Asking the Ultimate Question
In today’s highly competitive academic world, are we losing sight of the real goal of biomedical research in our rush to secure funding and embrace the latest technologies?
Michael N. Liebman |
Over the last 30 years, I’ve watched biomedical research rapidly embrace new technologies aimed at developing better drugs and improving patient care and outcome. This evolution extends from molecular modeling to bioinformatics, translational medicine, and now the conversion of personalized medicine into precision medicine and its enhancement with big data. Although these approaches typically develop from academic research, they have all migrated to commercial activities (and investment opportunities), while promising to improve healthcare.
In many cases, approaches have evolved from breakthrough science to commoditization and integration into standard research practice. For example, molecular modeling progressed from computational/quantum evaluation of chemical properties to visualization/graphics and molecular dynamics. Now, no drug is developed that does not use some form of this analysis. Bioinformatics evolved from protein structure–function analysis to sequence analysis of proteins, nucleic acids and genomes. Molecular biologists now routinely apply complex algorithms developed in advanced research in disparate areas.
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