"In 2008 a team including Spider-Man producer Laura Ziskin, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2011; Katie Couric, who lost her husband to colon cancer in 1998; and former Paramount CEO Sherry Lansing founded SU2C with the goal of attacking cancer the way you make a movie: bring the best and most talented possible people together, fund them generously, oversee their progress rigorously and shoot for big payoffs--on a tight schedule."
"The team behind these victories is led by Dr. Stephen Baylin, an oncologist at Johns Hopkins, and Dr. Peter Jones, a biochemist and molecular biologist at the University of Southern California. They ride herd on a diverse group of experts--geneticists, pathologists, biostatisticians, biochemists, informaticists, oncologists, surgeons, nurses, technicians and specialists who normally wouldn't have been working as an ensemble. The team was awarded its grant in May 2009 and within the year was able to extend the epigenetic clinical trial that enrolled Stanback and launch new ones. That is light speed in modern research--the lab to clinic cycle in cancer is typically a decade.
This kind of institutional transformation is not easy, but it's the only way to take advantage of the dazzling scientific and technological advances that have taken place in just the past three years--advances in bioengineering, nanotechnology, drug compounds and data gathering, including protein data, splicing data and mutation data, all of which is being hoisted into view by ever cheaper computational muscle. Sequencing the first human genome took more than a decade and $2.7 billion. Today sequencing can be done for a few thousand bucks in a few hours."
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