Benchtalk Volume 2: How Data is Transforming Life Science R&D

BY Roger Pellegrini
September 18, 2019

Welcome to Benchtalk, a journal produced by Benchling. At Benchling, our mission is to accelerate life sciences for the benefit of humanity. As part of that mission, Benchling strives to engage the life sciences community in meaningful discussion and cross-discipline dialogue about the extraordinary goals of the field so that, together, we can work toward a better future. The quarterly Benchtalk Journal showcases the groundbreaking work of brilliant life scientists from academia to industry, facilitates discourse among members of the life sciences community, and connects them to revolutionary ideas.

This season, Benchtalk is all about the impact that data and digital transformation is having on life science R&D. From next-generation sequencing, to high-throughput screening, to novel applications of artificial intelligence, advances in computing power and data management are expanding the possibilities of life science. For this volume of Benchtalk, we spoke with professionals throughout industry and academia to hear how they’re using complex R&D data to drive innovation.

Benchtalk features four categories of content:

  • Spotlight showcases the lives and stories of life sciences community members, from scientists, to labs, to companies.
  • Research includes articles written by Benchling users about their own exciting projects.
  • Biotech features pieces about the state of the life sciences industry and how it will change the world as we know it.
  • And last but not least, Benchling features announcements and updates about all things Benchling.

We post pieces of content to Benchtalk on a weekly basis and publish full volumes of Benchtalk on a quarterly basis, both in digital and print formats.

If you or someone you know is interested in being featured in Benchtalk, please email [email protected]

The Kohl Lab: Decoding How the Brain Encodes Information
Lily Helfrich

Throughout his career, Dr. Michael Kohl has been enthralled by the brain’s inner workings. Today, he and his lab are investigating how neural circuits give rise to memory and perception. Their creative, collaborative, and interdisciplinary work takes advantage of optical imaging, optogenetics, and behavioral neuroscience— among other cutting-edge technologies.


Eligo Bioscience: Inventing Novel Approaches to Microbiome Medicine
Kyrstin Lulow

Eligo Bioscience is harnessing the power of CRISPR and genetic engineering to treat disease and address antibiotic resistance. Based in Paris, France, Eligo was founded by scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Rockefeller University and is driven by an international team of researchers.


An Interdisciplinary, Data-Driven Approach to Re-Engineering Orthogonal Riboswitches for Enhanced Function
Ross Kent, University of Manchester

Riboswitches have gained significant attention as novel tools for regulating transcription and translation due to their small size, cis-acting regulatory function and ligand specificity. We can harness these natural tools for post-transcriptional regulation in bacteria.


A Conversation with Chris Bond, VP at Kite Pharma: Using Data to Drive CAR T R&D
Roger Pellegrini

Chris Bond, PhD is Vice President of Cellular Engineering at Kite Pharma. Dr. Bond was previously the Senior Director of Lead Discovery at Juno Therapeutics and the Head of Biologics for Canada’s Centre for Drug Research and Development. We sat down with Dr. Bond to discuss the data challenges of CAR T R&D and what he sees as the next big steps for the field.


Bringing Biointelligence to Life Science R&D
Sajith Wickramasekara, Co-Founder & CEO @ Benchling

To master the complexity of modern life science R&D, companies need a new approach to R&D data. Benchling’s goal is to help life science companies unlock what we call biointelligence: an interplay of sample tracking and process management that can transform R&D at all levels of an organization.


A Conversation with Bolt Threads: Building the Next Generation of Biomaterials
Kyrstin Lulow

At Benchling’s spring user forum, Benchtalk West, we sat down with Bolt Threads’ Deven Dharm, Director of Software Engineering, and
Patrick Johnson, Systems Analyst, to hear how Bolt uses Benchling to manage its data.


Life Science Needs an ELN Upgrade
Kyrstin Lulow

New technologies are accelerating discoveries at a breakneck rate, from CRISPR to CAR-T, from sustainable foods to sustainable fabrics. Yet many scientists and lab managers are using software or paper notebooks that slow them down rather than accelerate their research.


Benchling Engineering: Evolving to Enterprise-Grade Permissions
Rachel Wang

We originally built Benchling with simple permission levels (read, write, admin) and recently moved to data policies for fine-grained configuration. This article focuses on two key pieces of the project: the details of how we migrated between permission systems without errors or downtime, and a process called granularization — how we can easily make data policies more and more fine-grained based on new configuration needs.


Announcing Benchtalk Summit: The Premier Forum for Life Science R&D and IT
Sean Smith

At Benchling, we’re thrilled to be fostering a community of life science R&D and IT professionals. To bring this community together, we’re hosting Benchtalk Summit, Benchling’s East Coast user forum, on Thursday, October 17 at Le Méridien in Cambridge, MA.


If you or someone you know is interested in being featured in Benchtalk, please email [email protected]

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