The Lybbaverse / events  

We’re a proud sponsor of #SageCon

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Lybba looks forward to next week's Sage Bionetworks Commons Congress, April 19 and 20, in San Francisco. This year, Lybba is a sponsor of “The Truth of Personalized Medicine: Our Commons Future." Sage Bionetworks is piloting components needed to build a biomedical research commons,creating computational models of disease, releasing infrastructure for collaborative data-driven research, and exploring the boundaries of commons-based governance in health and medicine.

After hearing a lot about personalized medicine, what it will be in the future, and seeing some of the progress made by individuals or single organizations, Sage is now considering how to best address this complex and moveable concept. This year, the Congress is not going to center on how the public can help Sage Bionetworks; it’s about how Sage Bionetworks can help the public build the commons.

Lybba looks forward to engaging with the organizations and individuals that are real cornerstones to success in achieving this goal, as we define projects to take on clinical studies, modeling challenges, patient community formation, and moving forward long after the conference is over.

Biohackathon L.A. helps youth shape the future

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From the second Mr. John Choi’s high school biology class stepped off their school bus and into a conference room turned laboratory, they became scientists. 

“My students entered an amazing gateway into the world of science and it opened their eyes to the possibilities that are available to them,” said Mr. Choi.

Many students like those in Mr. Choi’s class crave inspiration and outlets to explore what their futures may have in store. When asked about career interests, the majority of students surprisingly mentioned professions that would enable them to improve health. In some instances, their drive to enter the health industry was connected to a family member with a chronic health issue.

While these students, and so many like them, think about a variety of career and academic paths, they don’t often see the connection between what learning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) can have on their futures. There are many workforce development and education programs available to help students across California prepare for jobs that will follow the changing global economy. The problem is that students don’t have the resources to learn about what opportunities are available and don’t fully understand the impact of STEM education. 

The California Endowment, the California Biotechnology Foundation, Lybba, and Wondros posed a solution: Biohackathon L.A. 2013, an immersive workshop to inspire students about the health and career benefits of STEM education and the life sciences.

“The Biohackathon is a real game-changer for the students, who have insatiable curiosities,” said Mr. Choi.

Inspired by traditional hackathons, a term coined by computer programmers and software developers, the event was collaborative, educational, and interactive. A conference room at The Endowment’s L.A. office was taken over by pipettes, microcentrifuge tubes, DNA sample swabs and safety glasses. Led by LA Biohackers, the experience was tailored specifically for the students with the help of L.A.’s Promise Manual Arts High School in South L.A. The hands-on do-it-yourself experience let students test themselves for a hereditary "bitter taste" gene. Their genotypes were projected onto a wall, interpreted, and printed out to take home. 

“Hands-on experimenting and genuine inquiry is a really effective way to learn practical science,” said Romie Littrell, founder of LA Biohackers and curator at The Tech Museum of Innovation. “We were lucky to have all the necessary resources and instructors to do this with a full classroom. Each student had different instincts to approach and perform the experiment and, by working together and seeing all the different outcomes, failures and all, I think they got a better grasp of the scientific process.”

In addition to the science experiment, recent graduates from programs sponsored by the life science industry shared with students the many opportunities in the life sciences and the cross-application of such knowledge. Leaders from business and education painted the broader landscape of STEM education and pathways to help achieve career possibilities. 

“The California life science community supports several initiatives that create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and inspire future leaders to help save lives and promote sustainability,” said Kristie Grover, executive director of BIOCOM Institute. “Together with industry, our state’s learning Institutions, regional associations, and community programs are partnering to offer free resources that serve as a catalyst for increased growth and quality of life in California.”

“I was in your shoes once. I know the feeling of wanting to do great things, but now I know how to make it happen,” said Elvia Hernandez, a recent graduate who is beginning her career in life sciences. “My STEM background and workforce development program changed my life.”

Hernandez’s encouraging words resonated with the students.

Marlena Jackson, research assistant at a life science company and founder of NexGeneGirls, a science enrichment program for girls, asked students to think about the Biohackathon in terms of personal benefits and community health.

“The event was an incredible experience for my students and will definitely remain in their minds as they pursue a path in STEM. Having so many guest speakers and resources for internship information and STEM careers in general was a wonderful opportunity. Indeed, the networking potential was nothing short of marvelous,” said Mr. Choi. “The collaboration and unity of the scientific community is always a marvelous facet of science.”

The students were challenged to continue investing in STEM education, a path that will give them the tools to transform their future and improve their communities.

Reblogged from The California Endowment newsroom with permission of the authors.

A slideshow and interviews with our partners, designers, and biohackers are coming soon!

Our favorite photos from Gather

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Last week, we posted a recap of our first Lybba Gather event, “The Art & Science of Noticing.” Once again, we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who came together to support Lybba’s mission and engage in an inspiring conversation about improving our healthcare system. Please enjoy the slideshow above, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter at the top right of this page to be the first to know about our next Gather event.

Learn more about the wide range of services Lybba offers and browse examples of our work here.

The Art & Science of Noticing: Lybba hosts its first Gather event

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Photo by Al Kamalizad.

Lybba’s first dinner and conversation experience, held last night in Los Angeles, inspired an evening of insightful and delightful community for 50 cultural influencers who have a steadfast interest in chronic healthcare. The event was part of an ongoing series called Gather.

Featured speakers, Lybba Founder Jesse Dylan and Dr. Peter Margolis of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, in a conversation moderated by Lybba Executive Director David Fore, illuminated transformations in care for pediatric Crohn’s and colitis, as well as for chronic care as an entire system of thought. Discussions centered on the challenges faced by those connecting clinicians, researchers, and patients in a shared system of care, and the potential for expansion of chronic care networks.

The journey of a thousand miles, so goes the proverb, begins with a single step. Those of us involved in transformative-systems work know that one of the first steps to enacting a paradigm shift is to ask individuals to do a simple thing on a large scale: to notice. Our first event was thus entitled The Art & Science of Noticing

Guests were treated to artisanal cocktails; films were screened throughout the evening; giveaways included Lybbaverse magazine, a special edition curated to the theme of the event, and origami lotuses created by Arnold Tubis, lifelong origami artist, physicist, and author of books on paper folding. 

Our hope for Gather is that guests will experience a paradigm shift in awareness about their own health and the system of standard chronic care in the United States.

We’ll be presenting at Partnering for Cures

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Lybba will be participating in the Partnering for Cures conference in New York City, this week, with more than 800 leaders from all sectors of the medical research enterprise, across therapeutic areas and across disciplines.

Convened by FasterCures, it is a unique opportunity to get a real-time pulse on trends and best practices in the life sciences. There will be case study presentations from 30 cross-sector research programs working to reduce the time and cost of getting new medical solutions from discovery to patients, focused on addressing top challenges in concrete ways.

Lybba will be part of a panel discussion entitled "The Health Network Trust: Improving Innovation, Outcomes and Efficiency in Healthcare", along with our partners from Improve Care Now, C3N, and the Kauffman Foundation.