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29
Oct
2020

What Happened in Switzerland?

Back in March — during the first wave — I reflected on the COVID-19 situation in Switzerland. This small country, at that time, was managing its outbreak and quickly getting it under control. This was just as the federal government had begun coordinating a response, which had previously been left to local authorities. As I mentioned back then, while Switzerland...
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26
Oct
2020

Machine Learning for Drug Discovery: Daphne Koller on The Long Run

Today’s guest on The Long Run is Daphne Koller. Daphne is the CEO of South San Francisco-based insitro. The company is seeking to develop a new platform for drug discovery that leans on a combination of wet labs and machine learning algorithms to spot new biological targets for drug discovery. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have been stirring imaginations in...
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19
Oct
2020

Getting Ready for the Next Pandemic With a Comprehensive Response

The progress in developing therapies and vaccines for COVID-19 has been extraordinary, and has received extraordinary attention. But there’s another good news story beginning to emerge, about our widening array of defenses against bacterial infectious disease. On the clinical front in the past month, developers have announced positive Phase III trials in difficult diseases that have been marked with prior...
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15
Oct
2020

Corporate Leaders Face Pressure from Investors, Regulators to Act on Diversity

Over the summer, when George Floyd’s horrific death and the disparities of the pandemic combined to spur a new national reckoning with systemic racial injustice, many CEOs issued statements. Many insisted they would do more than talk – they’d take action in day-to-day business against structural inequalities. Those loud pronouncements of action are fading fast. The reverberations of their disquietude...
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7
Oct
2020

Learning From COVID-19: The Lessons For Real World Data

The COVID-19 crisis created an urgent need for healthcare data. For starters, it was necessary to characterize the spread of the pandemic. Quickly, reports were needed on the capacity of healthcare facilities responsible for care of the severely afflicted. Then there was the urgent need to assess the trajectory, and outcomes, of patients admitted to hospitals.  The profound difficulty our...
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30
Sep
2020

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing Needs To Be Open, Not Closed

The U.S. already has the real-time PCR infrastructure to run tens of millions of tests per day. Why don’t we use that capacity? Our consumer electronics companies are constantly marketing the newest one-touch, automatic machine. They make it sound so simple, so alluring, so irresistible. Think of our smartphones and watches. That might partly explain the administration’s instant embrace of...
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28
Sep
2020

Small Molecules Against RNA Targets: Jennifer Petter on The Long Run

Today’s guest on The Long Run is Jennifer Petter. She is the founder and chief scientific officer of Waltham, Massachusetts-based Arrakis Therapeutics. Jennifer is a medicinal chemist who has spent her career thinking about how to make small molecules with all the classic Lipinski “Rule of 5” characteristics against protein targets. Five years ago, when she was looking for a...
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23
Sep
2020

How Lunch with Bill Gates, Sr. Changed My Life

“I’m gonna have the halibut and chips. And a medium vanilla milkshake. What about you, Thong?” I looked up at my towering companion as he peered down at me with a gentle smile. I’m about 5-foot-8, and he was about 6-foot-7. I quickly scanned the menu board, then made my choice. “You know, Mr. Gates, I think I’m going to...
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