Sunday, August 11, 2013

'Paradigm Shift' -- Researchers as Patient Advocates?

It is not easy for a stem cell scientist to break into “print” in that bastion of American capitalism, Forbes magazine. Much less one from that perceived antithesis of free enterprise, Reed College.

But researcher Paul Knoepfler of UC Davis has done just that.

John Farrell of Forbes wrote about Knoepfler on Friday in the wake of the announcement Knoepfler will be honored with a “national advocacy” award by the Genetics Policy Institute.
Paul Knoepfler -- Advocate for a "new ethos"
UC Davis photo

Knoepfler, who received a degree in English literature from Reed in 1989, is being recognized for his activities as a stem cell blogger since 2009.

Farrell quoted Knoepfler as saying in an email,
“With many stumbles, face plants, land mines, and even a few threats of litigation and career retaliation along the way for the last three and half a years, I turned my crazy idea into a reality.”
Farrell continued,
“But it was only possible, (Knoepfler) added, with guidance from many patient advocates and bloggers in other fields who generously helped him learn the ropes of blogging.
“'I see this award as a validation of the notion that advocacy by scientists has become a valued part of the stem cell field,' he said.
“'My hope is to catalyze a continuing paradigm shift whereby stem cell scientists and biomedical scientists more generally have a new ethos that not just accepts, but also deeply values advocacy.'”
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