Welcome (old readers and new) to “In the Pipeline”. I’m very happy to be moving here to Science Translational Medicine. For those encountering it for the first time, this blog is apparently one of the longest-running science blogs on the internet (perhaps the longest-running, since it’s been going continuously since January 2002). I’m a medicinal chemist by profession, and I started the site because every time I told people what I did for a living, they seemed to find it interesting, while at the same time most of them had no idea that there was any such profession.
I’ve been a researcher in the drug industry since 1989, at several different companies. Over that time, I’ve worked on projects directed against schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, osteoporosis, many types of cancer, resistant gram-negative bacteria, and several nasty viruses (among others). You may notice that we still have all these diseases with us, and that might be the best single reason for this blog’s existence. Although I write about a range of scientific topics (with a special focus on chemistry), drug discovery is its heart. It’s a really interesting field, and a bizarrely difficult one: for example, I have never once worked on any compound that has made it all the way to the market, not in 26 years and counting. If you want to know how come your prescriptions cost so much, it’s me.
So you’ll hear a lot about the successes and the failure of this business, where it’s come from and speculations on where it might be going. I still work in the lab myself, although for obvious reasons I’ve never been in a position to blog about my day-to-day activities. But although when I started the site I worried about running out of material to write about, that has never been the problem. Things just keep happening; news keeps coming, and discoveries keep being made. I have not, over the years, been particularly shy about praising things that I like and dumping some scorn on things that I think deserve it, and that’s just how I plan to continue here. As it says up on the masthead, this blog is editorially independent of the entire Science publishing organization, and I appreciate their being willing to give me this platform. I’ve only been threatened with lawsuits once or twice; things should work out fine.
The Categories sidebar on the right of the page contains the blog’s archives – thirteen years worth of being stuck with me in an elevator – and looking through them will give you a good idea of what’s to come. I post daily, and usually more than once, so there should always be some new material. And be sure to check out the comments section – that’s been one of the things I’ve enjoyed the most about blogging, seeing the amount of good information and opinion that shows up in the comments. I realize that this is not the usual comments-section experience, but the signal/noise at the old site was always high, and I look for that to continue here.
Enough blather! Time for some science.
Update: for those of you looking for an RSS feed, it’s here: http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/feed