Gene therapy shows promise for Alzheimer’s disease

If 20th century was all about the triumph of drugs as interventions, 21st century sure is turning out to be one with focus on using non-drug interventions. 

Doctors are planning to test a gene therapy that could prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Sometimes called “the forgetting gene,” APOE comes in three common versions, called 2, 3, and 4. Type 2 lowers a person’s risk, 3 is average, and 4 increases the chance dramatically. The risk is so great that doctors avoid testing people for APOE because a bad result can be upsetting, and there’s nothing to do about it. There’s no cure, and you can’t change your genes, either.

I see this as a precursor to preventive health which is slowly emerging and is the only model for a sustainable world wherein the incentives are aligned rightly to preventing diseases rather than making money by prolonged care. 

#healthcaretech #healthcare #alzheimers #genetherapy #lifesciences

Few days to go for GTC 2019

I have always been a Nvidia fan boy, right from my days of assembling PCs in IIT Bombay and selling it to the gaming crowd there. Never though imagined that one day same Nvidia will fuel the Artificial Intelligence revolution.

For the uninitiated Nvidia makes GPUs (Graphical Processing Units) which other than being used heavily for gaming have proved to be a game-changer for Artificial Intelligence, driven by its ability to execute tasks in parallel at a large scale. Practically now GPUs are being leveraged for every kind of heavy number crunching be it in any application which uses Deep Learning or Machine Learning. Nvidia organises GPU Technology Conferences globally, with the main event in San Jose kickstarting the calendar every year.

Naturally when I visited GTC last year at San Jose, I was like ‘Alice in wonderland’ given the sheer scale of event with hundreds of companies from all around the world showcasing the best technologies and applications. Attendees were estimated to be 9000 plus so its easily one of the biggest technology events now. Seeing that I made a promise to myself that next year I will get Innoplexus too there. At the same GTC I came to know about Nvidia’s amazing Inception program and applied for it. We showcased our technology to Nvidia experts and after few rounds we became an Inception program member. It helps startups working in AI and Deep Learning with access to right resources within Nvidia ecosystem. You can read more about the program here. 

We applied for GTC last year in August and after a very elaborate review process got accepted. So, this year I am back at GTC – as a speaker. YAY!!

I want to thank Nvidia for giving the opportunity to present the amazing work of Innoplexus at #gtc19 in San Jose in March. My session title is ‘How To Use GPUs For Faster, Better and Cheaper Drug Development‘. To add to the joy, I have our VP, technology & Innovation, Vatsal Agarwal as well present in another session which is titled  Real-Time Connection-Based Filtering to Improve the Precision of the Search Engine in Life Sciences.

And that’s not it – given our Inception membership Nvidia has also given us a chance to present at Inception theater during the GTC.

If you are even remotely interested in Artificial Intelligence in any form or any of its applications or really want to experience how AI is going to disrupt so many sectors then DO NOT miss this event. Use the code GMSGTC to save 20% on registration. See you around!

Did you steal my idea ?

In this article Wil Schroter destroys the myth around secrecy of ideas when it comes to startups. Often this has been the first thing I have heard ‘startup enthusiasts’ talking about – how can we disclose the idea to others – including VCs !

Will they not steal it and ‘execute’ it themselves. I try hard not to laugh at them and tell them that VCs have better things in life to do than going on a ‘idea stealing’ spree and ‘executing’ everything under the sun. To my amazement I have come across even senior folks who are paranoid about ‘protecting ideas’ and insisting upon signing NDAs etc. I hope people realise that almost all successful businesses are built on simple ideas and amazing execution. 

Startup is NOT just about an idea! It is almost entirely about execution.

Here is the link to the article –

Command and control leadership

12 years back Deborah Ancona, Thomas Malone, Wanda Orlikowski and Peter Senge authored this article, which remains relevant even today. This one sentence itself makes clear the role of leaders in today’s world:

“In today’s world, the executive’s job is no longer to command and control but to cultivate and coordinate the actions of others at all levels of the organization.”

In praise of the incomplete leader

The article mentioned four key capabilities and the balance between them – sensemaking, relating, visioning, and inventing – and it clearly establishes the relevance for organisations across all sizes.

Gone are the days already when one could stake its claim to a leadership role simply because of background, pedigree or seniority in terms of number of years of experience. With so many young and brilliant minds joining the workforce, equipped with the power of latest technologies and tools, the successful organisations will be the ones which are able to:

  • Encourage free exchange of ideas
  • Discard unnecessary paper work and bureaucracy in favor of using web based tools
  • Facilitate employees in learning more and finding better solutions

I believe the command and control type of leadership emerged because of the generations which grew up in the post world war era because they were in awe of the military might, rightly so maybe. And hence it may have resonated with the generations wherein one was expected to follow orders in an era of rapid industrial growth, post 1950s.

Now, especially post 1990s when we look at the world, it got a lot knowledge driven and now probably more data driven. It means not just the demography but people’s behaviour as well has changed – being knowledge driven means you encourage people to ask questions which is starkly different than a command and control style where you are supposed to follow instructions without asking.