Look Who’s Talking: If You Could Collaborate with Anyone, Who Would It Be and Why?
Each month, Look Who’s Talking features voices from across the Brigham answering a thought-provoking question. This month, we ask members of the Brigham community to tell us about potential collaborations—realistic or imagined—that they would ideally pursue. If you would like to add your voice to the conversation, please submit a comment at the bottom of the page.
“I would like to have a time machine to travel back in time to meet and collaborate with Marie Curie; her story and her life’s work are truly inspiring! She was always looking for ways her Nobel prize-winning research and scientific knowledge could help patients, like her X-ray ambulances or ‘little curies’ as they came to be called during World War I. She installed X-ray machines in Renault trucks and taught over 150 Red Cross volunteers how to take an X-ray in field hospitals at the front. By the end of the war, she had made over 20 ‘little curies’ and had examined over 1,000,000 wounded soldiers. Her story inspires me to stay focused on the most important stakeholder of all the work that we do as physician-scientists: Our patients. In Dr. Curie’s words ‘… [we] share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.’” – Anna Greka, MD, PhD, Director of Kidney-NExT at the Brigham and Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine
“I would like to collaborate with Professor Mary Bouxsein from the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. One of my research interests is to develop drug delivery platforms for localized delivery of therapeutics in joints with osteoarthritis. It is important to maximize stability of these systems under mechanical stresses experienced in joints. Dr. Bouxsein’s unique expertise in joint and bone bio-mechanics will therefore be quite synergistic with our work, and will lead to the development of promising technologies for localized delivery of therapeutics in osteoarthritis. – Nitin Joshi, PhD, Associate Bioengineer, Division of Biomedical Engineering
“I would like to collaborate with a scientist from the past, Dr. Clair Patterson, who helped determine that the petrochemical industry was responsible for toxic levels of lead in snow and sea water. He led a long and grueling campaign that cost him both his job and his research funding—but culminated in the removal of lead from gasoline and other consumer products. Scientific efforts that place empathy and care for all humans above personal profit and fame can change the course of the world for the better. Patterson made public health a priority throughout his research career and I wish I could have the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with such a spectacular scientist.” – Morteza Mahmoudi, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology Perioperative and Pain Medicine
“I would love to collaborate with Jennifer Doudna, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Doudna has been a leading figure developing CRISPR-mediated genome editing, using RNA-DNA base-pairing to recognize and cleave DNA. Not only has she been leading the science in the area, but she has also focused on the ethics behind her invention, discussing ‘designer babies’ in her 2015 TED talk, which given the recent events was very timely.” –Danny Muehlschlegel, MD, Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Anesthesiology Perioperative and Pain Medicine
“I cannot for obvious reasons, but if I could, I’d like to collaborate with Louis Pasteur. Despite reported critiques about his demeanor and work processes, he brought scientific rigor to the fields of immunology, vaccinology and microbiology, leading to improvements in agriculture and fermentation as well as public health advances like pasteurization.” – Stephen Walsh, MD, Associate Physician, Division of Infectious Diseases
“I would collaborate with film makers. Not just for making a promotional clip, but to learn how they manage to organize such a complicated operation involving a lot of talented minds with tons of ideas and drive to achieve one common goal: To create a powerful story that can change people’s lives. That is basically what we do here, too.” – Yuhan Lee, PhD, Associate Bioengineer, Division of Engineering in Medicine