23 May 2017

Translational Research Symposium Speaker Spotlight: Dr C. Glenn Begley

Dr C. Glenn Begley
Monash University's 3rd annual Translational Research Symposium is being hosted by its three metropolitan clinical schools on 31 July 2017. The symposium will host a diverse group of medical researchers presenting their work into translational research. RSVP here.

Dr C. Glenn Begley will be speaking at the event. He has recently been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Biocurate, a joint venture between Monash University and the University of Melbourne in drug discoveries.

Dr Begley's presentation will be on "Challenges to Translational Science around the world (and even across the Yarra)". Abstract below:
As scientists and physicians, we all want to make an impact on the lives of patients. We all want to see our research translated into something of lasting value.

Sadly however, the vast majority of findings published in high-profile journals are fundamentally flawed and cannot be reproduced. Many groups have come to this shocking conclusion1-3.  This is important because the ability to reproduce a result is fundamental to establishing its legitimacy, and it is these early-stage results that provide the foundation for studies that will ultimately be performed in people. Yet the majority of research studies cannot be used to drive a drug development program. Furthermore the time invested in attempting to confirm an irreproducible result has a real opportunity cost; it distracts scientists and physicians from other more fruitful areas of endeavor.

A review of the details of irreproducible experiments provided the explanation. Experiments were not performed using what most would regard as standard scientific methodology (blinding researchers to their data during experiments; repeating experiments; reporting all results; use of appropriate controls; avoiding inappropriate data-selection or “cherry picking”; appropriate data analysis)4.

The lack of robust data represents a real challenge to the world's clinical development and, despite the substantial therapeutic advances that have taken place over recent decades, is a major contributor to the failure of drugs in the clinic.

Monash University and the University of Melbourne have come together to create an independent new, company BioCurate. The goal of this new company is to be part of the solution in terms of translational research and new drug development. BioCurate will harness the research output of these two outstanding Universities with the intent of turning discoveries into treatments. A key element of this process will be ensuring rigorous, robust science.

This presentation will dissect several highly cited publications published in high profile journals to illustrate the systemic problem of irreproducible science that currently exists within the academic community.

We look forward to welcoming Dr Begley for the Symposium!

More information:
Translational Research Symposium
  • Date: Monday 31 July, 2017
  • Time: 8:30 for 9:00am start - 7:00pm close
  • RSVP here
Find out more about the symposium and our speaker program.

If you are a graduate student or early career researcher, you may be interested in the Young Investigator poster competition. See here for more details and to RSVP.

1. Prinz F, et al. Nature Reviews Drug Discov. 10, 712 (2011). 
2. Begley CG and Ellis LM. Nature  483:  531 (2012). 
3. Haibe-Kains et al. Nature 504, 389–393 (2013).
 4. Begley CG. Nature  497; 433 (2013).

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