“શુભેચ્છા સહ” – With Best Wishes


“શુભેચ્છા સહ” – With Best Wishes

English translation below.
આ વખતની “બેઠક” નો વિષય હતો “શુભેચ્છા સહ”. તે વિષય ઉપર નીચે રચના પ્રસ્તુત કરું છું. આ ઉપરાંત બીજા લેખકોના ઉત્તમ લેખો જરૂર વાંચશો http://www.shabdonusarjan.wordpress.com શબ્દોનું સર્જન બ્લોગ ઉપર.

નથી એવી કઈ જરૂર શબ્દોની, વગર શબ્દોએ ઘણું કહી શકાય છે
શુભેચ્છા, અભિનંદન, મમતા, લાગણી, ચિંતા, પ્રેમ દર્શાવાય છે

રાહના પત્થર તમારા ઘરની કોર જાય ને કાંકરે કાંકરે દિલ પીઘલતું
વાચા વગરજ નીચી પાંપણોમાં થી કેમનો પ્રેમ થઇ જાય છે

બાળકના મોઢામાં દુધની સેર પંહોચી નથી, કે ઉભરાય છે મમતા
તેને છ ફીટની કાયામાં જોયને એજ મમતા ગૌરવમાં બદલાય જાય છે

પ્યારી સહેલીના પ્રિય પાત્રને મળતા પહેલાજ થાય છે હર્શઘેલું દિલ
પ્યારભરી મસ્તીથી ચીડવવામાં જ તેને અભિનંદન પહોચી જાય છે

અને છતાય જે વર્તાવાય “શુભેચ્છા સહ” શબ્દોના સહારે
અમર થાય છે એ લાગણી જયારે તે શબ્દોમાં પીરસાય છે

 

Home work assignment for this “bethak” meeting (see more details at http://www.shabdonusarjan.wordpress.com) was to write something pertaining to “best wishes”. Here is a loose translation of my Gujarati poem.

Words are not required, without words, much can be said
Goodluck, love, concern, and worry can all be expressed

Each little stone on the path to your home, melts my heart
Without words, from under closed eyelids, heart has loved

Milk has not reached baby’s mouth, but heart overflows with awe
It changes into pride when into 6 feet man, the child is transformed

Before even meeting dear friend’s new love, heart feels happy
From teasing and jokes, good wishes are all conveyed

And yet, when with “best wishes” feelings are expressed
They live forever, when with words, emotions are served

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Japan Travel – Toilets, Efficiency


Touring Japan was an amazingly refreshing experience.  I will post a series of blogs, to cover different regions of Japan or different experiences I had in Japan.

Japan, it seems, is all about efficiency, but additionally, it is compassionate efficiency.  That is to say, it is all about making things easier for others.  And one always thinks of others, before self.  You observe the efficiency in everything from the tender loving care with which the tiniest of gardens are nurtured that utilizes small spaces beautifully, to the way in which shoes are removed before entering homes, by turning around, so that when you leave, you can put the feet directly into the shoes, with ease.  

wpid-20140820_122245.jpgBut the efficiency of the toilets just bowled me over.  The toilets have numerous settings, bidet and behind washing etc.  When you flush the toilet, a tiny wash basin behind the toilet starts to pour water to fill up the tank.  One uses that water pouring into the wash basin to wash hands.  There is a slight inconvenience to reach over the toilet to wash hands, but it leads to extreme efficiency in water usage as the same water used for washing hands will be used to flush the toilet in the next round.   Some toilets start playing music as you enter, so that you do not have to listen to the sounds of other people doing their job.
 
I was so fascinated by toilets and each time examined them carefully.  In one toilet, I noticed a little contraption on the wall opposite the toilet.  I could not quite understand Japanese writing but when I pulled it down, it came down as a little seat.  And from the picture, I realized it was a seat for a parent to sit on while their little toddler was on the toilet.  Fascinating!wpid-20140820_122324.jpg  wpid-20140904_152722.jpg

 

wpid-20140821_165502.jpgIn another toilet, there was seat to let the toddler sit while the parent needed to use the toilet.  Now I wonder how exactly we used the toilet while carrying a child and with no place to put the child down.  And then there was one where both a parent and the toddler can use the toilet, side by side.  Compared to the US, while the toilets are much smaller in Japan, they include these little conveniences because someone thought about it.

 

Japanese efficiency is different from German efficiency.  In both systems, the train comes on time and both countries are efficient because they both have a set of mostly rigid, unbendable rules, and they have cultivated a mindset to stick to them.  But consider this fact about Germany.  I read somewhere that “everything there has to be done exactly as prescribed (no exceptions).  There is no point waving madly at the bus driver to let you on after he has closed the doors: the timetable leaves no time for compassion”.

It is a tad different in Japan.  Similar unbendable rules underpin the efficiency, but the rules include compassion, thinking about the community, graciousness, and respect for others.

How so?  There is a rule that after the train leaves the station, the conductor needs to make one round in each compartment.  Then it reaches the next station and he or she gets up and again makes one round (in case anyone needs any help).  Each time, whether the passengers acknowledge his presence or not, the conductor is required to acknowledge the passengers and render himself approachable, by bowing to the entire compartment, as he enters, and again, as he exits.

wpid-20140823_132655.jpgIn another situation, we went to stay at a monastery.  We were required to take off our shoes at the door (as is customary also in every Japanese home), and were given a set of shoes to wear inside the monastery buildings.  All shoes were exactly the same and therefore interchangeable.  One morning, we went to pray in the Buddhist temple.  We all removes shoes at the door.  Me and my friends were the last in coming out of the temple.  I presumed that shoes closest to the door will be taken by the others, who came out before us.  To the contrary, everyone coming out makes extra effort to take shoes furthest away, so it will be easier for others coming after them.

 

Before entering every temple, you are required to wash your hands with a ladle, by the water spigot.  The hand washing is ritualistic and has to be done exactly the same way.  And it was thus explained to me.  You pour water over right hand, once that is washed, you hold the ladle with the right hand and pour water over left hand, and then you lift the ladle such that the water pours over the handle.  The reason you do this is because after both your hands are cleaned, the water goes over the handle and it is cleaned for the next person to use.wpid-20140824_113308.jpgwpid-20140820_112256.jpg

I found Japan to be incredibly clean but once when I was looking to throw some garbage, I could not find any garbage bins.  Then I asked someone how did they manage to keep the country so clean, without any garbage bins.  She explained that in order to eliminate security threats and to lessen the work for the city, they have minimized the garbage cans, and people just take their garbage home!

Everytime one enters a place of worship, one is required to take off the shoes and wear another set of shoes to be used inside.  One time, as we came out, I dumped the shoes given and promptly took my shoes and I was ready.  The next one to come out was 81 year old Nakagome-San.  She took the shoes of every member of our group and laid them on the floor such that each of them can put their feet directly into the shoes.  I was totally ashamed that it had not even occurred to me that I should get everybody else’s shoes and keep them ready for them.
 
Thinking about others is such an integral part of Japanese mindset that with the Japanese, it is a habit.  Thinking about the community and others, before self, is just how things are done and in the process, it enhances efficiency and ensures smooth running of the system.  Unfortunately, in some instance, things have gone awry when majority in the group engage in something inappropriate, and no one would challenge the community or the majority.

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Sweeney Todd – Play Review


“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” opened at Theatreworks, Saturday night, and received a standing ovation from the full house.  The story, based on the book by Hugh Wheeler, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, is about the power of evil to infect everything and everyone, in its wake.  And in the words of Theatreworks’ Artistic Director, Robert Kelley, Sweeney Todd is “about our ways of dealing with evil: countering it with virtue, disarming it with humor, crushing it with force, or transforming it into art”.  And what a fine work of art it is in this theatreworks production.

The story of Sweeney Todd is set in London in 1940s, during the time when London was blasted by German bombs. Fifteen years prior, a barber was unjustly convicted and sent to Australian prison and has now returned to extract his revenge from the system.  Specifically, he wants to extract revenge from the evil Judge Turpin (Lee Strawn), and his lackey, a portly, greasy, evil man, Beadle Bamford (Martin Rojas Dietrich).


Kevin Berne/TheatreWorks David Studwell stars as the Demon Barber of Fleet Street in Stephen Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd.David Studwell, in the role of Sweeney Todd, is devilishly magnificent and the first person he charms and snares into his evil scheme, is Mrs. Lovett (Tory Ross, who is equally magnificent).  While Sweeney Todd has been deeply wronged by the system, is motivated by vengeance, and does the disturbingly gory work with his bare hands, Mrs. Lovett, a pie seller, trying to run a challenging business at a difficult time, is entrepreneurial, charming, and is purely driven by profit motive.  She works with her hands, tenderizing the meat (if we forget for a minute the source of that meat) and baking it into artful, tasty pies.  The force of evil is so powerful, it sucks you right in.  When Mrs. Lovett declares, “we got a nice respectable business now”, it almost makes you want to root for her to rescue Sweeney from his obsession with vengeance and escape with her to a cottage by the ocean.  When smug judge Turpin comes for a shave, to get ready to seduce his ward, Joanna (gorgeous Mindy Lym), who is Sweeney’s daughter, whom he has kidnapped and raised, you almost root again for Sweeney to complete his task and give the judge his due.

When the judge escapes, instead of heaving a sigh of relief, you almost want to tell Sweeney, “what made you wait, you had him”!!  This timeless tale is as much about the demon barber, as it is about the evil lurking in all of us.  If it is not consciously checked, the evil will suck you right in, if not by doing, than by thinking.  Special kudos to fantastic musical direction by William Liberatore and superb staging by Marcy Victoria Reed and Emily Anderson Wolf.  Don’t miss this incredible production by theatreworks.  For tickets, go to www.theatreworks.org .

I had him!
His throat was there beneath my hand.
I had him!

His throat was there beneath my hand.
No, I had him!
His throat was there and now he’ll never come again.
Mrs. Lovett: Easy now, hush love hush
I keep telling you, Whats your rush?
Todd: When? Why did I wait?
You told me to wait -
Now he’ll never come again.
There’s a hole in the world like a great black pit
And it’s filled with people who are filled with sh*t
And the vermin of the world inhabit it.

But not for long…
They all deserve to die.
Tell you why, Mrs. Lovett, tell you why.
Because in all of the whole human race
Mrs. Lovett, there are two kinds of men and only two
There’s the one staying put in his proper place
And the one with his foot in the other one’s face
Look at me, Mrs Lovett, look at you.

Don’t we all deserve to die?
Even you, Mrs. Lovett, even I.
Because the lives of the wicked should be made brief
For the rest of us death will be a relief
We all deserve to die.

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New Waves in Biotech – Chinese Bioscience Association Annual Conference Review


The Chinese Bioscience Association (CBA) is a non-profit organization, with a mission to promote education, networking, and community building for life science professionals.

At its recent annual conference in San Francisco Bay Area, an impressive array of speakers discussed new trends, promises, and challenges in the biotech industry.

English: A diagram illustrating the distinctio...

English: A diagram illustrating the distinction between cancer stem cell targeted and conventional cancer therapies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In his keynote address, Dr. Frank McCormick, Professor at UCSF and founder of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, talked about targeted cancer therapies and some of the lessons learned from Onyx.  Almost 30% of all mutated cancers happen in oncoproteins like BCR-ABL and RAS.  In 1994, Onyx initiated a 5 year collaboration with Bayer that led to $25M study for drug development, based on RAS pathway.  Unfortunately, it did not lead to drug leads.  In hindsight, “we realized that it was too early to jump into the pathway based on our feeble understanding of RAS pathway”, said McCormick.  However, Onyx has had several successes, despite the fact that finding new targets has become increasingly difficult, said McCormick.  Sorafenib, a kinase inhibitor, was approved for treatment of renal and liver cancers.  Onyx also has had success in viral therapies.  In 2009, Onyx sued Bayer, its longtime partner, and won the lawsuit.  Removal of the “change of control” clause in the original collaboration agreement, in favor of Onyx, has resulted in Onyx going from a $10M company in 1994 to $10B company in 2014.

English: Listeria monocytogenes grown on Liste...

English: Listeria monocytogenes grown on Listeria Selective Agar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Stephen Issacs, Chairman and Founder of Aduro Biotech talked about the importance of embracing change to keep growing.   Issacs shared his story from 1978 where his career began in psoralen photochemistry and then teaching at UC Berkeley.  In 1991, he found Cerus Corporation, a biomedical products company commercializing the Intercept Blood Systems.  He raised over $650M and negotiated a $200M partnership with Baxter International and took the company public.  He then found Aduro BioTech.  Here is my previous article on his company Aduro Biotech http://bit.ly/JqDJ3K that uses a bacterial vector, in the form of genetically modified listeria, to stimulate the immune system to fight cancers and infectious diseases.  Issacs also talked about his volunteer work in Kasigau, Kenya through his family non-profit organization, a cause that is very dear to his heart and to which he is highly dedicated.

Kayser-Fleischer ring: copper deposition in De...

Kayser-Fleischer ring: copper deposition in Descemet’s membrane of the cornea. These rings can be either dark brown, golden, or reddish-green, are 1 to 3 mm wide, and appear at the corneal limbus. With rare exceptions, they are diagnostic of inherited hepatolenticular degeneration—Wilson’s disease. This 32-year-old patient complained of longstanding difficulty speaking. He also had a tremor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Chandler Robinson shared his incredible story of how he went from being an undergraduate researcher to becoming a CEO of Tactic Pharmaceuticals, a privately held biotech, in Chicago. Tactic acquires and develops pre-clinical and clinical stage compounds.  Somewhere in between his strenuous MD program at Stanford and pursuing his MBA in UK, Robinson acquired an abandoned drug, Decupratetm, and after couple of years, published his research in Science.  In early 2013, Decupratetm got Orphan Drug Designation from European Commission for treatment of Wilson’s Disease.  Wilson’s Disease is characterized by its disturbed copper metabolism that leads to copper accumulation in the body, resulting in severe disability or death. Tactic Pharma has acquired 3 compounds to date.

Diseases and conditions where stem cell treatm...

Diseases and conditions where stem cell treatment is promising or emerging. (See Wikipedia:Stem cell#Treatments). Bone marrow transplantation is, as of 2009, the only established use of stem cells. Model: Mikael Häggström. To discuss image, please see Template talk:Häggström diagrams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At Stanford Cardiovascular Institute (SVI), Dr. Joseph Wu and his team work with iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells).   Wu is recipient of several awards and his clinical activities involve adult congenital heart disease and cardiovascular imaging.  According to Wu, iPS will be a game changing platform for drug discovery research.  Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is one of the most prevalent cardiovascular disease.  At some point, we should be able take blood and make iPS cells, differentiate them into cardiac cells or other cell types, and expose them to different drugs to find out what would be the ideal drug for that patient, said Wu.  Wu said, it is important to study different ethnicities; different ethnic groups metabolize drugs differently.  CVI has received $20M grant and Wu’s team is trying to create a bank of 1000 cell lines, for drug discovery research.  (iPSCs) seem to have exciting therapeutic implications in regenerative medicine, particularly for myocardial infarction and possibly for neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes and other disorders.  However, stem cell biology is as yet incompletely understood and  some of the challenges include immunogenicity, tumorigenicity and so on.  Drugs can be tested on surrogates of patients, before giving them to the patients, said Wu.

Inhaler

Inhaler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Moninder Hora, SVP at Nektar Therapeutics talked about Nektar’s pipeline and technologies.  Nektar’s technology is based on polymer conjugation platform, said Hora.  Nektar has a robust pipeline of novel therapeutics and Nektar also partners with top biopharmaceutical companies to bring new products to market.  Nektar’s pipeline of late stage molecules include Amaikacin, Ciprofloxacin, Fovista, BAX 858, and NKTR-102.  Amaikacin Inhale is delivered directly to lungs to treat gram-negative ventricular pneumonia.  NKTR-102 is first PEGylated small molecule, first in its class, to treat breast cancer.  It has passed safety and efficacy markers and is showing to significantly improve overall survival and endpoints will be announced next year.  Nektar is also getting positive results from some of its early stage molecules.  Recently Nektar presented positive preclinical data for NKTR-214 for immunotherapy treatment.  Nektar is developing pain management portfolio and recently got fast track designation for NKTR-181, a new oral opioid analgesic molecule for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic pain.  NKTR has filed for regulatory approval in EU for MOVENTIG, comprising of once only daily oral tablet, to treat opioid induced constipation.  Hora concluded saying that Nektar has very robust pipeline of highly promising molecules.

English: Example transdermal patches. On left ...

English: Example transdermal patches. On left is a ‘reservoir’ type, on the right a ‘matrix’ version. Both contain exactly the same level of the same active ingredient. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Zander Strange, VP of Bus Dev. and Corp. Dev. at Zosano Pharma shared about their products based on novel transdermal delivery technology.  Zosano’s rapid onset system allows drug delivery to occur, almost painlessly.  The drug is delivered close to the capillary bed, allowing it to quickly dissolve.  The short-wear-time patch consists of microneedles coated with Zosano’s proprietary formulation of an existing drug, attached to an adhesive patch.  Therapeutic effect is expected to occur within 30 minutes or less, in an easy, pain free administration.  Zosano products are in dry formulation, thus vastly improving product stability and long shelf life, in addition to allowing for easy travel and storage at room temperature.

CBA annual conference was packed with impressive lineup of speakers, interspersed with plenty of networking opportunities.  For additional information, please go to www.cbasf.org .      

PS – EPPIC Digital Health event http://bit.ly/1uwQ6af is today at 6 pm in Palo Alto. Please register ASAP at http://www.eppicglobal.org .

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Trip to Hong Kong


80,000!!!!!!!!!

80,000 is the estimated number of the protesters at one point, this week in Hong Kong, demanding political reform.wpid-20140903_090631.jpgwpid-20140902_213725-1.jpg

wpid-20140901_182248.jpgHere are a few more numbers & some disparate facts, before I share about my recent visit to Hong Kong.

  • Hong Kong has the world’s 6th highest GDP (PPP) per capita.
  • Hong Kong has been ranked first in terms of economic freedom for 20 years (1995-2014) according to the Heritage Foundation.
  • According to one 2013 survey, Hong Kong was the world’s fifth largest foreign exchange market, in terms of turnover.
  • Daily turnover in Hong Kong interbank market averaged Hong Kong $200.9B in April, 2014
  • Hong Kong was one of the most active markets for raising Initial Public Offerings or IPOs.
  • Mainlanders pour in Hong Kong bringing with them money and culture clashes. In 2010, 20M mainlanders visited Hong Kong, last year, 41M, and the number is projected to be 100M annually, by 2020.
  • While Hong Kong GDP has risen by 50% in the last decade, the median household incomes have risen by only about 10%, causing wide income disparities.
  • Average income of people younger than 40 dropped by more than 11% between 2000 and 2010.
  • Number of elders age 65+ is expected to go up from the current 1.0M to 2.6M in 204, while there are likely to be fewer working age people to support the elders.
  • According to a recent survey in Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1 in 5 people said they would consider leaving the territory for a life overseas.

I did not enjoying my visit to Hong Kong very much, especially right after touring Japan, Hong Kong felt like a city without a soul.  When you consider the statistics above, it is not hard to imagine why.  Hong Kong is primarily a commercial center.  Culturally, there is a huge diversity but there is hardly much inclusiveness.  Populations seem to be segregated by class divisions, along ethnic, racial and cultural lines.  Consider for instance, this statistic.  There are an estimated 200,000 female domestic workers from other countries, living in Hong Kong.  They mostly work as maids for the city’s wealthy families.  I happened to be in Hong Kong’s Statue Square, on their day off.  They all gather on Sundays and visit with each other, play cards, eat, sleep, style each other’s hair and trade romance books.  Apparently, these “helpers” often work twenty four hours a day, six days a week.  Very likely, they don’t get paid enough to go eat out or enjoy movies on their one day off, and they simply gather in Hong Kong’s stations, parks, or outside public buildings.  I learned, that these maids are often yearning to go home, frequently go to bed hungry, are often sexually harassed, although there are some who are very happy with their employers.

Similarly, stereotypes about young and old, about classes, and different ethnic groups abound.  I heard many stereotypes.  One of the newest cultural divides has occurred between Hong Kong residents and mainland Chinese.  On one hand, the mainlanders are bringing with them money and are creating business opportunities, and giving Hong Kong economy a boost.  On the other hand, they annoy Hong Kongers, who see the mainlanders as uncouth, uncultured, and ready to get their kids to pee over a trash can. 

wpid-20140901_161632-1.jpgAnyway, one of the highlights of the trip was a visit to The Peak, the highest point in Hong Kong, in an exclusive, classy neighborhood.  We enjoyed absolutely incredible, breathtaking vistas of one of the most spactacular cityscapes, in the world.  What we see is an architectural evidence of the economic boom that hit the city, after the colonial power handed the former colony back to China, in 1997.  From here, you can feel the incredible commercial city humming below this amazing vantage point.  I could have stayed there all evening, but the heat was a little much for my travel companions.  we strolled over to a little cafe and enjoyed our cool lemonade, in the shade.

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wpid-20140902_111631.jpgThe Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, located in Sha Tin, in the New Territories, occupies an area of over eight hectares.  My travel companions were not interested in hiking up the steep hill, in order to reach the monastery.  So I went alone, while they enjoyed a cool drink and waited for me at a cafe below.  I climbed up the steep concrete path comprising of 431 steps, lined on either side with 500 life-sized gilded Arhan Statues.  At the top, there are five temples, four pavilions, one verandah and a pagoda. The monastery was constructed between 1949 and 1957 but then it took ten more years to complete the miniature Buddha statues, displayed around the walls of the main temple (apparently there are about 13,000 but in Cantonese tradition “ten thousand” represents a figurative term for an extremely large number.
wpid-20140902_114405.jpgwpid-20140902_112327-1.jpg

wpid-20140903_172208.jpgI also greatly enjoyed the visit to the Wong Tai Sin Temple in Kowloon, famous for having the prayers answered via “what you request is what you get” deal :).  I prayed deeply and then got my fortune read.  The fortune teller can only answer one question and it did not turn out as I had hoped.  I was wondering who would win in this conflict — would I get my money’s worth and would the fortune teller turn out to be correct OR would  my prayers be answered.  hummmmm……
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wpid-20140903_090631.jpgOur visit to the island of Macau was interesting.  Macau is one of the world’s richest cities, with the highest GDP per capita, by purchasing power parity, as of 2013, according to the World Bank.  Of course the reason I wanted to go there was to try my luck at the casinos in Macau.  Macau became the world’s largest gambling center in 2006.  In a mixed blessing, I won a large amount of money and then either I dropped my large bill or it was stolen somehow.  Easy come, easy go.  My travel companion was not interested in gambling and that halted further attempts on my part to try my luck.  We walked over to the historic Portuguese center of Macau (Macau is a former Portuguese colony) and enjoyed some Portuguese cuisine.

wpid-20140903_115543-1.jpgwpid-20140902_154152.jpg

wpid-20140831_184945-1.jpgGoing shopping is and always has been one of my least favorite activity and did not greatly enjoy it.  But massive and glistening luxury shops and huge bank buildings and other skyscrapers give an idea of the trade that is flowing through Hong Kong.

The protesters in Hong Kong are demanding real political reform.  While Beijing is willing to hold elections, it has announced that all candidates have to be approved by a screening committee, clearly in violation of China’s 1997 promise to allow free elections in 2017, according to the protesters.  Hopefully, the clamor for democracy will also spark opportunities for real dialog and change around broader issues of human rights like income disparities and ethnic tensions.

wpid-20140901_182335.jpgHere is a link to my review of the book “The Piano Teacher” by Janice Lee set during the brutal 3 years and 8 months of Japanese occupation of Hong Kong that started in December, 1941.  http://bit.ly/1j3GSYC

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સુખ એટલે….. – Gujarati Poem on “happiness is…”


હમણાની બે એરિયા ની “બેઠક” નો વિષય હતો “સુખ એટલે”.  તો નીચે તે વિશેનું મારું કાવ્ય પ્રસ્તુત કરું છું.  અને બેજા લેખકોને જરૂર માણજો આ બ્લોગ ઉપર http://www.shabdonusarjan.wordpress.com .

સુખ એટલે…….wpid-20140830_141357.jpg

સોનેરી પીન્જ્ડામાં બંધ પંખી ને માટે વિવધ રમવાના સાધનો, ખાવા પીવાની લ્હાણી
પણ કોણ કહી શકે કે આ પંખી સુખી છે, ભલે મળે ચણ જયારે જોઈએ તેને પાણી
કોણ આપે સુખ નું સરનામું, ચીંધે સુખ તરફ નો રસ્તો, સુખ ની વ્યાખ્યા ઘણી
જે સુખનો રસ્તો શોધે, સુખ બોટલ માં ભરી વેચે તે માલામાલ થાય, લેજો તેટલું જાણી

તો શું સુખ ખરીદી શકાય? તિજોરીમાં ભેગું કરી શકાય? વહેંચાતું મળે કે, વહેંચી શકાય?
તમે કદાચ ના કહેશો પણ હું કહું છું કે જરૂર શક્ય છે, આ સાંભળીને જશો ના ડઘાય
ખરીદવા જશો તો પળભરનું સુખ વહેચ્વાવાળા મળશે તેવું છે કહેવાય
અને સદકર્મોથી અને સદવિચારોથી સુખનો ખડકલો જમા પણ કરી શકાય

તો ભાઈઓ, બહેનો, સુખીજનો અને સુખ ના ચાહકો, કરશો નહિ સુખને બદનામ
બે ક્ષણ યોગા કરો, ચાર ક્ષણ બગીચામાં લટાર મારો, કે ક્ષણભર લ્યો રામનામ
પળે પળે સુખ પ્રાપ્તિ થકી ઝીંદગી સુખસભર બની રહેશે, છે તેવી મારી ગણતરી
પળભરનું સુખ વહેચાતું ન લહેવું હોય તો મળેલું સુખ વહેચી બમણું કરી શકશો તે ખાતરી

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JOBS – October, 2014


For the opportunities below, please send resume at wd_darshana at hotmail dot com.  Please indicate in the email how closely the job description matches your background and identify gaps, if any.  Also, indicate your current compensation and compensation expectations.  Please note: With the exception of the opportunities in China, other opportunities are only for local US based candidates, with valid US work visa (when need arises for applicants from other countries, I mention that under that specific opportunity).

Director of Product Portfolio Management – China

A leading biopharmaceutical company in China, with a goal to bring best products at local prices to Chinese populace, has an immediate opening for Director of Product Portfolio Management, in beautiful Suzhou, China. See details below. Compensation includes attractive benefits package + salary + stock options + an opportunity to work in state of the art facility & make real impact..

Requirements:
A candidate must have a Ph.D. degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biology or related disciplines and over 15 years of industry experience (or equivalent) of developing biologics, drug products and new formulations for various therapeutic areas for China and international markets.
* Demonstrated records of leading domestic and international generic drug product development that resulted in recent regulatory approvals in China, US or Europe
* Broad knowledge and experience about biologic drug product development including strategies and approaches, medical and market needs, and regulatory requirements in China and other major markets
* Extensive network with leading researchers in the research institutes and the industry who are engaged in biologics and innovative drug product development
* Excellent written and verbal language skills for communication in both Chinese and English

Responsibilities
This position, based in Suzhou, China, will report to the CEO and be responsible for leading the Product Portfolio Management Department to develop and manage drug product development portfolio for the company. A successful candidate will lead the department to leverage internal and external resources, establish and progress drug product development portfolio in alignment with company’s short term and long term business strategies and objectives.

Additional Responsibilities
* Build and lead the department comprised of functions including patent search, intellectual propriety (IP), product selection, cost analysis, budget planning and project management
* Collaborate with the marketing, medical, regulatory departments and manufacturing facilities to gain in-depth understanding of business needs, regulatory constraints and manufacturing facilities and capabilities
* Lead to establish R&D strategies in alignment with corporate business strategies by fully considering medical needs and marketing trends in different therapeutic areas, business priorities, regulatory constraints and manufacturing facilities and capabilities

Director of Analytical Research and Development – China

A leading biopharmaceutical company in China, with a goal to bring best products at local prices to Chinese populace, has an immediate opening for Director of Analytical Research & Development, in beautiful Suzhou, China. See details below. Compensation includes attractive benefits package + salary + stock options + an opportunity to work in state of the art facility & make real impact.

Requirements:
* A candidate should have a Ph.D. degree in analytical chemistry or related disciplines with more than 10 years of industry experience (or equivalent) in providing analytical support to API and drug product development.
* Demonstrated records of leading analytical development that resulted in recent regulatory approvals in China, US or Europe
* Extensive experience of establishing and implementing analytical control strategies (including specifications) and stability studies for innovative or generic drugs developed using scientific and systematic approaches
* In-depth understanding and practical experiences of implementing and operating under quality and regulatory requirements supported by successful passing GMP inspection and pre-approval Inspection
* Excellent written and verbal language skills for communication in both Chinese and English

Overall Responsibilities: This position will report to the Vice President of Quality, & be responsible for establishing and leading the Analytical R&D to support biological API, drug product and new formulation development for technology transfer, clinical supply manufacturing, domestic and international product registration and commercial manufacturing. A successful candidate will lead the department in collaboration with internal stakeholders and external partners to ensure drug product project progression, cost control and timeline while all technical, quality and regulatory expectations and requirements are met.

Additional Responsibilities:
* Establish and lead the Analytical Research and Development Department responsible for providing analytical support to API and drug product development portfolio
* Establish analytical laboratories by designing proper layout, equipping with analytical instrumentation necessary to support API, product and process development
* Build analytical teams with strong expertise to support API development including raw material testing, in-process control, API solid form and particle size control, and release testing as well as drug product development including excipient testing, in-process control and finish product release testing for conventional dosage forms (e.g., oral solid IR and MR, sterile products) and innovative drug delivery systems
* Implement standard operating procedures (SOPs) and best practices for analytical development activities and ensure technical, quality and compliance requirements are met
* Direct and ensure analytical project teams establish analytical control strategies, develop, qualify and validate analytical methods for API and drug product development, clinical supply manufacturing, registration and commercial manufacturing
* Project, identify, allocate and manage internal and external resources (including academic research institutes, CROs, and parent companies) needed to deliver analytical support to meet established timeline within budget
* Support regulatory submission, query responses and pre-approval inspections to ensure regulatory approvals
* Establish a good working relationship with regulatory agencies in China and other major markets. Participate and lead technical based engagement such as dialogues with regulatory agencies through industry associations
* Initiate and lead technical collaboration with external partners (including academic research institutes, CROs, and parent companies) to develop new analytical technologies or novel applications
* Provide technical assessment including due diligence to support business development opportunities
* Develop a training program for the department to ensure all essential training needs for technology, quality and compliance are provided

Director of Quality Assurance – Suzhou, China

A leading biopharmaceutical company in China, with a goal to bring best products at local prices to Chinese populace, has an immediate opening for Director of Quality Assurance, in beautiful Suzhou, China. See details below.

Reports to Corporate Legal Representative (as specified by law in China)
Direct reports – Manager of Documentation
Requirements: BS and 10+ years experience in QA for monoclonal antibodies & other recombinant proteins. Should be technical expert in QA & cGMP compliance including technical issues related in the manufacturing, testing & characterization of recombinant proteins; must have technical background to evaluate issues based on the science and not rely solely on historical precedent; must have experience in development of biopharmaceutical products for registration in the US and Europe, including experience in the preparation of documents that support regulatory submissions. Chinese language skill is a plus.

Responsibilities: Oversee Quality Assurance functions pertaining to release of drug substance & drug products; responsible for the controlled document system and the documents within the system including batch records, SOPs, validation records & other controlled documents; translating goals into action plan. Also responsible for staff development including cGMP training; ensure compliance with company policies & maintain safe work environment.

Project Manager – Pleasanton, CA

Innovative medical device company located in Pleasanton CA, has an immediate opening for hands-on project manager.  Experience with drug coated medical devices, drug coated balloon catheters, drug coated stents etc. highly preferred.  Also preferred mix of high level contributor who can work in the lab, doing studies, testing, process improvements, documentation etc. will be highly desirable.  Salary will be competitive and range between $120 to $150 K base, plus bonus.

Senior Electrical Engineer with Implantable Device Experience – Fremont, CA
There is an immediate opening in an exciting startup with innovative technology with a huge potential.  Requirements: EE background, medical device experience, and circuit design, FPGA, Verilog design, and schematic drawing experience required.  Need to be hands-on and will be working on a controller.  Pay will be in $130K range.

Catheter Engineer – Fremont, CA
Innovative medical device startup, located in Fremont, has an immediate opening for catheter engineer with 5-10 years baloon catheter development experience.  Salary will be commensurate with experience and will be in $100-$130 range.

Senior Manufacturing Engineer/ Manager – Sunnyvale, CA
Requirements include: Class 3, implantable, catheter, drug device combination products type of medical device experience.

Project Manager – Pleasanton, CA
Immediate opening for senior level project manager with medical device background.  Class III, drug coated device experience absolutely required.

Senior Python Automation Engineer – CA
There is an immediate opportunity for Senior Python Automation Engineer with 3+ years of Network Engineering experience (In Layer 2 and Layer 3 of networking protocols and features).

Biostatistician: Southern CA
There is an immediate opening for Biostatistician, with an innovative medical device company, located in Southern CA.  The position requires clinical experience.  The company is a leading developer of emerging microelectronic technologies that modulate nerve activity to treat disabling disorders, including chronic pain, depression, urinary incontinence and so on.

.jobs -- Cut To The Chase

.jobs — Cut To The Chase (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Highly innovative medical device company with cutting edge products to impact the quality of care, has an immediate opening for Biostatistician.  The company is a leading developer of emerging microelectronic technologies that modulate nerve activity to treat disabling disorders, including chronic pain. The company is investigating a number of innovative DBS technologies to treat other neural disorders, including migraine headaches, depression, Parkinson’s tremors, urinary incontinence, and erectile dysfunction.

Key Responsibilities:
- Act as a leader and subject matter expert for clinical study design and analysis.
– Collaborate with the rest of the Biostatistics & Data Sciences group on developing data collection and analysis strategies.
– Work closely with the Research Scientist, Project Manager, and Medical Director on development and execution of a range of clinical programs, including Feasibility, Pivotal, and Post-Market.
– Effectively communicate recommendations based on complex statistical concepts to Senior Leadership.
– Oversee and ensure the statistical integrity of all clinical programs.
– Lead the development and oversee the execution of the statistical analysis plans.
– Oversee the activities of the supporting Statistical Programmers in their implementation of statistical analysis plans.
– Represents Biostatistics on study teams and communicates with management and other team members regarding project/study status and timeline update
– Lead publication efforts in regards to data analysis and study results.
– Ensures the quality-controlled production of all tables, listings and graphs for clinical documents and publications.
– Independently lead research projects based on theoretical methodologies and/or publicly-available datasets to drive publications related to Biostatistics.
– Develop meta-analysis for existing clinical literature to enable data-driven strategic decisions for clinical program development and to support regulatory submissions.
– Collaborate with non-clinical colleagues (e.g. R&D, Marketing) on special projects.

Requirements
- Ph.D. in Biostatistics/Statistics or a field with a comparable quantitative/statistical emphasis
– 2 years experience in Biostatistics/Statistics research
– Excellent analytical and decision-making skills
– Excellent communication and presentation skills
– Strong independent statistics research skills
– Intermediate knowledge of SAS programming
– Excellent knowledge of experiment design and data analysis.

Marketing Product Manager – Southern CA

Global medical technology company and a leading developer of microelectronic technologies that modulate nerve activity to treat disabling disorders, including chronic pain has an immediate opening for Product Manager, at its Southern CA location. The Marketing Product Manager will be involved in all aspects of developing and launching devices.

Principle activities include:
– Working closely with cross-functional product development teams and generating voice-of-the-customer marketing specifications for product development
– Collecting feedback from customers throughout product development
– Supporting product commercialization activities across multiple internal and external groups such as design, packaging and labeling, regulatory claims, surgical technique generation, sales force education and operations planning.
– Developing and conducting market research
– Acquiring and analyzing feedback from key opinion leaders, current and potential customers, third party market research and internal stakeholders
– Possessing an in-depth knowledge of the healthcare industry in general and more specifically, the segments targeted by assigned products
– Participating and supporting a comprehensive launch plan and strategy for new product(s)
– Creating and implementing market development strategies to target key customers
– Developing product positioning, marketing messaging, and related marketing collateral
– Establishing relationships with key opinion leaders in the field
– Developing sales and physician education program

Requirements:
EDUCATION:
– M.B.A. or advanced degree strongly preferred
– Minimum BS degree.
– Degree in engineering or life sciences a plus
EXPERIENCE:
– 1+ years minimum experience of increasing responsibility in a marketing role
PREFERRED EXPERIENCE AND ABILITIES:
– Medical device industry experience strongly preferred; experience with Class III devices preferred. Technical or neurostimulation research focus.
– New product development or product management experience preferred
– Previous product launch experience
– Strong analytic and strategic thinking ability
– Ability to complete assignments of an advanced degree of complexity, working under little supervision on specific tasks or projects

Solidworks Drafter/ Designer – Southern, CA

Review and verify drawings Per ASME Y14.5M-2006 and Corporate Standard using ePDM system. Provide drafting and tool design support to the manufacturing, equipment design, process development groups. Create all appropriate mechanical drawings and appropriate documents. Create and implement technical studies & equipment installation qualifications.

- Model product concepts using current tool, analysis techniques, and technologies through use of parametric CAD software and other mechanisms. Designs components or portions of systems and modifies existing designs to develop or improve products and facilitate manufacturing operations.
– Perform Mechanical design/redesign of medical device products applying industry standards (e.g. ASME Y14.5M-1994) to detail drawings. Drafts tools and /or machines of varying types for use in the manufacture of company products.
– Create/modify/maintain documentation using tools that are tied to a data management system. Utilizes computer-aided design equipment and/or graphic tools such as, CAD, CAM or Solid Works.
– Provide support for OEM device documentation and Bill of Material structure support.
– Completes document packages by detailing parts and creating BOM and schematics following layouts, sketches and verbal instructions to ensure that all of the needed documentation is available for manufacturing process. Gathers information, makes studies, computes calculations, and prepares original rough layouts, sketches to present design proposal.
– Reviews and verifies design work of peers to check for compliance with standards and corporate procedures. Coordinates design criteria with engineering, manufacturing, tooling, material, and planning group such as ease of manufacture, availability of materials, and contractual specifications.
– Recommend: May review engineering order (EO) package by reading information on EOs (e.g. document description) and supplemental information (e.g., preliminary sketch) in order to identify missing information.
– May generate engineering change orders (ECOs). (CRM)
– May provide illustrations, animation and web publishing solutions that allow communication of 2D/3D product information for interactive assembly, maintenance/ restoration of documentation, product presentations and Federal and International compliance.
– Prepares and implement installation qualification protocols, and preventive maintenance procedures.
– Set up new equipment, ensures its satisfactory operation and instructs others to use the equipment properly.
– Participate in a team environment to enhance processes and product performance.

Minimum Qualifications:
– 5 years of experience working with SolidWorks in designing fixtures and tools.
– Familiar with ePDM
– Good understanding of the ASME Y14.5M

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Digital Health Trailblazers – event preview of upcoming EPPICGLOBAL event


US healthcare and healthcare globally,  faces some major challenges in the form of cost containment, effective coordination of care, and battling the spread of chronic diseases.  Can digital health give us leverage and tools for addressing these challenges?  At next EPPIC (www.eppicglobal.org) event, two innovative leaders in digital health, will share their perspectives.

Michelle Longmire is founder of Medable, a cloud platform that provides HIPAA compliant services to mobile and web applications.  Developers can build applications that communicate securely with Medable’s cloud platform using the Medable API.  Medable services are hosted on scalable, fault tolerant platform system.

Michelle Longmire is a physician-scientist, with a background in image analysis and processing and holds patents in machine learning as applied to medical diagnostics.  Currently she is training in dermatology at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, CA.

Anoo Nathan is Founder and CEO of Smart Montior, a device designed to provide monitoring and tracking solutions for people with chronic health conditions.  Blending sensor, mobile, and cloud technologies with big data analytics, Smart Monitor offers solutions that enhance safety and autonomy for people with chronic conditions.

Anoo Nathan is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded 2 companies, taking them from inception to profitability to exit and is an inventor on several patents.

The event will be at Lowenstein Sandler, LLP, 390 Lytton Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301, on October 7 at 6pm.  Price for EPPIC members is $10 and for non members is $20.  Register for this event at www.eppicglobal.org.
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Also tomorrow, September 30th at 8:30 am CEO & Founder of Corvectra, Chris Melton will speak on “Rocket Science Meets Biotech at the Frontier of Digital Health” at http://www.bio2devicegroup.org event at 456 West Olive Avenue, Sunnyvale.  This is a free event.  Walk-ins welcome.

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Mardaani – Hindi Movie Review


Rani Mukerji as Senior Inspector of Crime Branch, Shivani Shivaji Roy, is fierce, fantastic, and fearless in “Mardaani”, social problem focused, action packed film, directed by Pradeep Sarkar and produced by Aditya Chopra of Yash Raj Films.

Shivani is in hot pursuit of a teenage girl whom she has rescued once and has come to love her as her own daughter.  Clever in picking up clues, Shivani carefully seeks out her sources from the underworld.  She treats one of her sources to a lavish meal and he offers crucial information, in turn.  She thanks him saying, “mutton aur kolhapuri ke badle me achhi information dee re tune” and he responds, “bacchi ke liye dee hai, khane ke lliye nahi”.  Now it is up to Shivani to follow the trail and unmask the moneyed kingpins spearheading the brisk business of human sex trafficking.

Shivani’s fearless ferocity to catch these nasty warlords of the worst kind of trade, is accompanied with some sleek dialogues.  Walt, a grand mafia of sex trafficking tries to get Shivani to get off her pursuit of him.  She tells him “mein gaanv me peda hui thi.  mere ghar ke paas ek jungle tha aur usme bahot janvar rahte the, isliye janvar ki muje achhi pahechan hai.”  When she catches Walt, he says nonchalantly that he can bribe people and get out of jail.  She beats him and he asks if she will do encounter (a word used when a criminal is killed in police encounter, in India).  She is equally nonchalant and responds “jab koi ek marta hai to use encounter bolte hai, aur jab pachas log marte hai to use public outrage bolte hai”, cleverly setting the stage for what is to come next.

English: Savlon Sabsey Favourite Kaun Awards

English: Savlon Sabsey Favourite Kaun Awards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rani’s performance  is superb, alternating with emotional intensity, as she sees her family getting caught in the cross-fire, and fierce determination to catch the dons of the underworld and save the girls kidnapped by them.  The film is dealing with an issue of great societal significance.   India is the world’s largest hub for sex trafficking, with over 40,000 children abducted to ply the trade.  Every 8 minutes a girl child goes missing.  This film has action, mystery, and stays focused on its goal and does not get sidetracked with romantic interludes or glitzy songs.  Acting by everyone is perfect including Tahir Bhasin, Sanjay Taneja, and Jisshu Sengupta.  But it is Rani Mukerjie who carries the film, plunging straight into business.  On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being excellent, I rate it as 4.9.

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“Mary Kom” – Movie Review


Based on the life of the Indian boxer “Mary Kom”, the film produced by famed Sanjay Leela Bhansali and directed by Omung Kumar, is a typical underdog success story that leaves you feeling uplifted.

This is a story about dogged determination that enabled Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, Indian boxing champion to deliver killer punches to life’s obstacles that came between her and her love for the sport, including the insensitivity and bureaucracy of the Sports Federation.  It is also a story of quite but solid love.  Often when one spouse commits to a certain lofty goal, the other spouse picks up the slack.  Here the supporting spouse is the husband (Darshana Kumaar), who takes care of the household chores and babies, to allow Mary Kom the time and space to pursue her passion.  Mary Kom wins medals and championships all across the world, even as she struggles to strike a good work life balance.

English: LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (Feb. ...

English: LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (Feb. 15, 2011) Master-at-Arms Seaman Rhonda McGee, left, spars with Patricia Cuevas during an exhibition match in the preliminary rounds of the 2011 Armed Forces Boxing Championship. Competitors from each branch of service square off Feb. 15 through 18 and the action will be televised on the Pentagon Channel. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Elliott Fabrizio/Released) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Priyanka Chopra in the lead role is superb and plays her role persuesively.  Acting by Darshan Kumaar, Shishir Sharma and Zachry Coffin is also excellent.  It is a heart-warming story of passion that is fully pursued.  It enabled an unknown girl from a rural area of Manipur, to become a five-time World Amateur Boxing Champion, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each of the six world championships.  Nicknamed “Magnificent Mary”, she continues to pursue her passion while balancing her role as a mother, wife, and daughter.  On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being excellent, I rate the movie 4.7.

 

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