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Neurodiversity is inconvenient in a classroom; George Church knows firsthand. But in the latest episode of Bio-IT World’s Trends from the Trenches podcast, Church tells host, Stan Gloss: “I’m interested in overcoming the inconvenience of having people who are a little bit out on the bell curve… You don’t want necessarily to train everybody in your lab to be as close to the ideal citizen as possible. You just want them to be comfortable enough that they can deal with their diversity.”   Church goes on to talk about how neurodiversity shaped his education and scientific career, the mental tricks he used to survive school with dyslexia, why being neurodiverse is an asset, and how personifying ideas lets him champion the underdog. “It’s not just dyslexic thinking, it’s thinking in any way differently,” he said. “If you think differently on any axis... then that means you become more self-reliant… When everybody in the middle of the bell curve is stuck on a problem, you’re going to give a new solution.” When hiring or forming collaborations, Church says he looks for the ability to deal with ambiguity and contradictions. He shares how a neurodiverse workplace leads to innovative discoveries, and his advice to early scientists navigating traditional work environments. Links from this episode:  Bio-IT World BioTeam Wyss Institute Richard Branson Praises LinkedIn for Adding ‘Dyslexic Thinking’ as Official Skill George Church on 4D Omics, Natural Computing, and the BioWeatherMap   
Susan Gregurick, Associate Director for Data Science and Director of the Office of Data Science Strategy at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), speaks with Stan Gloss, podcast host and BioTeam founder, about the next iteration of the NIH Strategic Plan for Data Science and the lessons learned from the recent pandemic. “COVID just told us how much we weren’t doing, and how challenging it is to really get FAIR data into the hands of researchers in a timely fashion so they can find it, access it, and use it. We are nowhere close to actually accomplishing that goal,” Gregurick tells Gloss.  Over the next five years, the NIH plans to create a research data mesh to harmonize data services, enhance Researcher Auth Services to standardize methods for accessing data, develop hybrid data compute infrastructures, and create new language around artificial intelligence, machine learning, and research-inspired data. Hear Gregurick speak about the NIH’s vision to develop tools for ethical AI and her passion for enhancing training in under-resourced communities and building a multi-disciplinary and diverse data workforce. 
Dr. Kim Branson’s intense interest in drug discovery and structural biology quickly led to an interest in machine learning. After receiving multiple degrees from esteemed universities in Australia, Branson trained at Stanford and now works as the Senior Vice President and Global Head of AI/ML at GSK. With host, Stan Gloss, Branson shares his work in creating “biological twins.” These 3-D tumor culture models replicate cancer and their respective immune environments. Branson and his team monitor tumor and immune responses to cancer drugs in real-time. The clinical implications of anticipating a tumor’s every move within a patient’s body are astounding. He also explains why thoughtfulness is paramount in experiment design and how a project’s impact should be the primary consideration before proceeding. Learn how GSK recruits talent and the importance of creating a multidisciplinary environment. Hear Branson talk about eliminating AI analysis bias, navigating ethical issues, and the new generation of leaders on his team. Links from this episode:  Bio-IT World BioTeam GSK 
James Cuff summarizes his career over the past 25 years or so in the latest episode of Bio-IT World’s Trends from the Trenches podcast. He tells our host, BioTeam’s Stan Gloss, where he’s seen updates in the space and which things have fundamentally stayed the same. He also shares about the problem that’s been bugging him for the past five years and the new company he’s joined that could fix it. Links from this episode:  Follow James on Twitter GigaIO Bio-IT World BioTeam 
Jim Bilotta found his home in orphan diseases early in his career, driven by both personal experience and the “unbelievable” impact on patients and their families. Today, as Chief Information Officer, head of IT, at Alnylam, he is still pursuing that impact. Bilotta and Trends from the Trenches host, Stan Gloss, discuss digital transformation at Alnylam, and how Bilotta views the distinction between digitization and digital transformation.  Bio-IT World’s Trends from the Trenches podcast delivers your insider’s look at the science, technology, and executive trends driving the life sciences through conversations with industry leaders. BioTeam co-founder Stan Gloss brings years of industry experience in science, data, and technology to conversations exploring what is driving data and discovery, and what’s coming next. Links from this episode:  Bio-IT World BioTeam Alnylam 
From big pharma to Amazon Web Services, Lita Sands has seen the amazing impact that the Cloud has had on life sciences research over the course of her career. During the pandemic, Sands has seen companies’ journeys to the cloud accelerate from 8-12 year roadmaps into 1-2 year transition plans. As companies turn their attention to enabling digital transformation, Sands has some advice. Take a 1-3 year view of your goals, she says, and don’t try to boil the ocean. “People need to see success.” She advocates for strong partners who have already built and validated the tools you need, and warns against setting a finish line. “You’ll never be done,” she says.  Links from this episode:  Bio-IT World BioTeam Amazon Web Services Bio-IT World’s 2021 Plenary Panel on Digital Transformation moderated by Lita Sands Trends from the Trenches column with Mike Montello, GSK 
At the National Cancer Institute, Tony Kerlavage knows quite a bit about managing very large pools of data. When NCI launched the Genomic Data Commons, it aimed to democratize access to the genomic data in The Cancer Genome Atlas and other sources. Since then, though, Kerlavage points out that our data types and volumes have only grown. Now NCI is taking a “Commons of Commons” approach to link pools of well-structured data. “The more data we can bring together in a well-structured way, the more value it has in the long run,” he believes. He advocates for sharable Python notebooks and reusable R programming, believing significant investments in data hygiene and interoperability delivers more value than simply mining data lakes with artificial intelligence tools—for now, at least. The challenge for researchers, Kerlavage says, is to view their work with an eye to the future: How might someone else use this data going forward? Links from this episode:  Bio-IT World BioTeam NCI Launches Genomic Data Commons Bob Grossman’s Vision of the Commons of Commons BioTeam’s Approach to Collaborative Dictionary Authoring 
Bio-IT World and BioTeam have been exploring the drivers of life sciences innovation for years during the Bio-IT World Conference & Expo and in regular columns in the publication. Now Bio-IT World editor, Allison Proffitt, and BioTeam co-founder, Stan Gloss, discuss their latest project: a podcast to capture in-depth conversations with leaders in the field about data, culture, technology, and more.  Bio-IT World’s Trends from the Trenches podcast delivers your insider’s look at the science, technology, and executive trends driving the life sciences through conversations with industry leaders. BioTeam co-founder Stan Gloss brings years of industry experience in science, data, and technology to conversations exploring what is driving data and discovery, and what’s coming next. Biography:  As co-founder and Evangelist of BioTeam, Stan Gloss has been working to tell the stories of the intersection of science, data and technology since 2002. Gloss joined with fellow founding partners Bill Van Etten and Chris Dagdigian to form BioTeam in 2002 following his tenure in business development with AVAKI Corporation, a pioneer in global grid software solutions. At Blackstone Computing, a computing and IT consulting company for scientists, Gloss led the sales initiative that launched the company in the life sciences market. Gloss earned his MS at the University of Buffalo and was a department chairman and faculty member at Quinnipiac University. Links:  Bio-IT World BioTeam 
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