Highlights from Partnerships in Clinical Trials Orlando

By Jen Burstedt, Marketing & Communications

Wednesday was the last day of the annual Partnerships in Clinical Trials conference organized by Institute for International Research (IIR). The conference took place in Orlando, Florida and kicked off on Sunday, April 21st with the 2nd Annual Women Clinical Leadership Forum, where women within clinical trials convened to speak about challenges of leading and excelling as women while within the field of clinical trials.

On Monday, the exclusive Inaugural Executive Leadership Boardroom kicked off, an invitation-only event featuring question and answer sessions with top executives from pharmaceutical services companies. Concurrently, conference summits began on Monday, which spanned from Monday through Wednesday and covered topics ranging from “Case Study — Optimal Study Design to Propel Recruitment and Retention in Pediatric Studies” given by Michael G. Spigarelli, MD, PhD, of the University of Utah to “Improve Patient Data Collection with Electronic Patient Reported Outcomes (ePRO)”, given by Elsie Mathews, MPH, of Bristol-Myers Squibb.

One of the most interesting sessions that I attended, which has a particular technological angle to it, was The Future of Drug Development in a Digital World, a presentation given by Eric Topol, MD, of Scripps Translational Science Institute & author of The Creative Destruction Of Medicine. Dr. Topol touched upon the changing digital world that we are living in and how the digital devices and data we already rely on in our everyday lives will start to be used in drug development and healthcare.

Drawing from examples such as crowd sourcing to fund healthcare (with organizations like Watsi), IBM Watson, the super computer that may one day be used to rapidly analyze patient data, to the use of smartphone apps (such as SkinVision, EyeNetra or Sotera) that patients can use to monitor their own health, Dr. Topol explained the supreme importance of data and the fact that patients are increasingly demanding – and will have access – to equal amount of information as the physician.

Dr. Topol ending with calling the tablet and smartphone a medical Gutenberg equivalent – these devices are opening up a democratization of information and letting patients be more in control. Dr. Topol concluded his presentation with a video clip from the film Jerry Maguire, but instead of those so-well known words of “show me the money!”, the message here was “show me the data!” Patient data, that is.

Bracket to Present at the 14th International Congress on Schizophrenia Research

By Cheryl Selleny, Marketing & Communications

The 14th International Congress on Schizophrenia Research (ICOSR) is being held from April 21-25 at the JW Marriot Hotel Orlando Grande Lakes, Florida. Bracket’s Keith Wesnes, BSc Ph.D. FSS CPsychol FBPsS, Practice Leader for Cognition and David Daniel, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Director will be presenting the below posters and workshops.

Keith Wesnes’ Presentations:
Poster: Pattern Separation Deficits in Schizophrenics Support Animal & Postmortem Work to Provide Breaking Human Behavioural Evidence of Impaired Neurogenesis in the Condition
Location: Coquina Ballroom
Time of Presentation: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 12:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT

Poster: When Patients with Schizophrenia are Assessed Using Computerised Cognitive Tests, the Dominant Impairments are to Attention and Information Processing
Location: Coquina Ballroom
Time of Presentation: Thursday, April 25, 2013 12:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT

Poster: A Novel Automated Test Suitable for the Repeated Assessment of Executive Function in Clinical Trials in Schizophrenia
Location: Coquina Ballroom
Time of Presentation: Thurs, April 25, 2013 12:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT

Oral Presentation: Pattern Separation Deficits in Schizophrenia: Implications for Neurodevelopmental Abnormalities at the University of Miami – International Congress Cognition Satellite
Location: Del Lago 3/4, Lower Level
Time of Presentation: Sunday, April 21, 2013 2:30 PM EDT

David Daniel’s Presentations:
Oral Workshop Presentation: Issues in Negative Symptom Measurement
Workshop 1-2 (Dawn Velligan, Chair) Treatment Development in Negative Symptoms
Page 25 of the Program
Time: Monday, April 22, 2013 7:00 PM EDT

Oral Workshop Presentation: Issues in Training and Monitoring Raters in Schizophrenia Trials
Workshop 3-3 (Daniel and Opler, Co-Chairs) Issues in Symptom Quality Measurement in Schizophrenia
Page 82 of the Program
Time: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 7:00 PM EDT

Business Spotlight: 3 Business Lessons Learned from March Madness

March Madness is over, which means no more basketball games to look forward to watching, no more brackets to keep track of and no more money to be lost (or won!) on bets you’ve placed.

More than the obvious parallels that March Madness and business usually draw (the fact that they are both team sports: you can’t succeed in either without a strong team of individuals; the outcome can change quickly; good leadership from the coach – or company – factors in to the success of the game), here are business lessons that can be taken from top March Madness moments in history:

(3) Duke sinks Kentucky

During NCAA East Regional in 1992, Duke trailed Kentucky 101 to 103. With 2.1 seconds left in the game, Duke’s Grant Hill chucked the ball for a three-quarters court pass to Christian Laettner, who sank a shot from the free-throw line. This shot allowed Duke a 104-103 overtime win and enabled them to win their second-straight national title.

Moral? The world of business can change quickly – it’s important to never get too comfortable. Always be innovating and changing because even when you think you are sure to win, circumstances can change and at a moment’s notice, a competitor can snatch victory that you thought was yours.

(2) Bo Kimble’s Free Throws for Hank

Bo Kimble shot his first free throws with his left hand at each of the Lions’ three NCAA tournament games in honor of his deceased teammate Hank Gathers, who had previously collapsed during a conference tournament and later died. Kimble made all three shots.

Moral? Instead of being 100% focused on winning the next game, building in time for respect and ritual within basketball or business is important. It shows true character and courage to be able to take a moment for a symbolic gesture in honor of someone or some important cause.

(1) Underdog’s Victory

In 2006, George Mason, the underdog team, found success in the later rounds of the NCAA tournament – much to everyone’s surprise. George Mason went on to beat Michigan State, North Carolina, Wichita State and even UConn.

Moral? Never underestimate the underdog; like in basketball, in the corporate world, tides can change and you may find unexpected giants who were once unstoppable too big for their own good – thwarted by disruptive technologies, shifting market realities or the simple curse of disintegration caused by resting on one’s laurels.

Take a look, and you’ll see – keeping sharp, innovative and humble will allow you to succeed in the corporate boardroom or on the court.


Norlander, Matt. “NCAA unveils its top teams, players, moments in tourney history.” website http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/blog/eye-on-college-basketball/21360561/ncaa-unveils-its-top-teams-players-moments-in-tourney-history . Accessed April 11, 2013

You can reach Jen Burstedt, Marketing & Communications, at jen [dot] burstedt [at] bracketglobal [dot] com

Business Spotlight: Taking Time to Think

By Cheryl Selleny, Marketing & Communications

Most people I know have a To-Do list that could stretch the length of three football fields. We struggle to knock items off our list, but the pesky things have a mind of their own and just keep growing. As you jump from task to task, your day slowly slips away from you and you realize you haven’t come up for air in three days. Sound familiar?

Although it is a satisfying feeling to check a task off your list as completed, it is essential to your productivity to sit back and take a breath. Whether you take time out to read an industry article, clear your head by taking a twenty minute stroll or talk with a colleague; some of the greatest ideas are conceptualized during these moments. Without taking these opportunities to think, learn or bounce ideas off each other, the mind goes into autopilot and the probability of missing out on a valuable learning experience increases.

I recently read an insightful post by LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, on  The Importance on Scheduling Nothing. He discusses the concept of periodically graying out time slots on his calendar with nothing particular planned and explains that doing this is absolutely necessary for him to perform is job well. He states that without these 30-90 minute “buffers” to think, you begin to react to your environment rather than influence it.

Before drudging on to the next item on your To-Do list, invest in yourself by scheduling time to think. It will not only be refreshing and invigorating, but will help you focus on what you are trying to achieve and help you stay on track. As a result, you may find an increase in your productivity.

American Academy of Neurology’s 65th Annual Meeting

By Jen Burstedt, Marketing & Communications

American Academy of Neurology’s (AAN) 2013 meeting took place at the San Diego Convention Center this past March, a meeting which provided to be successful for the neurologists and neuroscience professionals who attended. Despite the temptations of the warm weather and beautiful beaches, attendees were attentive and stimulated by the highly relevant and well crafted sessions provided during the week-long symposium. From Bracket, Jina Swartz, MD, PhD was in attendance, allowing her to deepen her profound knowledge of CNS disorders.

Notable sessions during the conference included seminars such as “Multiple Sclerosis Essentials,” lead by Aaron E. Miller, MD, FAAN – covering the topic of current diagnosis and management of multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating disorders and “Mild Cognitive Impairment: Implications for Clinicians,” lead by Neill R. Graff-Radford, MD, FAAN, discussing the epidemiology, biology, clinical, and treatment aspects of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Filled with half and full day courses, the meeting proved to be one with a healthy mix of theory and practice of treating neuroscience disorders.

In 2014, the AAN’s 66th Annual Meeting will be held in Philadelphia, PA from April 26th – May 3rd. More details can be found at AAN’s website. The AAN is the world’s largest international professional association of more than 26,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals.