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Monday, January 10, 2011

The LinkedIn Cell Therapy Industry Group - 1,000 members strong

As some of you may know, much of my recent social media energy has been spent on LinkedIn rather than blogging. This was not a conscious decision but I will admit to finding the immediacy and interconnectivity of the LinkedIn/Twitter combo to be more seductive of my limited time than the more laborious and seemingly more unidirectional facets of blogging. I'm still working on a return to more diligent and regular blogging - we'll see how that goes.

In any event, today's blog entry is ironically about the very thing which has replaced my blogging in many ways for the interim: the LinkedIn Cell Therapy Industry Group which I founded in July 2008 (about the same time as I launched this blog).

Primarily due to the outstanding participation of great members, the group has turned out to be what I had hoped would be and I believe has become a fairly valuable resource for those in or interested in the cell therapy industry.

The group grew exponentially throughout 2010 and we are proud today to announce our 1,000th member. Without his knowledge, Luc Gervais today became the 1,000th member of the LinkedIn Cell Therapy Industry Group.

Luc Gervais lists himself on LinkedIn as a "Technologist Entrepreneur" but is also a Researcher at IBM Research, Zurich Research Laboratory in addition to being a researcher at the University Hospital Basel.

He was recently involved in the development of IBM's novel, microfluidic "lab on a chip" technology that uses capillary action to create a potential one-step diagnostic tool, and which could ultimately test for a wide range of diseases and viruses. The chip requires only a small drop of blood, which it draws through tiny channels within the device. The blood reacts with different disease markers to provide accurate diagnoses in about 15 minutes.

Luc represents what I believe is one of the most exciting signs of development in and maturation of the cell therapy industry. Luc's career has included being a Game Developer at Unlikely Games, a Computational Chemistry Developer at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, and a Quality Assurance Specialist at Steltor. On LinkedIn, he lists "regenerative medicine" as one of his interests.

People with the kind of experience Luc possesses are bringing a world of scientific, technical, and commercial expertise to regenerative medicine and cell therapy from outside the sector. This promises to revolutionize the way we think about, develop, and apply our technologies.

Luc and others like him who are exploding into the regenerative medicine and cell therapy field bring with them the potential for interdisciplinary exploration, the opportunity to draw from lessons already learned in other sectors, and the chance to view our field not just in terms of the incredible potential for new therapeutics which cell therapy represents but how that fits into the broader world in which cell therapy is growing up. A world that includes phenomenal advancements in personalized medicine, diagnostics, theranostics, biomarkers, bioinformatics, the ability to access and interpret personal genomics data, etc.

I have yet to speak to Luc (this was all posted from publicly available information) but I'm hoping to bring you an interview of him shortly not because being the 1,000th member of the LinkedIn Cell Therapy Industry Group is deserving of any particular attention (and certainly will not rank in his list of accomplishments I'm sure) but because I'm curious about what Luc represents.

Stay tuned....