- 26 November 2019
10:00 am - 11:00 am
TUESDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2019, 10.00 AM
Auditorium, Level 6, BANCROFT Building|
10% of the time it works every time
C. Glenn Begley MB, BS, PhD, FRACP, FRCPA, FRCPath, FAHMS
CEO, BioCurate Pty Ltd,
As medical researchers, we all want to make discoveries that have a real impact on human health. There are however serious obstacles preventing this. A key impediment is the reward system that applies within academic research, and that provides a perverse set of incentives that reward flashy science with little regard for the quality, robustness or reliability of the work. That is particularly the case for papers published in the “top tier” journals. Those highly cited publications, from famous investigators typically fail because experiments were not performed by blinded investigators, positive and negative controls were not used, experiments were not repeated, reagents were not validated, only select data was shown, and data analysis was inappropriate. Over recent years, positive steps have been taken to begin to address this issue. Some funding agencies and a number of journals have sought to improve their processes. However, the principal responsibility for addressing this problem rests with investigators and research institutions. Researchers can actively foster quality research: scientists should actually read papers before citing them, refuse to cite poor quality papers (even from famous investigators), refuse to accept the journal as a surrogate for quality, and do things properly ourselves. Research institutions should create an “Office of Research Integrity”, with responsibility for conducting random laboratory audits, compulsory methods-training, ensuring compliance with agreed Guidelines. Failure to comply should be associated with real consequences.These would be important steps to help address this important, systemic problem that threatens our current scientific system, and the support we enjoy from the public who fund our research.
Dr Begley is the inaugural CEO of BioCurate, a joint initiative of Monash and Melbourne Universities and created to provide commercial focus in the early phases of drug development. He served as Chief Scientific Officer at Akriveia Therapeutics, California (2016-2017) and TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals, Pennsylvania (2012-2016). From 2002-2012, he was Vice-President and Global Head of Hematology/Oncology Research at Amgen, responsible for building, directing and integrating Amgen’s 5 research sites. It was at Amgen he identified and highlighted the issue of research integrity and scientific reproducibility which has subsequently received considerable international attention. Before Amgen he had over 20 years of clinical experience in medical oncology and hematology. His personal research focused on regulation of hematopoietic cells and translational clinical trials. His early studies first described human G-CSF, and in later clinical studies, first demonstrated that G-CSF-“mobilized” blood stem cells hastened hematopoietic recovery. This finding revolutionized the clinical approach to bone-marrow transplantation. His honors include being elected as the first Foreign Fellow to the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2000, to the Association of American Physicians in 2008, to the Research “Hall of Fame” at his alma mater, the Royal Melbourne Hospital in 2014, and to the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in 2016.
Hosted by Professor David Whiteman, Deputy Director, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute