Collaboration In Biology’s Century

Todd Sherer, Chief Executive Officer of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, in Forbes: “he problem is, we all still work in a system that feeds on secrecy and competition. It’s hard enough work just to dream up win/win collaborative structures; getting them off the ground can feel like pushing a boulder up a hill. Yet there is no doubt that the realities of today’s research environment — everything from the accumulation of big data to the ever-shrinking availability of funds — demand new models for collaboration. Call it “collaboration 2.0.”…I share a few recent examples in the hope of increasing the reach of these initiatives, inspiring others like them, and encouraging frank commentary on how they’re working.

Open-Access Data

The successes of collaborations in the traditional sense, coupled with advanced techniques such as genomic sequencing, have yielded masses of data. Consortia of clinical sites around the world are working together to collect and characterize data and biospecimens through standardized methods, leading to ever-larger pools — more like Great Lakes — of data. Study investigators draw their own conclusions, but there is so much more to discover than any individual lab has the bandwidth for….

Crowdsourcing

A great way to grow engagement with resources you’re willing to share? Ask for it. Collaboration 2.0 casts a wide net. We dipped our toe in the crowdsourcing waters earlier this year with our Parkinson’s Data Challenge, which asked anyone interested to download a set of data that had been collected from PD patients and controls using smart phones. …

Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration 2.0

The more we uncover about the interconnectedness and complexity of the human system, the more proof we are gathering that findings and treatments for one disease may provide invaluable insights for others. We’ve seen some really intriguing crosstalk between the Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease research communities recently…

The results should be: More ideas. More discovery. Better health.”

 

 

 

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