“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.  I’ve lost almost 300 games.  26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.  I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.”

Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls

170px Jordan by Lipofsky 16577 Elements of success in cancer research

Source: wikipedia

Continuing the sporting metaphors this week, I was catching up on blog reading last night and noticed that Jim Lefevere put up a nice post on Digital Strategist about how:

Domain Expertise + Work Ethic + Time = Success

He used Michael Jordan as an example to illustrate the competitiveness that is required for the top level.

While talking to scientists and researchers at the recent AACR PI3K-mTOR meeting about their myriad of iterative experiments with GWAS, Western Blots and such, you can imagine the parallels with scientific research.

It struck me how the scientists in this particular field of cancer research are both highly collaborative and competitive at the same time, while also being very focused and intense on the end game (implications for clinical research), perhaps more so than other sub specialty areas I’ve come across lately.

The main message I learned from the meeting can be summed up in this little forumla:

Driver Mutation + Adaptive Pathway + Ligand + Patient Selection = Possible Success

A lot of data on PI3K and mTOR can be expected at forthcoming annual meetings at AACR (April) and ASCO (June), so it will be interesting to see how the new combinations of PI3K or mTOR with AKT or MEK, for example, are panning out and in which tumour types.