ChEMBL Resources

The SARfaris: GPCR, Kinase, ADME

Saturday, 3 March 2012

A Dating Site For Chemists and Biologists

Probably everyone who reads the ChEMBL-og will have world-changing ideas - but it's really difficult to find someone to screen a few compounds for you - of course there are CROs who will want to meet, then prepare a quote for you, set up a CDA, receive payment, etc., but cash is difficult to get hold of, and the process will be slow. There are no grant mechanisms for this sort of thing either - imagine - "I'd like funds to test four compounds as potential inhibitors of snoraze" - no chance (at least with the panels I've sat on) too small, too speculative.... The bigger problem though is finding someone with the assay or the compounds.

But, there's a lot of people with compounds to test, and a lot of biologists with assays that are easy to run in their labs, and they have expertise in, but who can't assemble sets of interesting compounds to profile. Why not just use the paradigm of a dating site to matchmake mutually compatible biologists and chemists - if there is a spark, it could develop into a long lasting (collaborative) relationship!

Imagine something like:

Biologist with HMGCoA reductase assay and expertise in cholesterol homeostasis would like to meet chemist with non-statin compounds likely to be brain penetrant to test a cool idea.

Anyway, there's a toy FaceBook group that I've set up - just to get the idea across. I've pitched this as a national thing (so for me that means to the UK, for you somewhere different maybe) - not least that it's a lot easier to ship compounds around within a country than between - and also there's a clear match to downstream funding opportunities. I chose FaceBook, since most of the open LinkedIn groups I'm involved in are train-wrecks of spam and flame-wars.

I think this idea is worth trying, or at least getting some discussion started over - huge thanks to Tom Heightman for our recent discussion on things that needed to be done in Chemical Biology in the UK.

Maybe Google+ is another alternative.


Chris Southan said...

1) Couldn't agree more re LinkedIN. My 2-cent whinge from last year (below) got zero responses "@cdsouthan exasperated that many of his LinkedIN groups show no moderation. Hence valuable discussions are contaminated with spurious comments or plugs
12:15 PM - 19 Nov 11 via LinkedIn"

2) Have asked to join dating agency. I have nothing to broker lab-wise but I might be able to help someone "find" something e.g. by patent ferreting.

Unknown said...

Great idea, John.

Luís Figueiredo said...

The French have something similar to that they call it La Chimiothèque Nationale (see the article Hilbert 2009). But from what I understood it isn't very open, in the sense that you don't know who is sending you the compounds and even what compounds are in each well. I hope I am wrong but to create an open library or a dating agency is a difficult job as there are many interests from both sides of the wall.