Welcoming Pilot Communities to Rapid Science

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016

We are thrilled to welcome our inaugural collaborative working groups, who will be conducting research in the fields of behavior change, precision medicine, and aging. Investigators in these communities will exchange insights and research results across far-ranging disciplines such as oncology, psychology, molecular biology, behavioral medicine, sociology, and public health, utilizing our soon-to-launch Rapid Learning Platform (RLP) and Cases Central database.

From Anecdote to Evidence

The Sarcoma Inquiry Network has been funded by pharmaceutical companies Bayer, Janssen, and EMD Serono. Our initial partner is the World Sarcoma Network – a remarkable international network of sarcoma clinicians and researchers headed by George Demetri of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and Jean-Yves Blay of Cancéropôle Lyon Rhône-Alpes and University Lyon, France. Collaborators from the US, Tokyo, London, Cairo, The Hague, Warsaw, Milan and other countries will populate our Cases Central database with sarcoma patients’ genomic and clinical data. These data will help scientists and physicians better understand the 80+ subtypes of this rare disease, and will jump-start drug discovery as exceptional responders are identified and discussed.

Changing Our Minds

The five-year “Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Common Fund Program” has been initiated through support of the National Institutes of Health Common Fund. Rapid Science founder Sarah Greene is Co-Investigator in the Resource and Coordinating Center section of the project (with PI Karina Davidson of Columbia University Medical Center), whose role is to “provide http://nygoodhealth.com strategic leadership, efficient coordination, inspired support, and pioneering dissemination of the innovative experimental medicine approaches that SOBC consortium scientists adopt to identify, validate, and engage novel behavior-change targets.” Our RLP and Collaboration Score will be piloted to promote and reward collaboration among researchers at nine institutions: Brown, Dartmouth, SUNY Buffalo, NYU, Princeton, Penn State, and U. Michigan.

Aging Gracefully

Our third community, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is a collaboration of member institutions of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) Medical Humanities Network Program. Our funding partner is Columbia University’s Heyman Center, whose Executive Director Eileen Gillooly is leading an initiative on aging and the medical humanities. In this international collaboration of five additional participating institutions – Kings College London, Dartmouth, University of Witwatersrand, UNC Chapel Hill, and Chinese University of Hong Kong – research and insights will be shared on issues of evidence, value, and evaluation regarding societal care for the elderly and the means of providing for a dignified death.

In this opening blog post of Rapid Science, we offer profuse thanks to our generous funders and collaborating researchers. 2016 marks the launch of our own ‘science of behavior change’ study, whereby we hypothesize that shared research and insights in our pilot communities will facilitate better, faster science.

Watch this page to learn more about these projects and the world of open, collaborative research.

Sarah Greene