Making Connections that Count

Building Neuroscience Value Networks

For this month’s backstory, I am excited to introduce Dr. Ijad Madisch and the Networking Site he founded, ResearchGATE corporation (www.researchgate.net). 

Madisch, 27, an M.D. and Ph.D. virologist, says he and some friends came up with the idea when he moved from his native Germany for a research traineeship at Harvard Medical School in Boston. He found that collaborating with colleagues in Germany was awkward because e-mail wasn’t an efficient way to share updated protocols and drafts of papers. Meanwhile, sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn were taking off. “I thought, ‘This adapted to the requirements of researchers would be of big benefit to every researcher in the world,’ “ says Madisch, who is now working full-time as ResearchGATE Corp.’s CEO. The idea has become a valuable reality.

And we are happy. Having published blogs and uploaded methods/protocols into various wikis, It is easy to see the potential and power.  Users post their profiles and link up with contacts.  More importantly, they can also include information such as publications, methods, protocols and research skills. 

This provides the foundation for Neuroscience Researchers to resolve shared issues including alerting the community to new methods and approaches.  It can also work to enable “those who have done it to help those who are trying”.  This activity is the base for driving efficiencies and reducing experimental bottlenecks. In this sense, by helping others we are helping ourselves.

ResearchGATE, though launched only 6 months ago, already has 15,000+ participants. These cover many different Science Disciplines. The challenge will be to build a large network of Neuroscientists and catalyze active participation. I will be inviting select Neuromics’ Customers to participate so stay tuned.