effect on one's personal nature in times of stress. In fact it is often the small bible study groups and communal potlucks that bring nourishment to those who suffer the most.  Deep friendships and bonds can form when people come together to discuss major questions of life – why are we here? / where are we going?.  When one focuses on those big issues, all other life worries tend to seem trivial.  At a time when nations have become protectionist and when political divisions have grown ever larger, religion may yet see its return as a key player for unity.

That is not to say that joining a religion or even joining a cult is the be all and end all to the mental crisis currently faced by graduate students.  Those staunchly opposed to religion may find relief in therapy or simply in school counselling.  A secular movement named "The School of Life", started by the outspoken atheist philosopher, Alain de Botton, has in recent years gained traction around the world. The School of Life provides an endless slew of fascinating videos on Youtube which dish out advice to those searching for meaning in life while going through crises. Each video is designed to teach you a part of a wider curriculum of life lessons that include love, marriage, relationships, philosophy, history, art and psychotherapy. Alain de Botton's radical idea that high art and culture can replace God when it comes to soothing a troubled person's soul may seem elitist and too out of reach for most of us. However, between his famous lectures on why you will marry the wrong person and his books on how to choose a job you love much of his philosophy deals with the same issues the church originally had to do: how to face mundane life problems and how to go on in life in spite of massive emotional setbacks.

The consequences of not seeking help can often be devastating.  The University of Iowa, where I am currently located, bears a painful memory of what happens when graduate student mental illness is not treated quickly.  In 1991, a student named Gang Lu, shot and killed four faculty and a postdoc in the Physics department before committing suicide.  His main grievance was that he was pasesed over for a departmental prize in particle physics and, potentially, not being able to stay on in America.  His problem of deteriorating mental health had been noticed by colleagues for some time but no one took action.  The killing at the university sent shockwaves across the US.  It has even been dramatized by Hollywood into a movie (Dark Matter, starring Meryl Streep). Not surprisingly, after 27 years, the events of that day still echo in the back of people’s minds. 

Interestingly, it has been the local church community, not the university itself, that has gathered together every few years to commemorate this tragedy and move towards healing people from their emotional wounds.  That contrasts with my experience of living in larger metropolitan areas where people often have more choice from secular help groups and charities. Ultimately, there are a multitude of ways for people to seek help in times of mental hardship.  As the crisis of mental illness in graduate students enters into our collective consciousness it will come down to both a matter of personal responsibility and of social institutional support to seek a solution before things spiral out of control. 

 

References

Evans TM, Bira L, Gastelum JB, Weiss LT, Vanderford NL, Evidence for a mental health crisis in graduate education. Nature Biotechnology 36, 282-284 (2018):
https://www.nature.com/articles/nbt.4089

Nature Career Feature, May 2nd 2018: Feeling overwhelmed in academia? You are not alone, Chris Woolston:
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-04998-1

#Stepchange initiative:
https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/stepchange

Student Minds Charity:
https://www.studentminds.org.uk/

The Cheeky Scientist Association: https://cheekyscientist.com/

Jesus calms the storm by Ludolph Backhuysen: https://www.artbible.info/art/large/903.html

The School of Life by Alain de Botton: https://www.theschooloflife.com/

Dark Matter movie starring Meryl Streep and Ye Liu: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0416675/

Scream painting by Edvard Munch: https://www.edvardmunch.org/the-scream.jsp

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Previous Posts

ASGCT Reflections

ASGCT

Alzheimer's Drug Failure

Changing Your Habits

How to Write Effectively

Mental Health in Graduate Students

Chapter 10 - Limits of Biotech inventions

Chapter 9 - Longest PTE in history

Chapter 8 - Invasion of the Patent Trolls

Chapter 7 - Direct-to-Consumer Genomics Testing

Chapter 6 - Supreme Ct and Laws of Nature

Chapter 5 Law - The Dark Web

Chapter 4 Law - Gaming the Hatch Waxman Act

Chapter 3 Law - Biosimilars

Chapter 2 Law - Patent Protection and Drug Development

Chapter 1 Law - CRISPR-Cas9

FDA Law Blog 2.0

Theranos - Moral Lessons for the Biotech Industry

Gene Therapy for Spinal Cord Injury

FDA - Golden Age for Gene Therapy

Pricing Gene Therapy

Lentivirus - Not just Retro Chique

Luxturna

AAV - An Awesome Vehicle!

The Year of the Gene Therapy

Masters in QARA

Industry High Castle

Leaving

Regeneration Paper Out

Oligonucleotide Therapeutics

Brain-Spine Neural Interface

Black Mirror

A Journey into my Genome (2): Volunteering my DNA

ImPACT Traumatic Brain Injury

Retiring the Mouse Model Gold Standard

Brexit Britain I weep for you

Surgeries

Seven Years in Visaland

Photo Website

Restimulating the Party

Start Talking Science

A Journey into my Genome

Patent Law IX, The Limits of Biotech Patents

Patent Law IX, The Longest Patent Extension Battle

Patent Law VIII, Invasion of Patent Trolls into Biotech

Patent Law VII, DTC Genomic Testing

Patent Law VI, Supreme Court and Laws of Nature

Patent Law V, The Dark Web

Patent Law IV, Gaming the Hatch-Waxman Act

Patent Law III, The Brave New World of Biosimilars

Patent Law II, The Everlasting Patent

Patent Law I, CRISPR-Cas9

FDA Law Intro

The Big Idea

Accountability for Retractions

Neuroscience Drugs

Locked-in Syndrome

SCI scar Inhibitor

Google-Calico

p-Hacking

Immigration

Neuropathic Pruritus

Mitochondrial Disease, 3 parent baby

Multiple Sclerosis and Axon Injury

Pint of Science Philadelphia

The Mesoscale Connectome

Tracing Neuronal Circuits

Pint of Science

Nano-symposium

The Brain Initiative

Two more online courses done

Fellowship Awarded

One week

Shriners Fellowship

PVA Fellowship

SfN Itinerary

Online Course Certificates

Systems Biology