Monthly Archives: October 2011

You will have an exciting business adventure

Last Monday, TedxAcademy in Athens, Greece, organized an event that I will forever remember. Inspired thinkers, entrepreneurs, and innovators were invited to speak about making a difference in a country that is undergoing historical change. There were many excellent speakers, who talked about this time of rapid change, which amidst its high risk, it also offers the incredible opportunity to transform. I thought that two of them just stood out.

Costas Evripides is a founding member and Genesis Pharma’s Chief Executive Officer. In 2006, Costas was voted as the “Dynamic Entrepreneur of the Year 2006”, in the international competition “Entrepreneur Of The Year”. At the TedxAcademy, he advocated about starting a business in Greece. “You will have an exciting business adventure” he told us, if you follow these key ingredients of a successful startup:

  1. Passion
  2. Experience
  3. Create your our own networking circle
  4. Differentiation
  5. Specialization
  6. Stretched targets
  7. Flexibility
  8. Reliability
  9. Alliance building
  10. Choosing a strong team

And here’s the things to avoid:

  1. Be fast but don’t rush
  2. Appreciate the right timing
  3. Never give up
  4. Never rest up

And then, there was Stathis Kalyvas, the Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence at Yale University. Stathis talked about three key aspects to overcome the crisis:

  1. Incentive
  2. Vision for the future
  3. New social framework

    Stathis Kalyvas at the TedxAcademy 2011 event.

I couldn’t agree more. Inspired by my research, on the drug design sector (ie making novel drugs for human diseases), and these two excellent talks, I believe that there are plenty of opportunities to innovate and move forward utilizing the power of the flourishing Greek Pharma Industry. What Greece needs right now is transformation and growth, which could undoubtedly rise from the pharma industry’s active involvement in Greek pharmaceutical and biotech R&D, exploitation of the underutilized capabilities of Greek researchers ultimately leading to the creation of new, Greek drugs. Our country has extremely talented scientists, who could provide access to a multi-billion euro market: health. Greek Pharma-Academia partnerships could be key for emerging stronger out of the crisis.

TedxAcademy is a nonprofit organization inspired by “TED“, an organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading”. Thank you TedxAcademy for the wonderful opportunity to be part of this event!

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“Five” – short films about breast cancer’s impact air tonight

Jen Aniston, Demi Moore, Alicia Keys, Penelope Spheeris & Patty Jenkins direct short films abt breast cancer’s impact.
“Five” airs tonight at mylifetimetv.

The groundbreaking original movie “Five” is an anthology of five short films exploring the impact of breast cancer on people’s lives. “Five” highlights the shared experience each short film’s title character endures from the moment of diagnosis, through an interconnected story arc that uses humor and drama to focus on the effect breast cancer and its different stages of diagnosis have on relationships and the way women perceive themselves while searching for strength, comfort, medical breakthroughs and, ultimately, a cure.

What is breast cancer?

Your cells have a normal cycle of birth, life, and death. Normally, new cells are generated only when they are needed. When the cells stop dying and replicate uncontrollably, they create a mass of tissue, which is called a tumor. If the cells that are growing out of control are normal cells, the tumor is called benign (not cancerous). If however, the cells that are growing out of control are abnormal and don’t function like the body’s normal cells, the tumor is called malignant (cancerous).

Therefore, cancer is not a disease caused by an external organism, such as a virus or bacteria, but they are your own cells growing uncontrollably and obstructing the function of normal tissues and organs.

Cancers are named after the part of the body from which they originate, so breast cancer originates from breast cancer cells. Like other cancers, breast cancer cells can invade surrounding tissues and also travel to other parts of the body and form new tumors, a process called metastasis.

Facts about breast cancer

Here is some data taken from here and here:

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, after skin cancer.
  • Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer — and is the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 35 to 54.
  • Today, approximately 1 in almost every 8 women (13.4%) will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
  • Only 5% to 10% of breast cancers occur in women with a clearly defined genetic predisposition for the disease. The majority of breast cancer cases are “sporadic,” meaning there is no direct family history of the disease.
  • The risk for developing breast cancer increases as a woman ages.
  • $13.9 billion is spent every year in breast cancer treatments in the US alone.
  • And the good news: There are more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the US.
  • Women can lower their risk of breast cancer by lowering alcohol intake, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy wait. Getting regular screens can result in early detection, which increases the chance of survival.

Many thanks to the makers of this film for showing that breast cancer awareness is so much more than wearing a pink ribbon!!!

Be an advocate and get screened.  Do self exams.  Donate to cancer research. Learn what your own risks are and how best to prevent or minimize your risks.  We can all make a real difference.

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