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News Articles from 2014

A Changing Ecosystem for Drug Discovery
"...Enter the Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute’s (BSi’s) NeuroTranslational Drug Discovery Program, led by Barbara Slusher. “The BSi’s mission is to translate basic science discoveries into drugs that improve patient care,” says Slusher, who joined Johns Hopkins in 2009 after 18 years of leading research and translational development in the drug industry...."
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Mind Benders
Written by Christen Brownlee
"From autism to ALS, scientists at the Brain Science Institute are charting new paths that could fundamentally change the way we approach devastating ailments... “Probably the coolest thing about science is that you think you’ve understood something, and then something happens that you never would have thought of”, Dr. Barbara Slusher says. “The serendipity of science keeps you on your toes.”"
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"Five myths about ALS"
WASHINGTON POST - Aug 22, 2014
Written by Dr. Jeffrey Rothstein
"The success of the viral marketing campaign will not be complete, however, without a more thorough understanding of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that afflicts 30,000 Americans and kills up to 6,000 people every year. Here are some of the most prominent myths..."
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"It’s going to take a lot more ice buckets to fill the NIH funding gap"
WASHINGTON POST - August 21, 2014
"The success rate for NIH grant applications has fallen from about 30 percent in 2000 to 15 percent last year. Jeffrey Rothstein, who heads the Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins, said NIH's smaller budgets has made it noticeably more difficult for medical researchers to get government funding.

"To get money from the NIH, it takes a long time, and because it's so competitive, you actually have to have a lot of the work done to get funded," said Rothstein, who's been studying ALS for nearly 20 years. "How do you get to that point? That's where the philanthropy is critical.""
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"Packard Center enjoys spillover benefits of #ALSIceBucketChallenge craze"
The HUB - August 21, 2014
"Rothstein, who founded the Packard Center in 2000, says it's been "fantastic" to see this amount of attention paid to the disease. He says he has been astounded by the magnitude of the response to the challenge, and likens the viral campaign to the once ubiquitous yellow wristbands associated with the Livestrong Foundation for cancer...."While some still refer to it as a rare disease, ALS is more common than people realize," Rothstein says. "The sad reality is that we can't cure this disease and people with it don't live very long, which is why we don't have a large population of ALS sufferers at any one time.""
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"A New Collaborative Initiative on Early Drug Discovery"
LAB TALK - June 25, 2014
Written by Barbara Slusher, Ph.D., MAS & Peter Simpson
"AstraZeneca has developed an Open Innovation philosophy in which we seek to build win-win partnerships with leading external experts to deliver innovative new drug discovery projects. As part of this strategy, we have formed an exciting new agreement between AstraZeneca and one of the most influential umbrella organisations in early target validation and drug discovery – the Academic Drug Discovery Consortium (ADDC)..."
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"ADDC and AstraZeneca Partner to Foster Novel Drug Development Among Academic Research Community"
"...ADDC is pleased to partner with AstraZeneca to facilitate collaboration opportunities between the industry and academic drug discovery laboratories," said Barbara Slusher, Professor at Johns Hopkins and the President of the ADDC.  "Access to AstraZeneca's compound library will provide valuable hit compounds to jumpstart the drug discovery efforts of able, equipped academic researchers.  Furthermore, interaction with AstraZeneca scientists by selected institutions may provide subsequent research projects and potential collaboration opportunities."
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Breathing new life into pharma's innovation engine: The rise of new collaborative approaches to R&D
PM LIVE - June 16, 2014
"...Academic researchers clearly bring a deep understanding of disease biology across the whole range of human ailments that is impossible to replicate with the same breadth internally, and for many years pharma companies have forged collaborations to tap into their expertise. In recent years there has however been a shift away from ad hoc licensing arrangements between pharma and academia towards higher-level strategic collaborations. Barbara Slusher, director of the Academic Drug Discovery Consortium (ADDC) believes one factor behind this is the dramatic increase in the amount of drug discovery work being done in academia over the last decade..."
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The Brains Behind the Brain Science Institute
Johns Hopkins Magazine - Spring, 2014
Written by Dale Keiger / Posted in Health, Science+Technology
"...At BSi, inquiry and application walk hand in hand. If the institute had a mantra, it might be "collaborate, discover, translate.... Johns Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels is a big supporter of BSi. "The Brain Science Institute exemplifies the power, potential, and necessity for cross-cutting collaboration to advance the neurosciences. Since its inception, BSi has championed the kind of creative thinking that increasingly occurs at the nexus of disciplines. With visionary support, BSi has laid the foundation not only for cutting-edge research in the brain sciences, but also for research into the confluences of science, education, and art.""
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Eisai Shares Full Compound Library in Screening Partnership with JHU
"...Under this alliance... the Brain Science Institute reviews target related projects throughout JHU roster of researchers and presents potentially novel and interesting targets for Eisai review”... “The exciting thing about this collaboration is that it is truly a win/win. From my perspective, academia is excellent at identifying new targets of therapeutic interest, but our screening ability is limited due to the size and quality of the compound libraries available. Our collaboration with Eisai gives us access to a real pharma library. From the Eisai side, the collaboration provides access to new targets and novel therapeutic approaches", says Barbara Slusher, Director of the BSi Drug Discovery Program..."

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