Personalized Medicine: A Case Study of Academic-Industry Collaboration

Date & Time

Wed, 08/08/2012
5:30-7:00 pm


In discussing strategies for academic industry alliances, Patrick Groody, a Divisional Vice President with Abbott Molecular referenced this quote from Steven Covey during the August 8 Exploring Ethics program. Groody was joined by Richard Schwab, director for the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center Biorepository, as a panelist for this second program in the Ethics Center’s 2012 Summer Series on Meeting the Challenge of Conflicts of Interest. For this program titled Personalized Medicine: A Case Study of Academic-Industry Collaboration, Groody and Schwab repeatedly emphasized the compelling need for new and improved diagnostics and therapeutics to better serve patients. With this end in mind, the evening’s discussion examined the arguments for academic-industry partnerships, how those partnerships might be best constructed, and some of the challenges that need to be addressed.

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This program was made possible in part by support from:

Please note that this program was held at:

  • Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine
  • 2880 Torrey Pines Scenic Drive
  • La Jolla, California


This was the second of three programs in the Ethics Center’s Summer Series 2012, titled:

Meeting the Challenge of Conflicts of Interest: Academic-Industry Collaborations.

This series seeks to find answers to two central questions:

  1. What are the challenges raised by conflicts of interest when industry enters into collaborations with academic partners?
  2. What existing or new mechanisms might mitigate or eliminate the real or perceived ways in which such collaborations compromise the integrity of science?

To view a recording of this event, please click here.


Patrick Groody
Abbott Molecular

Pat Groody is the Divisional Vice President, Research & Development, Abbott Molecular. Pat started his career in 1986 as a Research Scientist at Amoco Corporation in Naperville, IL. From 1987-1992 he was Technical Support Manager at GENE-TRAK Systems in Framingham, MA. Pat joined Abbott in 1992 as Manager, Technical Support in the Abbott Diagnostics Division. From 1999-2001 he was Director of New Product Development for Abbott in Wiesbaden Germany. From 2001-2002 he was Sr. Director of Area Manufacturing Operations, also in Wiesbaden. In 2002 he returned to Abbot Diagnostics in Illinois and became Director of Research and Development. He became Sr. Director of Manufacturing and Operations from 2003-2005 in Downers Grove, IL. From 2005-2006 he became Sr. Director Operations for Abbott Molecular in Des Plaines, IL. He was promoted to a Divisional Vice President Quality and Operations for Abbott Molecular in 2006-2009 and became Divisional Vice President and General Manager, IBIS at Abbott Molecular in Des Plaines, IL from 2009-2011. Pat is currently the Divisional Vice President Research & Development, responsible for all assay and systems research and developments projects for Abbott Molecular, Des Plaines, IL. Pat has a BS in Chemistry from University of Connecticut an MS in Organic Chemistry and Ph.D. from Northwestern University.

Richard Schwab
UC San Diego

Dr. Schwab’s research focuses on biomarkers to diagnose and refine the treatment of cancer. In support of biomarker studies, Dr Schwab directs the UCSD Moores Cancer Center biorepository which prospectively collects de-identified blood, urine and tumor specimens. This biorepository consents its donors for use of their specimens by for-profit end users. Over the last 6 years a large number of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have used these specimens to study new cancer biomarkers and drugs. Dr. Schwab also has direct experience with the FDA both with his own investigator IND and as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry, specifically supporting an IND submission in metastatic breast cancer. Lastly he was a co-founder of Wintherix LLC, a startup biotechnology company focused on drug discovery in the Wnt pathway.

Event Resources



American Association of University Professors (2012): AAUP Recommended Principles & Practices to Guide Academy-Industry Relationships.
This report highlights a variety of concerns with academic industry collaborations and concludes with numerous recommendations.

Association of American Medical Colleges [AAMC] (2012): Implementing the Final Rule on Financial Conflicts of Interest in Public Health Funded Research.
“The goal of this report is to provide institutions subject to the new rule with some insight into how their peer institutions were thinking about these issues in the first few months after announcement of the new rule, and to provide a range of contemplated approaches.”

Institute of Medicine (2009): Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice.
“This Institute of Medicine report examines conflicts of interest in medical research, education, and practice and in the development of clinical practice guidelines. It reviews the available evidence on the extent of industry relationships with physicians and researchers and their consequences, and it describes current policies intended to identify, limit, or manage conflicts of interest. Although this report builds on the analyses and recommendations of other groups, it differs from other reports in its focus on conflicts of interest across the spectrum of medicine and its identification of overarching principles for assessing both conflicts of interest and conflict of interest policies. The report, which offers 16 specific recommendations, has several broad messages.”

Pfizer (2009): Academia and Industry.
“This brochure illustrates how collaborations between academic institutions and pharma companies can result in actions that benefit patients. It is not meant to convince you that one group or the other is always right, but rather to discuss the issues and demonstrate, through case histories, how interdependent we are.”

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America [PhRMA] (2009): Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals.
PhRMA, which represents pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, first introduced this voluntary code in 2002 to guide relationships between industry and healthcare professionals.