The Molecular Med Tri-Con 2012 – I tweet therefore I am..

I was very happy to be in San Francisco this week for this conference. First time here in years and was honored to be invited to talk at a short course (Thank you Kevin Davies, Editor of Bio-IT).

Highlights for me were a couple of stand out keynotes including one from Rick Guidotti who discussed his project to photograph and raise awareness of kids with rare genetic diseases around the globe. A very inspiring and beautiful talk. How he remembers the hundreds of names is not clear – what a photographer and watch out for a new documentary on him and his project later in the year!

This was also the first conference at which I have tried to tweet during interesting talks that I sat in at. Previously I have been an infrequent tweeter. I wanted to use it to see if it could help as notes or replace them. Here are some of my examples from the #tricon listing in reverse order:

“Similar marketed drugs for given compound in chemlink could #chemspider and CDD and other tools add this feature shown at #tricon ??”

“If all pharma has created informatics tools like Lilly and pfizer have shown at #tricon a beautiful case for needing precompetitive efforts”

“Eric Gifford describes chemlink as accessible from iPad etc but did they create an app? #tricon

 “Pfizer ChemLink inspired by chemspider #tricon

“Eric Gifford from Pfizer talking about ChemLink #tricon bench tool for scientists”

“Lilly more interested in chembl than pubchem #tricon mic Lajiness said issues with what you trust many assays with cr@p in them”

Another couple of folks in the IT & informatics session Walter Jessen (Covance) and Ingrid Akerblom (Merck) kept the tweeting momentum going. I am sure they will both chime in here (please) and help with the storify list of tweets above..But Ingrid mentioned that we were the only folks doing it throughout. I know I had folks reading and following the conference outside especially those interested in the app situation or lack thereof.

Talks that had a good level of science were those of Jeremy Jenkins at Novartis and Philip Bourne (UCSD) in the polypharmacology session- they were standouts by a long way.

However….The social media session on Wed afternoon was very lightweight. A severe abscence of discussion on mobile apps for informatics etc and social media could be used together..Will just have to wait till the ACS. Several presentations were hand waving – really want to see data or good solid test cases please rather than just blatant marketing. And if I see another “hairball” connected network I am going to walk out of a talk! 12 parallel sessions makes for an awful lot of speakers so perhaps I should have left the IT track more often. Yet that is where my interests are.

Saying that, the networking was excellent – great to catch up with folks I had not seen in years and the traffic by the CDD booth was good with lots of interest in the product. So thanks to the organizers. I would give it 7-8 out of 10 overall. (compared with scienceonline 2012 which scored a 10 plus).

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