Cellworks-Youth "Science Research Initiation" Program (YSP)
Cellworks Initiative for High School and Early Stage Under-Graduate Students Targeting Molecular Biology Driven
Cellworks is a therapy Design and Development Company creating derisked novel therapies that have dramatically increased probability of success and lower development costs.
Recent reports state that it takes an average of 12 years and $1.2 billion for a drug to travel from the research lab to the patient.
These astronomical and rising costs are in part due to the high failure rate -- less than 10 percent of drugs that begin preclinical testing ever make it to human testing. This is highly risky and not sustainable. For new medicines to continue to reach patients, today's drug developers must find new avenues that increase the likelihood a drug will make it from discovery to approval and predict clinical outcomes upfront.
The Cellworks novel approach of therapeutic design and development is based on technology which emulates human physiology and predicts clinical outcomes upfront. This approach to drug development represents a marriage of life science and engineering by combining functional proteomics data with sophisticated engineering technologies and methodologies. This creates a predictive human physiology system that allows not only visibility into pathways and phenotypes that a potential drug influences, but the degree to which they are influenced in a responsive and dynamic fashion. The Cellworks approach has been validated extensively through thousands of blinded experiments and collaborated with thought-leading scientists from well-respected global research institutions resulting in more than 20 peer reviewed publications.
The trend in the Life Sciences industry has transitioned towards personalization of medicine along with focus on Payment by Result (PbR); R&D cost optimization and emphasis on higher probability of success. The move towards molecularly targeted therapy research; diagnostics based on medical electronics and bio-chemical marker assays; long-distance patient care solutions and preventive approaches are a result of these trends. These open up great career opportunities across multi-disciplinary approaches and mandate the appreciation of bio-chemical pathways.
The YSP program provides a unique bridge from general biology concepts completed till high school to molecular biology research applications in context of the broader life sciences domain. Young students with interest in sciences will be exposed to emerging research activity in the area of 'Molecularly Targeted Cancer Drug Design and Discovery'. This one of a kind program anywhere in the world was launched in 2010 with 4 summer sessions in Palo Alto, CA and Bangalore, India.
YSP is an initiative of Cellworks and conducted annually in California and Bangalore. The program is targeted to a core group of qualified high school and early-stage under graduate students from around the globe. The program covers review of enzyme kinetics; the major cellular bio-chemical mechanisms and their interactions to form a pathway leading to bio-marker endpoint(s) for specific phenotypes; cancer biology physiology and phenotypes highlights and virtual experimental in vitro and in vivo case studies. The disease domain anchor for the program will be cancer. This month long program comprises of approximate 2 weeks of interactive workshops (interaction formats customized per program) followed by mandatory group project assignment for a specific topic in oncology for 2 weeks. Guest lectures from around the globe will be integrated into the program through Skype.
Oncology is a disease of multiple phenotypes and variations of patient tumor profiles due to mutations makes it a very challenging problem. This challenge and opportunity is driving the way for breakthrough research in personalized approach to drug discovery, targeted delivery, diagnostics, medical electronics and related infrastructure. The global oncology therapeutics market was valued at $48.1 billion in 2008 with projected CAGR of 10.9% between 2008 and 2015.
Eligibility and Participation Application Process
To participate in the Cellworks YSP initiative; applicants need to send the following via e-mail to Cellworks at YSP@cellworksgroup.com based on which qualification and eligibility decisions will be made.
- School Transcripts of last 2 years and highlight the biology course work, projects and curriculum covered
- Statement of Purpose (One page summary on background and future interests)
YSP Advisory Board and Mentors
Sara Kenkare-Mitra, Ph.D.
Vice President, Development Sciences