Some of you may know that I have been busy doing contract work at MedImmune for the past 14 months or so at the Frederick facility. Well that contract came to a close, but I was picked up by another contractor, Raland Technologies, to work on a different project for MedImmune at their Philadelphia facilities. So, sadly, I won’t be in Frederick as much as I’d like to, but you’ll still hear from me. I am the first official Biotech Ambassador for the Frederick Chamber of Commerce, after all. And even though Raland runs their Maryland operations out of Montgomery County, they also have a major presence in my home town Rochester, NY. Raland made a major announcement just a couple of weeks ago when Raland announced they were awarded grant through the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Program (QTDP) for their extraordinary development efforts with RxFusion™ , a medical device offering an easier and safer home infusion treatment. I am glad to be a part of their team.
Speaking of major news from Frederick County Biotech, I noted an article in Nature titled “Complex synthesis yields breast-cancer therapy” on my RSS feed yesterday. This is cool in a number of respects. First, coincident with the synthesis of this compound, researchers in Frederick at NCI discovered the compound inhibits a protein component of
the cytoskeleton, called tubulin, that is needed to support the rapid growth of cancer cells and is the target of several other cancer chemotherapies, including Taxol (paclitaxel). Second, I spent two weeks in Seattle at the University of Washington round about 1991 working in the lab of future Nobel Laureate Eddy Krebs isolating Okadaic acid (a prolific and potent protein phosphorylator) from this very same species of sea sponge. And what a stinking *effen* mess it was. Let me tell you, if you drag a few kilos of fresh halichondria from deep off the floor of the Pacific, mix it with 20 L or so of Chloroform in a jumbo Warning blender, then extract with 20 L Methanol (all of this in 1991 was done in buckets, on the floor, without any special lab gear like safety glasses or lab coats or Kevlar) while trying not to contaminate my lab partner Joel’s working on this new product he called “Lipofectamine” (which was indeed a multi million dollar product and I think continues to be to this day) because this was going to be the first million dollar product for the newly formed Cell Biology group of Life Technologies. Those were the days.
But I digress in my fond recollections of past glory. What I really, really want to do is to let you know the next Biobeers is almost certainly happening Friday December 17th at Lab Recyclers warehouse on Metropolitan Court (right next to FITCI). And I really, really need everyone to switch over to the new MeetUp site and register. Go here now: http://www.meetup.com/FredCoBio-BioBeers/
MeetUp costs me about $10 per month, but it’s much better as compared to LinkedIn (which I will continue to maintain, just not set up events and calendar items through that site) for posting news and information and events. I’m trying this as a platform to try to connect us more better than we are today. I’ve started populating the site with the various and sundry seminars happening at Ft Detrick which are freaking free and open to the public!! I’m still working on getting the MeetUp site to link to Ft Detrick web site, but it’s all good.
I’ll have the BioBeers posted on both LinkedIn and MeetUp for the next couple of events, but will force y’all over to MeetUp eventually. Besides, my text file mailing list is getting way too long.