12 things from 2011 – and win a prize!

What will make 2012 memorable for me? Well here are 12 reasons I am passionate about science even if it is challenging at times, in no particular order.

1. When you co-author a commentary about database quality on the internet and no one wants to publish it without even more examples.

2. How all of a sudden drug repurposing and databases suddenly got hot.

3. Realizing that whenever I look at a new database I am always going to question the quality and write about it. Thanks to those that clean up and improve the quality for the rest of us.

4. Blogging about scientific issues that matter and I think the rest of the community should know about (thank you Tony for starting me off).

5. If you ever get the chance to go to a conference that is not even close to what you think is your core area of research jump at the chance and then tweet and blog about it.

6. Always ask questions –  crazy ideas can result in cool things like mobile apps.

7.  When other scientists email to let you know that they have also been keenly aware of the same issue as you (and copy over 60 scientists including the scientific director of an NIH institute) you know things will get interesting.

8. Whenever the scientific director of an NIH institute ***(see below for chance to win a prize) writes a long email to explain why they put out a database and invites you to visit in an email copied to over 60 people you would think they would make it happen (over 3 months later and no date set!).

9. When you get invited to give a talk at the FDA after over 15 years working in an area of expertise do not for one minute think that they have suddenly arrived in the 21st century and will start doing what you suggest it should have done over a decade ago (predict toxicology and drug-drug interactions in silico),  it will not.

10. When you go to a meeting called Partnering for Cures and a lunchtime meeting is devoted to economics and the financial meltdown, it makes you want to help patients  with the rare diseases even more (not sure that was the intention of the discussion).

11. Giving talks and meeting people is a great way to find new collaborators, open your eyes, spark ideas and reaffirm your belief in what you do.

12. Finally seeing the book collaborative computational technologies for biomedical research published – thank you again to all involved.

Heres to a productive and exciting 2012, go make a difference!

…Oh and if anyone wants to review the book I can send you a free copy. If you can guess the name of the person in 8 above you can get a free book – while stocks last!!


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