Open Source Drug Discovery: Curing Neglected Diseases With Crowdsourcing

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Professor Samir Brahmachari’s lecture will focus on the use of open innovation, citizen science and crowdsourcing to accelerate and lower the cost of drug development to achieve “affordable healthcare for all.”  He will tell the story of the Open Source Drug Discovery project (OSDD), which has been accelerating groundbreaking innovation in the design of new drugs for neglected tropical diseases like tuberculosis and malaria. Each day thousands of people die of TB around the world, and resistance to existing drugs has increased creating a major public health problem. No new safe TB drug has been developed in 50 years. Inspired by open source principles and making use of India’s computational strength, Dr. Brahmachari founded Open Source Drug Discovery to enable students, scientists, researchers, and individuals from all over the world to work collaboratively in a horizontal and decentralized manner, making contributions to the identification of novel drug targets to fight infectious diseases. He will talk about OSDD and its successful launch of a clinical trial of a new TB drug and discuss the learnings from this life-saving crowdsourcing project.

About Samir

Prof. Samir K. Brahmachari, J.C. Bose National Fellow, is currently also the Academy Professor of Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research and Chief Mentor of Open Source Drug Discovery. He served as the Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India – one of the largest chains of industrial R&D labs in the world for over six years (2007-2013). He is also the Founder Director of CSIR-Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi (1997-2007) and has pioneered Functional Genomics research in India, successfully leading the Indian Genome Variation Project. This exploration of human genome variation in multi-ethnic, multilingual populations of India led to development of a national resource: the genetic profile of the people of India. Prof. Brahmachari has conceived and established the Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD), a global collaborative translational research platform for affordable healthcare and a model for Science 2.0.His present interest lies in the utilization of genomics and computational technology to gain a systems level understanding of pathogenic organisms like Mycobacterium tuberculosis towards the development of low cost drugs and diagnostics to achieve the vision of affordable healthcare for all. Prof. Brahmachari mentors young students and is actively involved in promoting innovations through application oriented education and research.

Here are three papers about the Open Source Drug Discovery project:

  1. Open source drug discovery- A new paradigm of collaborative research in tuberculosis drug development, September 2011,
  2. Crowd Sourcing a New Paradigm for Interactome Driven Drug Target Identification in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, July 2012,
  3. CSIR’s Open Source Drug Discovery Programme: Changing the Rules of Drug Discovery, April 2014,

Lunch will be served. Please RSVP so we have accurate numbers for food.

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