Tech Tonics: Sam Blackman, Translation With Heart

August 6th, 2018 |
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Story teller, writer, drug developer – Sam Blackman is all three, a philosophy major who became a pediatric oncologist and then a creative drug developer with a penchant for imaginative solutions to translational challenges.

Although he was the son of a doctor, Sam’s journey to the leading edge of translational research was far from inevitable. His career path took him from the philosophy department at the University of Chicago (where he worked on the side as a computer repairman) to a role a research assistant in an anesthesia lab to a Grand Rounds presentation at the Mayo Clinic, Florida (at the age of 23) and finally to medical school.

Sam seemed on track to become a leading academic pediatric oncologist, but then decided to pursue drug development in biopharma, focusing in particular on translational research, the often hazy but increasingly important interface between laboratory science and clinical trials. He is especially excited about the opportunities generated by emerging tools and technologies.

A gifted writer and a natural story teller, Sam developed a devoted following for the blog he wrote while in Boston, including a deeply moving account of his efforts, ultimately successful, to adopt a baby from Kazakhstan. More recently, he has garnered considerable acclaim for his spoken word stories, delivered as part of the Moth competition in Seattle; links to several of these performances are below.

We’re delighted to welcome Sam to Tech Tonics, and are grateful for the opportunity to share his stories with our listeners.

Today’s show is sponsored by Medidata, whose Intelligent Platform for Life Sciences closes the loop between clinical development and commercialization to power smarter treatments and healthier people.

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