When Science Catches Up with Fiction

When I was writing my novel, The Rest Is Silence – a story that deals, in part, with the genetic engineering of a bacterium that eats plastic – I figured that the technical aspects eventually would be undermined by new scientific discoveries. In my book, Benny is a young molecular geneticist who engineers… Continue reading

Moore’s Law and the Development of Cancer Drugs

Cancer Can Be Beaten. It was a Canadian Cancer Society poster I had in my bedroom when I was in high school. The slogan stuck with me when I moved to New York to attend graduate school at the Sloan-Kettering Institute in the mid-eighties. Despite its emphatic promise, cancer at… Continue reading

Connecting With Readers Is One of the Joys of Publishing

“The two novels represent a rethinking of how apocalyptic threat affects the world: these texts reject the idea of immediate doom represented by, for example, fiction focused on nuclear destruction.” ~ Conrad Scott This analysis of my first novel, The Rest Is Silence, from an academic at the University of Alberta,… Continue reading

Tobacco in the Service of Pharmacology

(This post refers to an article I co-wrote with James Hale for the October 2015 issue of Pharmaceutical Engineering. You can read the entire article by clicking on the image above.) Our relationship with tobacco is fraught. Few plants have been as closely associated with humans, and for so long. Leaves… Continue reading

Standardized Quality Metrics in the Pharmaceutical Industry

This month, the FDA is receiving feedback from the pharmaceutical industry on its proposed quality metrics program, which will be a set of metrics provided by biotech and pharmaceutical manufacturers to move the agency’s inspection schedule toward a more risk-based approach and alleviate the chances of drug shortages. Other stated… Continue reading

Biopharmaceuticals by the Metric Tonne

I wrote the cover article, “Future Factories for Manufacturing Flexibility”, for the current issue of Pharmaceutical Engineering about biopharmaceutical manufacturing. It came about from my interview with John Cox, executive VP of Pharmaceutical Operations and Technology at Biogen. Biogen, a biotech company with 18 biopharmaceutical experimental therapeutic drugs in development, most of which… Continue reading