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5
Apr
2021

The Glory of John Martin: an Understated Leader Who Built a Biotech Powerhouse

John C. Martin was an unassuming man with an ordinary name. But his leadership qualities and accomplishments as a biopharma CEO were extraordinary. Martin, the CEO of Foster City, Calif.-based Gilead Sciences from 1996 to 2016, didn’t seek to dominate the room or inspire legions with a charismatic personality. He didn’t make the cover of magazines, even when he led...
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5
Apr
2021

COVID-19 Testing: Going to the Dogs?

For at least the 15,000 years since the first-known burial of two humans with their dog, dogs and humans have cooperated intimately. Dogs get food and shelter in exchange for performing work they can do uniquely well. Working dogs use capabilities, such as strength, speed, alertness and willingness to please (trainability). From the very beginning, it is likely that it...
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2
Apr
2021

Building An Easy On-Ramp For Consumer Fitness

A comprehensive 2018 review of the scientific literature commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services reported that physical activity not only helps you “sleep better, feel better, and function better,” but also “reduces the risk of a large number of diseases and conditions,” including dementia, hypertension, diabetes, and a range of cancers. The report specifically highlights the benefits...
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31
Mar
2021

Asian Americans in Biotech: Breaking the Silence

As a first generation Asian-American working in biotech in San Diego, I identified with the many good points in Kevin Kwok’s piece on Mar. 9 about the rise in hate crimes. Fast forward to the end of March, and we have seen more horrific attacks. The element of race (and gender) in these attacks is sometimes overtly declared; at other...
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29
Mar
2021

Flying Blind on the Origin of a Pandemic

I was always curious.  An early elementary school memory is my mother returning from a parent-teacher conference to report that my teacher thought I had “an enquiring mind.” Curiosity is what led me to a life of research, as a biostatistician and population scientist. Because in research, the questions you ask are just as important as their answers. The questions...
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28
Mar
2021

Needed: Planet Fitness for The Digital World

Digital platforms such as Peloton and Tonal have clearly learned how to use emerging technologies to cultivate healthy exercise habits and a loyal base of fitness-focused customers. These same technologies would seem ideally suited – if presented in the right way – to coax more people off the couch in the first place.  This represents an enormous health — and...
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27
Mar
2021

Digital Health: From Pharma To…Fitness?

Astute TR readers might have noticed that I’ve been writing a lot about digital fitness lately, in contrast to digital pharma.  This is deliberate, and represents an evolution of my thinking. I was first drawn to digital health over a decade ago, in the context of a translational medicine training program for medical scientists that I developed with Dr. Denny...
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25
Mar
2021

Can Digital Fitness Extend Beyond Hardy Base To Reach Those Who May Benefit Most?

Whether you are an “exercist,” who relentlessly talks up the benefits of regular exercise to anyone who will listen, or instead are like the vast majority of people and conscientiously avoid exercise, you will find something appealing in the recently published Exercised, by Harvard anthropologist Daniel Lieberman. Those who assiduously avoid unnecessary exertion – pretty much the definition of exercise...
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25
Mar
2021

A Glimpse Into a Price-Controlled Future

Imagine if H.R. 3 — the drug price-control bill that has significant support in the House of Representatives — were to become law. What would it look like if some of the bill’s provisions, like indexing US prices to 120 percent of prices in Europe, were enacted? How would entrepreneurs adapt? What types of drug discovery programs might be prioritized,...
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20
Mar
2021

Enticing Some With Social Cues, Others With Health, Exercise Rewards Body And Mind

I recently discussed the rise of digital fitness, and specifically how companies like Peloton are succeeding by delivering an engaging experience. The new crop of digital fitness companies have figured out how to make health-promoting activities that are intrinsically tedious – like riding a stationary bike – into something compelling and sustaining. A New York Times writer, Amanda Hess, captures...
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