I had the honor of introducing Dr Benjamin Cravatt as the keynote speaker at this year’s Drug Discovery Chemistry conference. Our overview video is below.
Here is the full text of my remarks.
Hi, my name is Chris Petersen I’m the cofounder of Scientist.com, thank you for having me.
I’m honored to introduce Dr Ben Cravatt and I’m excited to be here at Drug Discovery Chemistry. I hope you’re all enjoying San Diego. If you haven’t already, I recommend you take a walk down the water front or downtown. If you do, you’ll probably notice something, something new to San Diego. There are bikes all over the city, thousands of them. Bikes and scooters you can rent by the minute using your cell phone. They weren’t there a month ago, then seemingly overnight there were 4 companies doing it and thousands of bikes.
That got me thinking… why? Why now? Why 4 companies? Well, it’s obvious if you think about it for even a few minutes. Infrastructure. We now have GPS, maps, we’re all walking around with super computers in our pockets that are connected to the internet and have a camera integrated. We have micropayments, QR codes, bluetooth and a thousand other things. Then one day someone invents a wireless bike wheel lock and seemingly overnight we have these companies and these bikes.
Seemingly overnight, but not overnight. Those bikes and those companies are the direct product of that infrastructure. Let’s call it, the infrastructure of innovation.
Despite having cofounded a company called Scientist.com, I’m not actually a scientist. I’m a programmer, a software engineer. But I’ve worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 15 years. And as a non-researcher. in a research driven field, when I look forward at the future, I think, not of those bikes, but of that infrastructure. That infrastructure of innovation. As a non-researcher, I always looked at that infrastructure as my opportunity. But I’ve come to realize, it is our collective responsibility. The goal is cure disease, the goal is more therapies, better therapies. The therapies are going to require break through innovations, break through discoveries and the thing about break throughs, they often seem to happen overnight. But we all know, they don’t happen overnight. Those break throughs are the direct product of the infrastructure that you and that I put in place today.
What does that infrastructure of innovation look like? Well, I think we’re going to see a lot of it here at Drug Discovery Chemistry. It’s tools that help researchers do more research, better research. A great example is the work that Dr Cravatt does in his lab, developing tools for protein and ligand discovery. But it’s also software, it’s standard legal agreements and billing solutions that allow researchers to work who they want, when they want. It’s streamlined compliance workflows, so researchers can do their research in an ethical and compliant manner. That’s what we’re building at Scientist.com.
Like I said, I’m Chris from Scientist.com and we’re trying to build some of that infrastructure of innovation. If you’ve thought any of this was interesting, I do hope you’ll stop by our booth and say hi.
Now, I’ll turn it over to Dr Cravatt who is one of those researchers doing the hard work of making those break through discoveries.