A night at Tufts Innovation Spotlight 

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Tonight’s Sackler GSC hosted Tufts Innovation Spotlight discussed how to foster innovation in biomedical research.

Speakers included:

Qiaobing Xu, PhD (Assistant Professor, Tufts University Department of Biomedical Engineering)

Richard Lee, MD (Professor, Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology)

Arnout Schepers, PhD (Post-Doctoral Researcher, MIT Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies)

Luhan Yang, PhD (Co-Founder, eGenesis)


Here are some takeaways:

  • Foster a collaborative and creative culture
  • Develop transitional research and partner with industry to accelerate your research.  Be business minded.
  • Cross train and don’t be afraid to change fields
  • Find bold, supportive mentors that encourage independence

On picking (and executing) a great scientific idea:

  • Richard: If 9 out 10 ideas are  unfeasible, pick the one project that is achievable.  Ask your mentor and other thought  leaders for help in knowing the intellectual environment

On knowing how to push a project forward:

  • Qiaobing: Work with your tech transfer office
  • Richard: make sure your interests and those of your team align
  • Encourage differing viewpoints

On learning to be innovative in industry after completing a PhD in academia:

  • Richard: Learn to be a great scientist and you will be successful in industry

On managing ethical conflicts during innovation:

  • Luhan: Differentiate between innovation affecting human heredity vs. innovation in animals
  • Consult ethicists and legal opinions
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