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Old 12-22-2010, 05:44 PM   #11
Justibone
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You're right, of course, that certain things are secreted, but there are, as you said, "bugaboos". If it all worked the way we wanted or thought that it should, biochemistry-worker-bees like me would be bored all the time.

I'm not bored.

I hadn't heard about that particular glycosylation issue -- I'm more of a cytoskeleton guy.

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Old 12-22-2010, 07:12 PM   #12
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Indeed, the whole mechanism of vesicular transport is just mind blowing. That would be million dollar idea, to harness that power.

I love the talk of biochem on forums...

Not to get off topic, but What sort of research do you do?

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Old 12-23-2010, 10:17 AM   #13
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Cytoskeletal. Renal proximal tubule epithelium. Transport is a huge part of what the proximal tubule does, of course, but we're more of a structure lab, and not so much a vesicle lab.

My boss is S. J. Atkinson, Indiana University School of Medicine, if you want to look up some of our papers. I haven't published yet... still working on that.
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:22 PM   #14
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Nice, I just published for the first time this month! A yeast protein crystal structure.

Playing around with yeast is what I really want to start doing with my brew.

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Old 12-23-2010, 06:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justibone View Post
I was at a talk where the presenter said,

"If any of you can solve this {secretion} problem, I can promise you seven-figure compensation from my pharmaceutical collaborators."
Nobody is going to get seven figures from any pharmaceutical company
for any brilliant ideas. What they *will* do, however, is give you a lab
to solve the problem, pay you 1/3 what the suits make to tell you to solve it,
when you solve it, then the boss will take your idea and give it to some of
his buddies in the company, they will publish a paper on it and get the
promotion, and the company will make billions. You? Ah, you will get a nice
pen with the company logo on it.

Ray
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Old 12-24-2010, 12:57 PM   #16
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Yeah, if it's Pharma writing your checks, sure.

But, if you are an academic, then it will be the University that patents the idea. They will give you a cut of whatever they get for licensing it, on a sliding scale. (At my University, you get about 50-75% of the first 150K, then a much lower percentage after that, topping out around $200K per year... though they are very secretive about compensation and I could be wrong about that.) They will get paid millions for really good intellectual property, and over the course of the life of the patent (21 years, not all of which are making money) you will probably get somewhere north of a million dollars from a profitable patent. You will also get promotions and envy from the other academics, so that's nice... but you won't be shtupping supermodels by your pool in Beverly Hills.

The reason the University pays academics for IP is because if they don't, the patent can be voided more easily in court. Unless all people who contributed to the work are adequately (not fairly, just adequately) compensated, the judge can rule that the patent is not valid and toss it into the public domain. Whoops!

As a corporate employee, your work is the property of your employer, but principal investigators are not considered employees of the University since they are funded by the NIH or other sources. (If they were employees of the University, the University would have to pick up the tab for the research.) So, it is different for academia, but not *much* different. Heck, at Purdue the investigators are *expected* to generate income for the University via IP... and if you don't, good luck getting tenure. It's getting tough even in the Ivory Tower Kingdom nowadays.

If you work for Pharma, yes, you will get a shiny pen and a big corporate thank you. Then, you'd better produce something else awesome, or 18 mo's later you will be carrying your box out the front door, escorted by security.

This industry sucks monkeys, you know? Still, academia is slightly better, if less well-compensated, IMO.

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Old 12-26-2010, 01:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
I hadn't heard about that particular glycosylation issue -- I'm more of a cytoskeleton guy.
Yeah, it's a pain. Supposedly, P. pastoris has a glycosylation pattern more like mammalian cells.

Quote:
Nobody is going to get seven figures from any pharmaceutical company
for any brilliant ideas. What they *will* do, however, is give you a lab
to solve the problem, pay you 1/3 what the suits make to tell you to solve it,
when you solve it, then the boss will take your idea and give it to some of
his buddies in the company, they will publish a paper on it and get the
promotion, and the company will make billions. You? Ah, you will get a nice
pen with the company logo on it.

Ray
It's the same in plant biotech, FWIW...

There is a way to get the seven figures for a brilliant idea; get a start-up going w/said brilliant idea, have it mostly succeed, have a big pharma buy it and cash out with stock options. Easy, right?
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnMc View Post
There is a way to get the seven figures for a brilliant idea; get a start-up going w/said brilliant idea, have it mostly succeed, have a big pharma buy it and cash out with stock options. Easy, right?
Oh, yeah. Piece o' cake.
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