Case Studies

  • Technology-Driven Future of Cancer Research
    Lab-engineered cells are injected into a patient where they latch onto a tumor and deliver a lethal therapeutic payload. Another type of synthetic cells attaches to the inside of a person’s intestines and becomes detectable using ultrasound if they encounter cancerous cells. These are the kinds of groundbreaking projects that came out of October’s virtual… Read more: Technology-Driven Future of Cancer Research
  • Coming Together (Virtually) for a Healthier Africa
    One thing we love about working with scientists is that they are motivated by trying to make the world a better place. They see problems, such as the need to apply the latest in data science to improve public health in Africa, and they step up. That’s what Harnessing Data Science for Health Discovery and… Read more: Coming Together (Virtually) for a Healthier Africa
  • Coordinating Sustainability Research & Innovation
    Future Earth is bringing the world’s climate scientists together in a coordinated way so that precious time and resources are not lost. The organisation recently held a Virtual Summit to get it through a crossroads in its fulfilling its mission.
  • Accelerating Science With Big Data
    Many scientific fields have yet to realize the potential of Big Data. That’s where NSF’s Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) comes in — from improving our chances of detecting dark matter to resolving the tree of life. The HDR All-hands meeting brought together principal investigators to share best practices and discuss how to grow the community.
  • Realizing the Benefits of Basic Research
    It takes more than innovative science to get funding for basic research these days. Researchers applying for grants must also demonstrate the “So what?” of their science. In addition to convincing grant reviewers of the intellectual merit of their proposals, scientists must also show the potential for broader impacts and how they plan to work… Read more: Realizing the Benefits of Basic Research
  • Next-Level Bioelectric Medicine
    In recent months, some scientists have found themselves asking: “Do we let this pandemic slow down the science that could help people live healthier lives?” Last month, organizers, mentors and 29 researchers decided the answer was ‘no’ and showed up for the first all-virtual Ideas Lab, an experiment in itself.  The lab was hosted by… Read more: Next-Level Bioelectric Medicine
  • Empowering Ambassadors of Science
    Researchers who collaborate with others must be able to describe and discuss their work with fellow scientists, both within and outside their area of expertise. We’ve noticed that those who work best on the cross-disciplinary teams that form at KI events are not just translators, but ambassadors. They are sensitive to differences in language and… Read more: Empowering Ambassadors of Science
  • CAREER Workshop Goes Virtual
    The decision to go virtual was for organizers of the 2020 NSF Engineering CAREER Proposal Workshop. Sure they’re a group of tech-savvy engineers, but they had never offered a multi-day event online before. Eventually, they decided they needed help with the tech side of things so that could focus on the event and with making their agenda more virtual-friendly. Participants not only reacted positively to the event, almost half said they would prefer a virtual workshop in the future.
  • Reducing Opioid Deaths
    The State of Connecticut sees a disproportionately high number of opioid-related deaths. In response, UConn’s Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy held an Ideas Lab to bring together a diverse group of academics and stakeholders to come up with innovative ways to address the problem.
  • Beyond the Skin-Pinch Test for Scleroderma
    Researchers blame a low-tech skin-pinch test, in part, for the routine failure of potential scleroderma drugs in clinical trials. Modernizing the evaluation of potential drug therapies was the focus of the three-day Scleroderma Diagnosis Sandpit hosted by Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK February 26-28, 2020 at the Wellcome Collection in London.
  • Plotting the Course for Systematic Biology
    Systematic biologists study and classify the diversity of life on earth. What they do is at the heart of evolutionary biology and, some would argue, biology as a whole. The Society of Systematic Biologists met January 3-6, 2020 at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Their conference, SSB 2020: Systematics in the Swamp, included a KI facilitated workshop to plot a course for the field for the coming decade.
  • Remodeling the House of Science
    Today’s young scientists are under enormous pressure. Setting up new labs, teaching courses for the first time and conducting publication-worthy research all at the same time can take it’s toll. But, some young researchers are learning about — and putting into practice — collective leadership, which they hope will lead to a much-needed institutional makeover for science.
  • Resolving the Tree of Life
    Scientists have long used physical traits to shed light on evolutionary relationships. Sometimes this has worked, like using lactation to group mammals. And, sometimes, it hasn’t: people once thought bats were featherless birds! Today, evolutionary biologists rely more heavily on molecular-based phylogenies to resolve relatedness. But, what they haven’t been able to do is address big picture questions about how observable traits (phenotypes) evolve across higher taxa. 
  • Biology’s Jupitershots
    The Reintegrating Biology workshop series uses KI’s methods of deliberate creativity to identify new research questions that could be addressed by combining approaches and perspectives from different subdisciplines of biology, the key challenges and scientific gaps that must be addressed to answer these questions, and the physical infrastructure and workforce training needed.
  • Managing Shifting Marine Species
    Our love affair with the ocean runs deep. Humans love to live next to the sea, honeymoon on islands and dream about summer road trips to the beach while tapping away at our keyboards. During lobster and crab season, we enjoy the food, community and culture of the Northeast U.S. Likewise, we celebrate shrimp and red snapper seasons on the Gulf Coast and halibut and salmon seasons in the Pacific Northwest. But, what if those seasons change or don’t come at all?
  • How to Catch a Glimpse of Dark Matter
    Scientists think that about 25 percent of our universe is made up of stuff you can’t see or feel. They’ve named this non-luminescent mystery material dark matter. Some think dark matter is hot (HDM) while others think its cold (CDM). And, yes, some say – you guessed it – warm (WDM). The cold theory has the most support to date. But, even within camp CDM, physicists don’t agree on what it’s made of. It could be made of WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles). Or, appropriately enough, MACHOs. (We’re not making this up!)
  • The Trilemma Challenge: Food, Health & Ecosystem
    Feeding the planet in the 21st century means doubling production of food, feed, fuel and energy while at the same time making food systems sustainable, inclusive and more efficient. It’s a food-health-ecosystem trilemma. CSU researchers are forming interdisciplinary teams in order to come up with innovative ways of meeting the challenge.