Wanted: Applicants with Problem Solving Skills

Posted in Career Advice

There was a very interesting article in today’s NY Times Business Section  entitled “Want to Work for Jaguar Land Rover: Start Playing Phone Games that caught my eye. The article stated that the carmaker would be recruiting 5,000 people people this year. To be considered for employment, prospective employees must download an app with a series of puzzles that they must solve.  Those who score well on the app will be able to progress to the interview stage.  While this may be somewhat unique to companies that are looking for engineers and computer personnel, I think the point here is that the ability to solve problems or puzzles is the single most important attribute that any employee must possess if they want to be hire.  To that point, companies like Marriott Hotels, Axa Group, Deloitte, Xerox, The BBC and Daimler Trucks all use playing games and virtual reality to identify potentially-qualified job applicants.

Companies once relied on job fairs and advertising to court prospective applicants but they have been forced to become much more creative in order to identify the technical skills and business savvy they need.  I will use my son, who graduated from college last month as a case in point.

He applied for a job with a non-profit venture firm. The first thing they asked him to supply was a picture of himself that encapsulated him as a person. After submitting a picture of him and his Cross Country college team after a big meet (and making it to the next round) he was sent a hypothetical and given several days to respond.  He spent an entire day on the hypothetical, submitted it and was subsequently told he would not be considered for a face-to-face interview.

What does this all mean?  Based on my years as a career development consultant, these exercises suggest that while college graduates and advanced degree professionals may have met their academic requirements, there is no guarantee that those degrees qualified  them for jobs in “real life”. Although unemployment is at historic lows in the US, it does not mean that employers are not being selective about who they hire. That said, starting an app company that uses artificial intelligence and virtual reality to assess a candidate’s problem solving ability may be a great idea!

Until next time… 

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!

Last Call for BDI’s Mobile Healthcare Conference

Posted in BioEducation


For additional information, including registration, please click here to visit the event website. Use promo code BC for a discounted rate of $175.

Date: Thursday, January 26, 2012
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Place: The Graduate Center of The City University of NY; 365 5th Ave; NY, NY 10016
Registration Fee: $195.00
Website: http://www.bdionline.com/mobilehealthcare2012.html

Representatives from the following companies are currently registered to attend: Affect Strategies; Alembic Health Communications; Allergan; Anderson Direct Marketing; Aurora Information Technology, Inc.; Baldwin Publishing; BlippMedia; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Brodeur Partners; Care Innovations; Cinchcast; CMI/Compas; ConferencePlus; Daiichi-Sankyo; DKI; Draftfcb Healthcare; DraftFCB/NeON; Edelman; eurorscg; Eveo; FreeMind; GCI Health; Google; Hale Advisors Inc.; hamad medical corporation; Huntington Hospital; HY Connect; IMC2 Health and Wellness; International Association of Business Communicators; Kwittken + Company; Makovsky & Co; Manhattan Research; Mom Central Consulting; Mount Sinai Hospital; MultiVu; NNN; Ogilvy; Padilla Speer Beardsley; Pharma Marketing News / Pharma Marketing Blog; Physicians Interactive; Pixels & Pills; Porter Novelli; PR Newswire; PRN Communications Inc; Public Relations Society of America - New York Chapter; SAY Media; Shire; State University of New York Buffalo; Stephanie Grayson; ToGoRun; Trident Communications; Turning Point Solutions, Inc.; United Healthcare; Velocidi; Wake Forest Baptist Health; WCG; Wharton, University of Pennsylvania; Within3; Yankee Public Relations; and others.

Attendee Testimonials:
Click here to see what our past attendees are saying about us.

About the Event:
Consumers and professionals are increasingly using their mobile devices for healthcare information. They are also interacting with healthcare providers and colleagues on their mobile phones. This conference will demonstrate the best case studies of how major healthcare brands are connecting with consumers and professionals through mobile communications. 


8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Registration & Networking Breakfast 

8:30 a.m. – 8:40 a.m.

Introductory Comments
Steve Etzler, Founder and CEO, Business Development Institute 

8:40 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.

Introductory Comments
PR Newswire 

8:50 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Case Study:  Multiscreen Health 2012 
Presented by: Monique Levy, Vice President, Research, Manhattan Research
Smartphone and tablet adoption jumped significantly between 2010 and 2011. How are consumers and HCPs using multiple screens for health and how can marketers keep pace with this rapidly changing environment? Manhattan Research Vice President Research Monique Levy will discuss key trends from the Taking the Pulse® U.S. and Cybercitizen Health® U.S. studies.

9:15 a.m. – 9:40 a.m.

Case Study: Text in the City
Presented by: Dr. Katherine Malbon, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital 

Lessons learned from a pilot text messaging program connecting adolescents to their ‘health home’. Katie Malbon will discuss her pilot text messaging program that she initiated in a large adolescent health center. She will illustrate the feasibility of the program and how it laid the ground work for other SMS-based programs within the center and beyond.

9:40 a.m. – 10:05 a.m.

Case Study: Successfully Collaborating with Healthcare Professionals through Online Community Programs: A Case Study Approach
Presented by: Peter Gannon, Regional Vice President, Within3 

Fostering collaboration and engagement is everyone’s goal in HCP communications. Enabling technologies that accomplish these goals in a regulated environment can be challenging given perceived constraints from legal, regulatory, medical, and compliance. Peter will introduce some successful cases on how the implementation of private secure HCP networks have enabled greater HCP collaboration, increased the quality of HCP relationships, realized cost savings, and were implemented in accordance with company risk mitigation policies.

10:05 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.


10:25 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.

Introductory Comments
Rob Drasin, President, International Association of Business Communicators New York & President, Trident Communications

10:35 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Case Study: The Power of Integrating Mobile into the Marketing Mix
Presented by: Jenna Mons, Consumer Product Manager for LAP-BAND®, Allergan 

An overview of the importance mobile can play as a key channel to reach and interact with customers. Looking specifically at how LAP-BAND created a mobile footprint in the 2011 to attract new customers and increase conversion.

11:00 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.

Case Study:
Presented by: John Vieira, Daiichi-Sankyo

11:25 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.

Case Study TBD

11:50 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Roundtable Session 1

12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Roundtable Session 2


Roundtable Moderators:
Meighan Berberich, Vice President, Marketing, Cinchcast
James Chase, Editor-in-Chief, Medical Marketing & Media
George DeTorres, Divisional Vice President – Business Development, MultiVu
Rob Drasin, President, International Association of Business Communicators New York & President, Trident Communications
Sandra Fathi, President, Public Relations Society of America – New York Chapter & President and Founder, Affect 
Peter Gannon, Regional Vice President, Within3

Scott Hopkins, Executive Vice President, Anderson Direct Marketing
Theresa Jacobellis, Director of Public Affairs, Huntington Hospital 
Monique Levy, Vice President, Research, Manhattan Research

John Mack, Editor and Publisher, Pharma Marketing News / Pharma Marketing Blog 
Dr. Katherine Malbon, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital
Talya Miron-Shatz, PhD, Marketing Department, Wharton, University of Pennsylvania 
Jenna Mons, Consumer Product Manager for LAP-BAND®, Allergan 
Mario Nacinovich, Jr., Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Communication in Healthcare
Managing Director, AXON
Xavier Petit, Shire

Hotel Sponsor: Hotel 373 is the official hotel of BDI’s events.

PR Newswire / MultiVu; Within3; Anderson Direct Marketing; BioCrowd; Cinchcast; FierceMarkets; International Association of Business Communicators – New York Chapter; Journal of Communication in Healthcare; Manhattan Research; Mobile Marketing & Media; New York American Marketing Association; New York University; Pharma Marketing News; Pixels and Pills; Public Relations Society of America – New York Chapter; Sales Lead Management Association; Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development

For event related questions and registration, please contact Maria Feola-Magro at mfeola@bdionline.com or 212.765.8043.
For sponsorship/speaking opportunities, including pricing, please click here or contact Jennifer Brous at jbrous@bdionline.com or 212-765-8358

For additional information, including registration, please click here to visit the event website. Use promo code BC for a discounted rate of $175.


About BDI:
Business Development Institute (BDI), founded in New York City by Steve Etzler in 2001 and managed by Maria Feola, produces conferences and educational programs for marketing, communications and media professionals. Over 11,000 attendees have participated in our programs. We specialize in how technology and the internet impacts marketing, communications and media. Our programs educate while providing valuable networking opportunities to our attendees. The quality of our speakers, program topics, 1/2 day format, network, and value are what differentiates BDI from its competitors. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bdionline. For additional information as well as sponsorship information, please download our Media Kit.


What we have done lately in the Healthcare industry:

11/10/2011 Healthcare Social Communications Leadership Forum

07/13/2011 Social Communications & Healthcare 2011: Case Studies & Roundtables

06/09/2011 Healthcare & Life Sciences Social Communications Leadership Forum

03/17/2011 Healthcare Social Communications Leadership Forum

01/19/2011 Mobile Healthcare Communications: Case Studies and Roundtables


Mobile Healthcare Communications Conference for 2012

Posted in Social Media

Increasingly, healthcare professionals, patients and consumers are turning to and using their mobile devices for healthcare information. Further, development of mobile software platforms and associated are allowing patients to more regularly directly communicate with their physicians. To help sort out the growing complexity of the mobile healthcare communications industry, the Business Development Institute (BDI) entitled “Mobile Healthcare Communications 2012:Case Studies and Roundtables” will be held on Thursday, January 26, 2012 from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM at The Graduate Center of the City University of NY (365 5th Ave, NY, NY 10016).

Registration fee for the event is $195 per attendee. BioJobBlog readers who wish to attend should use promo code BC for a discounted rate of $175.

Speakers and roundtable moderators include:

  1. Lance Hill, CEO, Within3
  2. Scott Hopkins, Executive Vice President, Anderson Direct Marketing
  3. Dr. Katherine Malbon, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital
  4. Talya Miron-Shatz, PhD, Marketing Department, Wharton, University of Pennsylvania 
  5. Jenna Mons, Consumer Product Manager for LAP-BAND®, Allergan 
  6. John Vieira, Daiichi-Sankyo

Event sponsors include:

BioCrowd, PR NewswireWithin3 ; Anderson Direct MarketingCinchcastJournal of Communication in HealthcareManhattan ResearchNew York UniversitySociety for Healthcare Strategy and Market DevelopmentPixels & Pills

For event related questions and registration, please contact Maria Feola-Magro at mfeola@bdionline.com or 212.765.8043.

For sponsorship/speaking opportunities, including pricing, please click here or contact Jennifer Brous at jbrous@bdionline.com or 212-765-8358.

For additional information, including registration, please click here to visit the event website.

See you at the conference!

Until next time….

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!

Quertle, a Life Sciences Semantic Search Engine, Wins a National Library of Medicine Award

Posted in BioEducation

In April 2011, The National Library of Medicine (NLM), part of the National Institutes of Health, invited people to show off their apps. NLM challenged people to create innovative software applications that use the Library’s vast collection of biomedical data, including downloadable data sets, application programming interfaces (APIs), or software tools – all of which are free and available for public use. 

One of the winners of the app challenge was Quertle. For those of you who may not have heard of Quertle, it is an innovative website for searching and investigating the biomedical literature. Quertle uses advanced linguistic methods to find the most relevant documents instead of traditional keyword searching, which often returns an overwhelming list of uninformative articles. It is geared to active life science professionals – both researchers and health care providers – and saves them considerable time and effort in finding the literature they need. Quertle, available on the web using any browser, simultaneously searches multiple sources of life science literature, including MEDLINE

The Quertle search engine was created by Jeff Saffer, PhD and Vicki Burnett, PhD mainly because they were not satisfied with search results for life sciences publications and information delivered by conventional search engines. 

Vicki and Jeff will receive their award on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 20011 in Washington, DC. The award ceremony will feature U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra and Health and Human Services Chief Technology Officer Todd Park as speakers. 

For those of you who may not know, BioJobBlog and BioCrowd have partnered with Quertle in various business activities and it is the search engine of choice for both websites.

Congrats to Vicki and Jeff on a job well done!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!


Social Media Update: US Food and Drug Administration To Regulate Mobile Apps?

Posted in Social Media

Mark Senak, author of the highly informative and well written Eye on FDA blog, reported today that a recent article that appeared on the American Medical News website suggests that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be considering regulating mobile apps that contain medical or clinical components. While the agency has yet to officially publish guidance on the use of social media in the life sciences industry, it now appears that FDA may be turning its attention on the development of mobile apps; one of the fastest growing segments of the social media movement.

The reason why FDA is taking notice of mobile apps is because a handful of app developers have sought and received FDA clearance for their mobile apps that—because of clinical components —are considered to be “medical devices.” As many of you may know, medical devices which include band-aids, surgical instruments, heart monitors, cardiovascular stents and diagnostic kits, all must receive marketing approval by the agency before they can be sold in the US. Although the agency yet to craft any guidance for clinical/medical app development, it makes sense that FDA ought to evaluate and regulate these products to insure that they are medically-effective and safe. 

According to the American Medical News article, the first app developer to receive FDA market clearance was AirStrip Technologies in San Antonio, for its AirStrip OB application. The app, which was approved in 2009, allows physicians to monitor mother and newborn remotely during delivery. In February, the FDA granted clearance to MobiUS, an app developed by Mobisante, a medical device company in Redmond, Wash. The app permits viewing of medical images for diagnostic purposes. Mobile MIM, a remote diagnostic imaging tool developed by Cleveland-based MIM Software, was also granted market clearance that month. A number of pharmaceutical companies, most notably Pfizer, have been extremely active in the mobile clinical app development space.

The reason why it makes sense for FDA to regulate certain clinical/medical apps is because physicians will rely on them to make medical decisions. For example, the AirStrip OB mentioned above will ostensibly allow physicians to remotely monitor a mother and neonate during delivery. Consequently, the app, aka device, must be evaluated by the agency to determine whether or not it can be used safely and effectively by physicians during childbirth. In this case, the app is similar to a heart monitor that is used during childbirth. And, like all other medical devices, the heart monitor required FDA clearance to determine its safety and effectiveness, before it could be used in real-life childbirth situations. To that end, the agency has hinted that it will be much more proactive in monitoring this new class of devices.

I have no doubt that many pharmaceutical companies and medical devices manufacturers will not be pleased when they learn that the agency is going to “stick its nose” into mobile app development. Nevertheless, in my opinion, if a mobile app is going to be used in possible “life or death” situation, then it ought to be regulated by FDA—the agency that is legally responsible for regulating these types of products. That said, Eye on FDA’s Mark Senak raises a number of valid and insightful points about FDA and its possible role in mobile app development.

“Related to a possible guidance for apps, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered when considering its development – when is an app a medical app?  When does it require regulation?  Who will pay for the oversight – will there be App Developers User Fee Act (ADUFA?) and if so, what will that do to the price and to access.  Will insurance companies have to cover apps?  And what will the process for approval be – something like a 510(k)?”

Finally, I think that the app developers who proactively approached FDA for guidance abut the clinical apps that they were developing “got it right.” This will get the agency “thinking” about clinical/mobile apps and how they ought to be approved and regulated in the future. In turn, this will provide future app developers with a clear regulatory framework that will guide the development of cost effective, safe and efficacious mobile clinical apps.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!


Using Social Media Tools to Improve Information Flow At Scientific and Medical Meetings

Posted in Social Media

Science and medical conference season is in full swing and tens of thousands of persons are attending scientific and medical meeting all over the US. While social media is no longer a new “thing” only a few scientific and medical societies understand its power and ways in which it may be harnessed to improve the experiences of their members who attend their national meetings. 

At most of the scientific conferences that I attend (usually four to fiver per year), people still lug around and are tethered to printed program guides. Further there is no easily accessible electronic repository (aside from the conference website) or guide that conference attendees can use to optimize time management and see “everything” that they want to at the meeting. Unfortunately, most scientific and medical conferences are still being run the same way that they have been for the past 30 years despite improvements to internet access and bandwidth, the advent of social media and the recent explosion of mobile devices and apps.

Finally, and perhaps most egregiously, rather than publicly disseminating what is being reported at these meetings, conference attendees and the lay public must rely on carefully orchestrated press releases (chosen in advance by the organizing committees of the meetings) for information and late-breaking news from the events. This is so web 1.0 that it is almost laughable.

Until last week, I thought that I was the only person who felt this way about social media and medical and scientific congresses. Imagine my surprise when no fewer than three others social media enthusiasts including Mark Senak, author of the EyeonFDA blog, Brian Reid, author of the WCG Common Sense Blog and Sally Church, author of the Pharma Strategy Blog, last week authored posts on the topic! It is always refreshing to find like-minded individuals to confirm that you are not alone!

Unfortunately, many scientific and medical societies like to tightly control information flow, limit access to it and, not surprisingly, are quite suspicious of social media. This is because the use of social media decreases the ability of these societies and their journals to control their messaging and content dissemination. With this in mind, is it any wonder why American scientific and medical literacy is pretty much in the “toilet?”  While the lay public may not be able to understand peer-reviewed scientific and medical publications, they have grown accustomed to gathering information on Facebook, Twitter and most importantly blogs. Why not use these vehicles to better inform the public about scientific or medical breakthroughs that have been validated and generally regarded as authentic?

Like it or not, social media is here to stay. And if leveraged correctly, it can be an extremely effective educational tool. I think that it is time for scientific and medical societies to consider using social media at their annual meetings. A failure to do so may have negative consequences for future membership in these societies and also reduce their effectiveness as purveyors of timely and accurate scientific and medical information!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!!


Preparing for a Job Interview? Yeah,There's An App (s) For That!

Posted in BioJobBuzz

It had to happen sooner or later and it did. There are now apps that jobseekers can download to their Apple and Android smartphones to prepare for job interviews. Gadget-savvy, Bob Tedeschi wrote a review of three of these apps in today’s NY Times.

The most popular jobseeker iPhone/iPad app was released last month by none other than Monster.com and is called “The Monster.com Interviews” app (go figure). The app is free and most useful for those jobseekers lucky enough to have been invited to participate in a face-to-face job interview. There are features in the app entitled Pre-Interview, Tips and Tricks and Post Interview. While I have not evaluated the app myself its reception by reviewers has been decidedly lukewarm. Monster.com says it is working on a similar app for Android phones but the company did not offer a timeline for the product.

Another app, which according to Tedeschi may be a better choice, is Interview Questions and Answers by SwipeQ ($2, Apple and Android). Unlike the Monster.com app, this one offers 150 common interview questions with sample answers and strategies to divine responses to difficult queries. Tedeschi suggested that the sample answers may be a bit esoteric at times and sometimes inexplicably crafted for those in the financial services industry (gee I wonder why). In any event, this one may be useful for inexperienced interviewees who need some help coming with answers to questions like “Tell me about your weaknesses” or “Describe how you overcame a particularly adverse situation.”

Finally, there is another interview-focused, free app for Android phones called Job Interview Q&A developed by Stanislav Bardyuk. This is an ad-driven app—that Tedeschi found overly intrusive—and offers questions and answers to common interview questions. Unfortunately, the quality and grammar of the answers to the interview questions that it offers were deemed lacking.

Of the three apps, the Monster.com app gets the highest marks. This is not surprising since Monster.com is the largest and most visited job board on the Internet. One of the more interesting features of the Monster.com iPhone app is the ability to make a video of a practice interview and watch yourself answer the questions offered by the app. While this may sound silly and a waste of time to some, it is important to remember that it is generally the face-to-face interview that determines whether or not a job offer will be forthcoming. And, there is a reason for the old adage:  “Practice makes perfect.”

For those of you who may be interested in other jobseeker and resume apps, check out a post on the Job Omelette blog entitled “10 Must-Have iPhone Apps”

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!


Mobile HealthCare Applications Represent the Next Frontier in the Life Sciences Industry

Posted in Social Media

While the debate rages on over the use of social media in the life sciences industry, industry experts and insiders have largely ignored the growing importance of mobile healthcare and its use by healthcare professionals and patients. Consumers and professionals are increasingly using their mobile devices for healthcare information. They are also interacting with healthcare providers and colleagues on their mobile phones. 85% of US consumers have cell phones and growing vs. only 65% of Americans which have broadband access. Further, the divide between mobile use and broadband Internet access is increasing. According to a Manhattan Research report 70% of Physicians say PDAs/Smartphones are "essential" to their practice.

Because of the growing importance of mobile healthcare communications, the Manhattan-based Business Development Institute decided to organize a conference around this theme. The primary goal of the conference is to address the following questions:

  1. How do healthcare brands connect and interact with consumers via mobile strategies?
  2. How do healthcare brands connect and interact with healthcare professionals via mobile strategies?
  3. What are the leading technologies being used for mobile strategies?
  4. How do you deal with regulatory hurdles when implementing mobile campaigns?
  5. How do you integrate your mobile strategies into your enterprise-wide marketing, communications and social media platforms?
  6. What are the leading monitoring and measuring approaches/technologies being employed for mobile campaigns?

Person giving presentations at the meeting include:

Lance Hill, CEO, Within3
Ray Kerins, Vice President/Worldwide Communications, Pfizer Inc.
Marc Monseau, Director, Corporate Communications and Social Media, Johnson & Johnson
Todd Siesky, Public Relations Manager, Roche Diabetes Care
Date: Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: The Graduate Center of The City University of NY; 365 Fifth Avenue; New York, New York 10016
Registration Fee: $195

For more information, including registration, please click here to visit the event website. Use promo code BC for a discounted rate of $155.

Please contact Steve Etzler at setzler@bdionline.com or 212-765-8045 for additional information.

See you at the meeting!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!


Mobile Apps for Life Sciences Researchers

Posted in BioJobBuzz

There is no question that mobile apps are de rigueur and like other mobile devices users, life science researchers are beginning to regularly use them! After all, any innovation that can make the long hours spent doing laboratory research, easier, less time-consuming and enjoyable are likely to be welcomed by most researchers.

According to Alex Hodgson, one of the founders of the antibody review site called BioHub Online “mobile apps for science-types are popping up everywhere.” These apps range from lab timers, to mobile notebooks and science journals. 

Alex recently reviewed several mobile science apps on the BioHub Blog  that “piqued her interest” Some of the apps may be familiar to you while others may not. This is what she had to say:

‘Bio-Apps: Technology Meets Science’

By Alex Hodgson

Mendeley iPhone App

This application indexes and organizes all of your PDF documents and research papers into your own personal digital library. It gathers document details from your PDFs allowing you to search, organize and cite. It also looks up PubMed, CrossRef, DOIs and other related document details automatically, importing papers quickly and easily from resources such as Google Scholar, ACM, IEEE and many more at the click of a button. 

Sync with Mendeley
Mendeley (Lite) for iPhone syncs seamlessly with your Mendeley research collection. This means that you can now carry your personal digital library with you wherever you go. 

Read your Papers Offline
If there is a paper you want to check out later, you can download it over wifi straight to your iPhone from your online library. It will remain available to read offline at any time, making it easy for you to read what you want, when you want.

Share Citations
If there is a paper that you just need to let your colleagues know about right now, you can share the citation to that paper from within the app via email.


Molecules is an application for the iPhone, iPod touch, and now iPad that allows you toview three-dimensional renderings of molecules and manipulate them using your fingers. You can rotate the molecules by moving your finger across the display, zoom in or out by using two-finger pinch gestures, or pan the molecule by moving two fingers across the screen at once. The combination of the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad’s unique multitouch input system and the built-in OpenGL ES 3D graphics capabilities enable you to feel like you are manipulating the molecules themselves with your fingers.

New molecules can be downloaded from the RCSB Protein Data Bank

Primer Jot

This molecular biology application aims to help you keep track of your oligos, all in one place, calculate the primer melting temperature (Tm) (based on a standard set of conditions) and categorize it, assign a project, as well as physical location details. Search feature ever allows you to quickly search primers/oligos based on name, project, sequence, Tm and even your notes. A must-have for anyone who works with PCR.

BioLegend Tools for the iPad/iPhone Application
All Free

BioLegend CD Molecules Applications
The application compiles information on all of the Human and Mouse CD Markers based on the findings of the HLDA workshop. Now you can find CD molecule information quickly and conveniently in the palm of your hand.

Cytokines & Chemokines Application
This application provides you with important information about your mouse and human cytokines and chemokines. Now you can find information about cytokines and chemokines quickly and conveniently in the palm of your hand.

BioLegend Tools for the iPad
This application includes information on Human & Mouse CD Molecules from the HLDA Workshop and Cytokines & Chemokines,an Antibody Usage Calculator as well as a lab timer.

Apps from Invitrogen

Calculate molarity and formula weight, or find unit conversions and cell culture references all with this smart calculator widget.

Alexa Fluor Selection Guide
This handy app serves as a quick reference guide for selecting the perfect Alexa Fluor® dye for your research.


This application provides lots of great information for life scientists, including quick access to molecular biology calculators, technical tips, protocols, and multimedia presentations. The calculators provide a range of functions essential to molecular biology experiments, including DNA and protein conversions, melting temperature, molarity and dilution calculations.

The Protocols & Applications section of the App covers molecular, cell biology, DNA and protein analysis procedures, and is divided into chapters covering a comprehensive range of topics –from basic amplification techniques to real-time PCR, from simple cell-based assays to complex imaging techniques, and from protein expression to more involved protein interactions assays.

All are available through iTunes

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Researching!!!!!!!!!!


Social Media, Clinical Trial Recruitment and Mobile Healthcare Apps

Posted in Social Media

About a year ago I posted an article to BioJobBlog that suggested that social media can be leveraged to improve clinical trial recruitment to test investigational new drug candidates. Yesterday, Mark Senak, author of the EyeonFDA posted an article which suggested that the use of video on YouTube and other video-viewing sites makes complete sense to recruit prospective participants for human clinical trials. Here are some of Mark’s thoughts on the topic:

“The reasons I think video is a good way to expose people to learning about clinical trials are multiple. First, it allows me as a prospective clinical trial participant to learn about a clinical trial when I want to learn about it and where I want to learn about it – a hallmark of social media.  Second, it is private – I can learn from a video that can be developed to address a wide range of issues – issues that I might not be so comfortable addressing with a live person.  Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, I learn about the clinical trials perhaps from someone on a video who is very much like me.  He can be someone with my condition – someone who has gone through a trial, and talk about how his concerns were addressed, what his fears were and what the benefits of participation were.  That, I think, is a much more convincing way to learn about a trial than an ad in a newspaper or even a discussion with a clinical person.  Video can’t replace the medical professional, but it sure can get my interest and perhaps trust to make recruitment much easier.”

While the industry’s use of social media for this purpose is not quite there yet, there are some signs that pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies may be trending in that direction. First, a growing number of clinical research organizations (CROs) which help companies plan and manage clinical studies are already using social media tools to recruit prospective clinical trials participants. Second, as Mark reported yesterday, Pfizer launched a YouTube channel called PfizerClinicalTeam last July which presumably would bolster clinical trial recruitment. Unfortunately, as Mark pointed, its most recent video was posted in April, 2010, regarding a new study on schizophrenia. Don’t be surprised if other companies launch social media-focused clinical trials recruitment campaigns in the not too distant future. Like Mark, I believe that social media tools are ideal for this purpose!

In other news, Pfizer, a late entrant to the fledgling pharmaceutical social media space, is showing signs that it is beginning to embrace the social media web. Yesterday, Pfizer and Epocrates announced a collaboration to create an application for the iPhone that gives healthcare providers mobile access to the Pfizer Medical Information Group to obtain medical and science information about Pfizer products or to report adverse events. According to Pfizer, it is creating the app to: “enable easy, direct access to its Medical Information services, via the Epocrates channel, in an effort to enhance the safe and effective use of its medicines, and help improve the quality of patient care.”

Direct access to medical information via mobile devices is growing in popularity among physicians and other healthcare providers because it enables them to get answers on the go without wasting time to fire up a laptop or find a tethered computer to use outside of the clinic.

Despite assertions to the contrary by most pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, social media tools are ideal vehicles for adverse event reporting and post market drug surveillance activities. Pfizer’s creation of a mobile medical information app coupled with the launch last week of a joint US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institutes of Health drug safety portal called Safety Reporting Portal (original eh?) suggest that the use of social media tools for online adverse event reporting and drug safety purposes is not too far off. Let’s see what develops over the next year or so after FDA issues regulatory guidance on the use of social media in the life sciences industry.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!