At Risk: Investigator-initiated Trials of Targeted Oncology Agents


Bergmann L, Berns B, Dalgleish AG, et al. Investigator-initiated trials of targeted oncology agents: why independent research is at risk? Ann Oncol. 2010 Aug;21(8):1573-8. [Free full text available via PubMed.]

An expert panel convened by the Biotherapy Development Association examines the growing schism between academia and industry, identifying several causes of declining academic research, and proposing solutions to sustain investigator-initiated research.

From the abstract:

“Drug development traditionally has relied upon the complementary contributions of clinicians and scientists at academic institutions and at pharmaceutical companies. Greater regulatory burdens, increased bureaucratic requirements, restricted reimbursement, and spiralling research and development costs are exerting pressure on the drug development pipeline. The result is a de-emphasis of exploratory research, particularly independent academic research, despite its proven value in identifying new drug targets and developing innovative cancer therapies.”

A most important paper. Read it.

Tapping the Potential of NYC’s Designers


Growth by Design: The Powerful Impact and Untapped Potential of NYC’s Architecture & Design Sectors
New York: Center for an Urban Future, 2011
[Free full text available via]

Researchers at the Center for an Urban Future, an NYC-based think tank, survey the city’s booming design sector (industrial, architectural, fashion and graphic design) and propose a number of policy recommendations to leverage one of NYC’s most promising job creators and export generators.

Although New York has declined as a manufacturing center, Growth by Design finds that the city has emerged as “one of the few global hubs for where things are designed”:

“No other city in the country has as many leading firms in architecture, landscape architecture, fashion design, interior design, and graphic design. In 2009, for instance, the five boroughs of New York had 40 percent more architectural firms than the next closest U.S. city (Los Angeles) …. In Architectural Record’s annual list of top architecture firms by revenue, New York had more high grossing companies than any other U.S. city in the last five years…. Similarly, over 800 fashion companies are headquartered in New York, more than double its next closest competitor (Paris). New York also has 50 percent more interior design firms than Los Angeles, and nearly three times as many members in AIGA (formerly known as American Institute of Graphic Arts), an industry association for graphic design.”

Growth by Design identifies several good reasons for this dominance, including “an unparalleled number of universities and museums that serve as important venues for the circulation and exchange of ideas, including Parsons School of Design, the School of the Visual Arts, the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Pratt Institute, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum, to name only a few of the most prominent.” The report also profiles a number of pioneering New York design houses, including Pensa, Smart Design, and the legendary Pentagram.

Pensa’s co-founder Marco Perry offers one of the report’s most useful pearls when he says, “It sounds kind of crazy… but the airports are really important for what we do. From New York I can get to almost anywhere in the world in about 12 hours. If I have a meeting in Korea, I can get a direct flight and be there in about 14 hours. If I were based somewhere else, I probably couldn’t do that.” The authors expand on Perry’s observation:

“Counterintuitive as it may seem in an era of video conferencing, proximity to two major international airports with a large number of direct flights abroad is another huge advantage to being in New York. It used to be that the big design firms who got international contracts, particularly among architects, sent a team of designers to work locally. Now they can keep their New York desk and Skype into conferences abroad, but face-to-face interactions are still necessary, whether for site inspections, important client meetings, conferences, exhibitions, or lectures.”

The report concludes with a set of policy recommendations to help the city’s designers take advantage of the global demand for their services:

  1. Create a desk at EDC [New York City Economic Development Corporation] to support and grow the design sector.
  2. Help establish a high-profile design festival to promote New York City’s designers.
  3. Help New York-based designers export their services and reach new markets.
  4. Encourage entrepreneurial partnerships between designers, engineers, and tech entrepreneurs.
  5. Develop a plan for helping city departments and neighborhood intermediaries (like BIDs and LDCs) become smarter about purchasing and implementing quality design.
  6. Facilitate outreach to businesses that could benefit from strategic design implementation.
  7. Resurrect Brooklyn Designs.
  8. Develop university partnerships.

Read the full report.

2011 New York Film Festival – Some Picks


NYFF 2011
The 49th New York Film Festival
30 Sep – 16 Oct 2011
Alice Tully Hall, Walter Reade Theater, Howard Gilman Theater

Saturday 1 October
1 PM, Walter Reade Theater
Dreileben (Parts 1-3)

  • Part One: Beats Being Dead (Etwas Besseres als den Tod) Christian Petzold | 2011 | Germany | 88m
  • Part Two: Don’t Follow Me Around (Komm mir nicht nach) Dominik Graf | 2011 | Germany | 88m
  • Part Three: One Minute of Darkness (Eine Minute Dunkel) Christoph Hochhäusler | 2011 | Germany | 88m

[NYFF] [IMDb: 1, 2, 3] [Berlinale 1, 2, 3]

Sunday 2 October
1 PM, Alice Tully Hall
Jodaeiye Nader az Simin | A Separation
Asghar Farhadi | Iran | Persian with English subtitles | Running time: 123m

4 PM, Alice Tully Hall
Miss Bala
Gerardo Naranjo | Mexico | Spanish with English subtitles | Running time: 113m

Monday 3 October
6 PM, Walter Reade Theater
Crazy Horse
Frederick Wiseman | US/France | French with English subtitles | Running time: 134m

Wednesday 5 October
6 PM, Walter Reade Theater
Invasión | Invasion
Hugo Santiago | Argentina | Spanish with English subtitles | Running time: 123m

Thursday 6 October
9 PM, Walter Reade Theater
You Are Not I
Sara Driver, 1981 | USA | English | Running time: 48m

Friday 7 October
6 PM, Alice Tully Hall
Steve McQueen, 2011 | UK | English | Running time: 99m

Saturday, 8 October
10 AM, Alice Tully Hall
Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta | Castle in the Sky
Hayao Miyazaki, 1986 | Japan | English | Format: 35mm | Running time: 124m

3:30 PM Alice Tully Hall
Schlafkrankheit | Sleeping Sickness
Ulrich Köhler, 2011 | Germany/France/Netherlands | French, German, Dutch and Bassa with English subtitles | Running time: 91m

Tuesday, 11 October
6:15 PM Walter Reade Theater
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky, 2011 | USA | English | Running time: 106m

Thursday 13 October
6 PM Alice Tully Hall
In film nist | This Is Not a Film
Jafar Panahi, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, 2011 | Iran | Persian with English subtitles | Running time: 75m

8 PM Walter Reade Theater
Von morgens bis Mitternacht | From Morning Till Midnight
Karl Heinz Martin, 1922 | Germany | Silent | Running time: 79m

Friday 14 October
1 PM Howard Gilman Theater
Yojôhan fusuma no urabari | The World of Geisha
Tatsumi Kumashiro, 1973 | Japan | Japanese with English subtitles | Format: 35mm | Running time: 72m

2:45 PM Howard Gilman Theater
Nora-neko rokku: Sekkusu hanta | Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter
Yasuharu Hasebe, 1970 | Japan | Japanese with English subtitles | Format: 35mm | Running time: 86m

6 PM Alice Tully Hall
The Artist
Michel Hazanavicius, 2011 | France | Silent with English subtitles | Running time: 98m

9 PM Howard Gilman Theater
Akai kami no onna| The Woman with Red Hair
Tatsumi Kumashiro, 1979 | Japan | Japanese with English subtitles | Format: 35mm | Running time: 73m

As always, I’m focusing on films without US distribution so far. Also I’m in Chicago the final weekend, which means I’ll miss Sono Sion’s Cold Fish and others. So basically, it means nothing that a film isn’t listed here. NYFF is such a passionately curated program you can buy a ticket at random and have an experience worth your time and money.