Archive for January, 2012

Living the Dream – Southwest Florida Global Research Institute

January 30th, 2012

Greetings From Florida - Southwest Florida Research Institute - Nick Jacobs, FACHEI’ve been on a blog hiatus — the longest since I began writing this back in 2005, but for good reason. Another former trumpet player, Kevin Taylor and I have been working on the creation of a research institute in Southwest Florida.  It will embrace an ambitious research mission, academic excellence and become the biotech engine of what could become the future of Southwest Florida’s clinical research, environmental, aging research, behavioral health and translational medicine efforts for the region.

The structure of the not-for-profit arm of this project and the strategic direction of this new 501(c)3 corporation will be the Southwest Florida Global Research Institute.

The initial primary services outlined in this plan are to outfit and set up a tissue repository. From this hub, numerous spokes will emanate that will include opportunities for faculty-student involvement from the Florida Gulf Coast University and other Florida universities, as well as research opportunities for organizations that will eventually feed other related organizations such as an incubator and an accelerator.

It is our intent to focus on the various ideas, concepts, and programs that have been embraced by the leadership of all of the local organizations with whom we have interacted during this effort to include health systems, universities, the private and public pharmaceutical and research communities, environmental science, public health officials and political leaders.

In the financial summary of a business plan, it is evident that the revenue from programs, grants contributions, sponsorships and subsidies must initially be the fiscal drivers behind all of the suggested work at SFGRI with a clear goal of having financial streams in place by year four of the operation to allow the organization to not only survive but also to thrive. With all relevant guidelines, requirements, restrictions, and recommendations in mind, let us begin with an analysis of each suggested area of concentration.

Southwest Florida Regional map - Nick Jacobs FACHE - HealingHospitals.comThe Southwest Florida Global Research Institute tissue repository is a key to growth for both research and biotech efforts in the region. Physician, faculty, staff and community involvement will all determine the degree of success that will ultimately emanate from this key research component, but the ultimate determinant for the success of this repository will come from professional guidance and initial oversight provided through the Clinical Breast Care Project’s Windber Research Institute Tissue Repository.

It is imperative that this program carries the most immediate gain for the overall success and future of the institute. The very essence of this initiative revolves around not only equipment and space, but also quality tissue derived through comprehensive protocols. In time, this effort could lead to an ongoing stream of funding that will help to meet the myriad fiscal needs of the other aspects of this project.

Equipment for setting up this program is relatively inexpensive, but expertise and recommendations for the actual business model are not and it is our recommendation that these efforts should be led through a consulting assignment with the Clinical Breast Care Project’s Windber Research Institute. In order to activate a comprehensive program such as this, highly skilled PhD’s and techs will be needed. Having contributed to the design of the numerous other programs and centers, we would recommend the researchers and employees at the Windber Research Institute as consultants to assist in this effort.  Under their direction, they have successfully put together and managed a similar program that has been identified by the National Cancer Institute as the only platinum quality tissue repository in the United States. They also have world-class experience in data management for the control of the tissue, as well as expertise in accounting, staffing, billing, and management systems that allow for the comprehensive management of the collected tissue.

Windber Research Institute - Image by PlanetRussell.netThe timeline for this program can be relatively immediate, but the overall effort must be seen as neutral and independent from all of the participating organizations. This tissue repository will contribute to biotech research which will enrich physician recruitment opportunities, for profit biotech spin-offs and training experiences for students in the schools of arts and science, business and public health at the local universities.`

In summary, the Southwest Florida Global Research Institute will be the centerpiece for what will become the vision of this region; care for aging, preventative medicine, auto-immune and diseases of the brain while spinning off companies to address all of these maladies and meeting these challenges. It will become part of a world-wide effort based in Southwest Florida with a singular goal —  to improve the health of humanity on many different levels.  That will be the mission of the Southwest Florida Global Research Institute.

Learn more:

Chico's in Lee County, near Ft. Myers, FL


The Brownies

January 8th, 2012

San Diego Chargers - Nick Jacobs, FACHEFive years ago, I wrote an article about my visit to the Steelers/Chargers game in San Diego. It was a special birthday gift for my brother. The Jacobs boys were dressed in Bettis shirts and, even though the Steelers lost that game, the San Diego fans screamed at us the entire way to the bus and wanted to brawl with us. If you have ever seen the two of us, even without the Bettis jerseys, you’d realize that not only was this humorous; it was hilarious.

Well, an old friend called me on New Year’s Eve told me he had an extra ticket and asked if I’d like to go to the Browns/Steelers game with him. The good news is that this guy has good seats. The bad news is that he lives there and is a Browns fan. The trip to Cleveland wasn’t bad, roads were clear, sun was in and out, and it only took two and a half hours to get there. (Getting back was an entirely different story that begins with the words…Lake Effect.) There are no tunnels, lots of four lane highways, and because the Browns had lost eleven games, there was almost no traffic on the way into the stadium. My buddy and I met at a downtown bowling alley/restaurant, had a salad and headed for the stadium with over an hour to spare. He was in his Browns attire, and I had my .

As we got closer to the stadium entrance, we saw what could only be described as a gigantic human traffic jam. There were literally thousands of people jammed up outside the stadium, and no one was moving anywhere. This is when the fun began. Several police cars passed us with lights and sirens flashing and roaring, and left us Browns and Steelers fans literally stacked on top of each other as we tried to get into the game.

Terrible Towel - Pittsburgh - Nick JacobsAt first there were a few rough words from Cleveland fans. For example, the Pitt in Pittsburgh was replaced with a plural word that rhymes with Pitt and ends in burgh. Then things started to heat up a little with more shouting between both sides in this massive stationary mob scene. Because neither my friend nor I would be considered Ultimate Cage Fighters, we just moved silently ahead one tedious inch at a time, hoped and prayed for the best.

Halfway through the first quarter, we made it to the pat down gate and watched as couples were broken up and women were sent to the back of other lines that were female only. We found this to be a curious situation because normally there would be a bag search line and a no bag line, but it is not typically a male line and a female line. Then we noticed something really strange. They were making the non bag carrying women remove their hats and gloves. What the heck was that about? Had there been a tip that some female terrorist was smuggling plastic explosives under her hat or in her mittens?

I stood beside one Cleveland fan who told me that he had been coming to these games for 55 years and had never experienced anything as brainless as this. Bottom line, we arrived at our seats three quarters of the way through the first quarter. Our outside the gate wait was nearly 90 minutes and no one, not the guards, not the friskers, not the ticket takers, not the ushers, and not even the hot dog sales people seemed one bit concerned or remorseful. I’m not sure what the announcers were saying about all of the empty orange seats, but the place was probably sold out. We just weren’t able to get into the stadium.

As soon as we sat down the 50 mph winds, rain and snow hit hard, but we won!


In the Room of an Eight Year Old

January 7th, 2012

His room is a virtual wonderland of enjoyment and entertainment.  It is a kid’s world of both toys and secret stuff.  Hanging from the underside of his top bunk are helicopters, at least four of them, filled with miniature GI Joes or WWE figurines ready to rappel and hit the bottom bunk bed to engage in a toy war or a wrestling match unprecedented in scope and dimension anywhere in this galaxy.
The floor of the room is covered with cat’s eye marbles from his race game, a DSI, his Harry Potter books and the white cardboard from my recently laundered shirts.  On these cardboard canvases, are incredibly complicated and elaborate drawings of pirate ships surrounded by sharks, whales, a dingy  or two and either soldiers or pirates from other ships poised to sword fight their way to ownership of the booty hoarded within the bowels of these terrorist vessels.  There are cannons firing into the sails of the enemy and bearded men with patches, hooks and peg legs fighting across the decks.

On his desk, which is a worn antique procured from the estate of his great grandparents, sits a wooden box that his father bought for him during his time in Iraq.  In that box are many of his most prized kid treasures: decorative coins, an arrow head, the tiny jaw bone from some skeleton found in the woods near his house, and multiple folded dollar bills of various denominations that had come from either his birthday party or various other celebrations.

On the dresser is an aquarium with two chameleons, neither of which are usually discernable with the naked eye as they disappear on either the brown piece of drift wood or the decorative green plastic leaves that had been carefully placed in the glass container.  The exhaust fan and light/heater are on 24/7 as the chameleons are fed a stable diet of crickets and more crickets.

On the window sill above the desk are several kid trophies from his numerous athletic accomplishments such as wrestling, horseback riding, football, soccer and baseball.  They say things like, attended wrestling camp, or participated in the horse show; you know, trophies that sometimes are more indicative of one’s capacity to breathe than to actually win any given sport, but they are his treasures.

There is a baseball autographed by the entire Pittsburgh Pirates team that someday will probably be worth less than the $12 paid for the ball, and beside that is a small statue of his favorite retro football star, plus a bobble head of what could only be described as a Thor-like figurine that is most probably representative of some other wrestling dude.  Finally there are pictures of him and his sisters from various Easter Bunny, Santa Claus visits.

Under the bottom bunk of the bed is a virtual arsenal of Nerf guns,  fake plastic knives, a flintlock pirate gun,  a toy compound bow with no arrows, and numerous Dollar Store plastic hand guns and automatic AK-47’s.   He carefully explains to me that, should an intruder make it past his dog, Chipper, and up the stairs to his room, he will be comfortably positioned under his bed and armed to the teeth.  (I pity the fool.)

The cupboard is filled with both new and hand-me-down clothes, and on top of the end table is a clock that consistently flashes the wrong time, no matter what time of the day or night you visit.  Finally, in the top dresser drawer is a collection of his poppa’s old cologne and a beaker where he carefully mixes his own, sometimes overwhelming fragrances.

It’s a virtual womb of comfort, practicality, and fantasy where everything is in place to imagine and dream his way through childhood.  I’m sure someday soon, he will add his own microwave and refrigerator. Oh, yeah, that would be college.