A friend of mine, Carlos Pineda (the one that ran with me in my first marathon), sent me a link to some TED talks on cancer. Since supporting cancer research is the reason behind my 12in1 marathon challenge, I decided to share some of these videos with you. The first one is a talk given in 2011 by Jay Bradner, a researcher at Harvard and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He talks about a molecule developed in his lab that can make cancer cells forget their identity and turn into normal cells. What is interesting is that his talk was not advertised for the technical progress made with the JQ1 molecule, but was announced as “Jay Bradner: Open-source cancer research”. The reason for that is that Bradner’s group not only published their results (that’s what we, scientists, do), but published them at the early prototype stage AND shared their molecule with labs around the world. This fast-tracked our understanding of this molecule and its potential to be used in cancer treatment.
He finishes his talk (spoiler alert!!) giving me even more motivation to run my marathons. In his own words:
“Now the business model involves all of you. This research is funded by the public. It’s funded by foundations. And one thing I’ve learned in Boston is that you people will do anything for cancer — and I love that. You bike across the state. You walk up and down the river. (Laughter) I’ve never seen really anywhere this unique support for cancer research. And so I want to thank you for your participation, your collaboration and most of all for your confidence in our ideas.”