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The Key To Scientific Advancement: Productive Collaboration
By Jeffrey Wallin, Senior Director, Seattle Genetics
The Collaboration with Bioinformaticians
Seattle Genetics has developed extensive collaborations with bioinformaticians which have proved highly beneficial. This is reflected when one glances at what biologists and bioinformaticians usually do. For instance, comparing the biological impact of a given drug before and after its utilization in thepatient, biologists would tend to form hypotheses around the samples. For example, this can be whether a cancer marker or marker of immune biology would change with treatment. Hence, biologists observe only the general trends, but bioinformaticianscan provide more value.
Bioinformatics Data and its Analysis
The world has been witnessing a stark increase in the generation of bioinformatics data. With time and advancements in science, the complexity of the genomic data has also increased the number of data sets in comparison. The information generated from samples are vast and complex and bioinformaticians have to compare more and more data sets or different samples to correctly comprehend a sample’s value and develop products or therapies. Technologies to process these samples have evolved and so have the programs to process and analyze the data. Hence, as data sets have proliferated in tandem with scientific advancements, the need for analytical solutions has increased.
Seattle Genetics has been focusing on the collection of samples from various sources including tumor, blood, plasma, and serum. From these samples, several markers can be analyzed including DNA, RNA, micro RNA, epigenetic markers as genome-related information to push its boundaries towards developing breakthrough cancerous therapies. In addition to analyzing the genomic data, the organization also looks for protein markers and expression of specific proteins in the tumor tissue which helps in predicting patient’s response towards a particular therapy, thereby putting a step towards personalized medicine and healthcare.
Leveraging the collaboration
The relationship between a bioinformatician and a person who understands the science is important because bioinformaticians think a bit differently and have much higher access to broader domain relevant technologies. Hence, it is imperative that more efforts should be laid in building such collaborations between scientists and domain experts so that organizations can advance its operations, reach conclusions, and deliver results much faster.