The Living Collaboratory
– Make It So¹
By Greg Maguire, Ph.D.
March 21, 2016
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
Whether you’re working in groups, or “standing on the shoulders of others,” innovation requires collaboration. While formalized collaboratories at academic centers and in biotech and pharmaceutical companies are being fostered by the government and private funding, formalized collaboratories for most people are non-existent. However, new organizations and grass roots movements are beginning to change the collaborative landscape.
Collaboration has historically been important for innovation. Consider the airplane. If you think the Wright brothers invented the airplane in a garage, think again. Years before the Wright brothers flew their airplane in December 1903, Professor Samuel Pierpoint Langley was flying heavier than air, and steam powered aircraft over the Potomac River as early as 1896. Dr. Langley, head of the US Navy Observatory, founder of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, inventor of the bolometer, an instrument for measuring infrared radiation, inventor of the Allegheny Time System, a precise time standard – including time zones that kept trains from colliding, and the discoverer of many aspects of solar astronomy, was an aerodynamics hobbyist and wrote one of the early treatise on the subject. Indeed, Langley’s work was highly collaborative as described in a Smithsonian report dated in 1914 (http://www.sil.si.edu/PDF/SIL-28-2329.pdf). My point is, the airplane, the computer, the biotech industry, and probably all inventions, arise from collaboration, not by a lone sole working in a garage as is often described in the American credos.
My point is, the airplane, the computer, the biotech industry, and probably all inventions, arise from collaboration, not by a lone sole working in a garage as is often described in the American credos.My background in scientific research in the university and in biotech has witnessed the formalization of collaboratories in recent years. The collaboratory was originally conceptualized by William Wulf, Ph.D., a professor of computer science at the University of Virginia, one of our great public universities.2 Dr. Wulf defined the collaborator as “a center without walls, in which the nation’s researchers can perform their research without regard to physical location, interacting with colleagues, accessing instrumentation, sharing data and computational resources, and accessing information in digital libraries.” Here I focus on academic based collaboratories, but such formal structures for collaboration in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries are equally important.
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Greg Maguire, Ph.D.
CEO at BioRegenerative Sciences, Inc., SRM Living Foundry at UCSD
San Diego, California
© 2016. Greg Maguire. All Rights Reserved
Greg Maguire, Ph.D. | CEO at BioRegenerative Sciences, Inc., SRM Living Foundry at UCSD
Dr. Greg Maguire is founder and CSO of BioRegenerative Sciences, Inc. (bioregenerativesciences.com), a privately held stem cell therapeutics company in San Diego, and The SRM Living Foundry at UCSD (http://srmfoundry.org), a public-private venture at UCSD serving as a stem cell-based "living foundry" for the development of therapeutics, antimicrobials, nano-delivery systems, and bio-inspired building blocks for materials science and engineering. Dr. Maguire has been professor at UCSD, The University of Washington, and The University of Texas, a Fulbright-Fogarty Fellow, and his research, with over 100 publications, has been sponsored by the NIH and NSF. He is the founder of several biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and non-profits, including The San Diego Neuroscience Group, and currently serves on the Board of Nurture Earth (NE), a spin-out of MIT in Aurangabad, India. NE is a private company for the development of alternative/renewable energy, food, and healthcare technologies and products.
Dr. Maguire's research and development efforts are focused on the use of stem cell released molecules (SRM) for therapeutic and technical innovation in the life sciences and materials sciences. Because SRM provides up to 80% of the therapeutic benefit of stem cell therapy, and because SRM provides the building blocks for life and the "instruction set" for the architecture of life, Maguire has begun to reverse engineer stem cell SRM processes in the human body, and other life forms. The results thus far include "systems therapeutics," the most efficacious technology and products for wound healing, anti-scarring, skin care, dry eye, and cataract. The S2RM platform technology developed at BRS also has demonstrated value in cancer, immune disease, and cognitive therapeutics.