It is telling that the highest-profile lawsuit of the moment in Silicon Valley isn’t about intellectual property or antitrust violations, but about sex discrimination. This week, a jury in San Francisco is hearing arguments in Ellen Pao’s suit against her former employer, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of the most prominent venture-capital firms in the tech industry. At the heart of the case is Pao’s claim that a married colleague at Kleiner Perkins pressured her into an affair and then, after she ended the relationship, retaliated by excluding her from meetings and email discussions, which affected her work performance. But Pao, who is now the interim chief executive of Reddit, has also painted a broader picture of Kleiner Perkins as a hostile bastion of male entitlement, where female partners were excluded from dinners with entrepreneurs because they would “kill the buzz.” Kleiner Perkins has responded that Pao received bad performance reviews and lacked the attributes for succeeding in venture capital — “the ability to lead others, build consensus and be a team player.” The firm also says it has long been a supporter of women in house and in the industry. The case has riveted the tech world, not just because of the personal particulars but also because of the way in which it captures the zeitgeist in one of the most powerful and gender-imbalanced corners of a powerful and gender-imbalanced industry. It’s no revelation at this point that the tech sector often isn’t an easy place to be a woman. For an article I recently wrote involving another high-profile lawsuit in Palo Alto, Calif. (over sexual harassment and assault), I talked to a dozen and a half women in the valley who are in their 20s and 30s, as well as a handful of men. As far as sex and gender were concerned, the work atmosphere they described sounded retrograde to a degree reminiscent of other glamorous industries in the growth spurt of adolescence: Hollywood in the 1950s, Wall Street in the 1980s.
Today, in a ground-breaking move, the Department of Defense (DoD) launched a triplet of complementary programs soliciting research on organ banking – a first-ever for any government agency.
These programs could together fund research for 20 or more leading research teams, with individual teams potentially receiving $3-3.5 million across different phase 1 and 2 awards. These business innovation (SBIR) grants aim to support U.S. commercialization of science while achieving crucial military and civilian health goals.
Major military applications of this technology would include banking of hearts, livers and kidneys as well as limbs and facial tissue for life, health and function saving transplants for wounded service members.
Dr. Gerald Brandacher, Scientific Director of the Composite Tissue Allotransplantation Program at Johns Hopkins heralded this commitment: “ People seem to underestimate what could be coming. This is a big step towards a future in which we routinely replace damaged organs and tissues to restore both form and function, in a way that only transplantation allows – replacing ‘like with like’.”
Sebastian Giwa, PhD, president and CEO of the Organ Preservation Alliance, and also talking for New Organ, said, "By boldly investing in this, the DoD will enable the crucial breakthroughs needed to create a future in which we can stop biological time for human organs, in much the way that we have, for decades, been able to bank stem cells, human eggs, sperm and embryos."
Dr. Giwa elaborated that “35% of all deaths in the U.S. could be prevented or substantially delayed by organ transplantation, and this exciting move by the DoD could be a true game changer.”
“The supply of tissues is one of the major constraints we face in transplantation medicine today, and organ banking technology would dramatically help resolve it. This is a major step forward in the field of transplantation,” said Harvard Medical School Professor Bohdan Pomahac.
And his colleague, Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee, who performed the nation’s first military double-arm transplants and is Director of the Department of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins said "Progress in cryobanking would be game-changing and would enable our ever-improving transplantation abilities to help maimed American servicemen, as well as firefighters, factory workers, or civilians and children around the world injured by landmines”.
The head of the DoD group that runs these programs, Kristy Pottol, project manager for the Tissue Injury and Regenerative Medicine Project Management Office at the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity said: “In the context of the important investments the DoD is making in tissue engineering via the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM), and the investments in the world’s largest hand and face transplant program, this investment in tissue banking should not only add value on its own by improving current transplantation practices, but could also help support, complement and accelerate tissue engineering breakthroughs.”
Anticipating potential groundbreaking research from these new funding resources, and an abundance of quality applications to make this possible, the Alliance is eager to assist researchers in or near this field who haven’t navigated Defense Department applications process before, or haven’t previously done work explicitly focused on organ banking.
To learn more about the grant programs, click here and continue to visit the Alliance website at organpreservationalliance.org for updates on the grants and to learn about additional Alliance events including the first global summit on The Grand Challenges in Organ Preservation, in Silicon Valley from February 26-28, 2015.
Questions about the DoD Organ Banking grant programs can be directed via email to Sebastian.Giwa (at) post.harvard.edu.
In hope of saving the lives of millions
ABOUT THE ORGAN PRESERVATION ALLIANCE AND NEW ORGAN
The Organ Preservation Alliance is a non-profit incubated at SU Labs at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley, which is working to catalyze breakthroughs on the remaining obstacles towards the long-term storage of organs by building on recent advances in cryobiology and relevant fields.
These breakthroughs will save and enrich the lives of millions; they will also accelerate progress towards break-throughs in organ tissue engineering. Innovation in these technologies will enable cryobanked, tissue-engineered organs to be available off-the-shelf and on-demand, eventually revolutionizing human health.
The Organ Preservation Alliance is a Founding Partner of New Organ, a collective impact initiative working to address organ disease and injury by coordinating a shared roadmap, prize portfolio, and alliance to catalyze breakthroughs in organ banking, bioengineering, and regeneration.
In our upcoming 2015 edition of The Infinite Dial, we will be featuring an expanded section on Podcasting, a medium that we have been researching in this series for a decade. This year we are able to report that the percentage of Americans 12+ who have listened to at least one podcast in the …
Hospitalized earlier in the week Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Mr. Spock, the Vulcan first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles at 83 years old. Last year Mr. Nimoy stated that he had end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which he attributed to years of smoking. He was 83 year old and will surely be missed by millions of fans. His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A bankruptcy court judge sided with Donald and Ivanka Trump on Friday, ruling that they can move forward with a lawsuit seeking to strip the Trump name from Atlantic City's Taj Mahal casino.
Judge Kevin Gross lifted a stay that had prevented the Trumps from proceeding with their lawsuit in state court.
The Trumps say Trump Entertainment Resorts, with which Donald Trump is no longer affiliated, allowed its two Atlantic City casinos to fall into disrepair. That, the Trumps say, damages their personal brand.
The company has stripped the Trump name from most of Trump Plaza, which closed on Sept. 16, but is fighting to be able to use it at the Taj Mahal, its lone remaining casino.
A presentation at the Church of Perpetual Life in Hollywood, Florida will discuss breakthroughs in organ transplantation medicine.
Experts in the field believe that replacement of failed cells, tissues, or organs could cause over 30% of all deaths in the United States to be substantially postponed—increasing the chance of living to age 90 by more than 10 times.
Unfortunately, the supply of transplantable organs is much less than the demand. There are long waiting lists of potential organ transplant recipients, most of whom die before an organ becomes available. In the United States, it estimated that only about 2% of the potentially needed organ transplants are carried-out. Even when organs are transplanted, they may be poorly matched to the recipient, requiring immune suppression measures that decrease the quality and quantity of life of the recipient.
Come to the meeting to learn about breakthroughs in transplantation of heart, kidney, liver, lung, and other organs that could save many lives of people who die prematurely because of organ disease or failure.
Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 7:15 pm (doors open at 6 pm)
The service will be held at the Church of Perpetual Life
Burning Man says hackers cut line for coveted tickets When tens of thousands of people piled online to get a crack at tickets to this year’s Burning Man festival in northern Nevada, three-quarters of them were turned away.
Ana Redmond launched into a technology career for an exciting challenge and a chance to change the world. She was well-equipped to succeed too: An ambitious math and science wiz, she could code faster, with fewer errors, than anyone she knew.
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