Project Data Sphere
Q&A with Kald Abdallah, Project Data Sphere CEO Roundtable, Sanofi
Q. How would you describe the purpose and goals of Project Data Sphere to your mom?
A: The goal of PDS is to connect people to data. Today, with the vast amount of data accumulating, we are recognizing that one of the bottlenecks to advance research is brainpower! There was a need to have a platform that quickly connects people to data, so that data can be transformed into useful information to foster discoveries. PDS aims to be a technological platform that connects brains to data in order to generate discoveries and accelerate solutions for patients with cancer.
Q. Involvement in consortia goes beyond the scope of your regular day-job at Sanofi. What keeps you motivated you to stay at it?
A: It is the best part of my day. Involvement in a consortium provides an opportunity to increase your network through meetings and discussions with very diverse and smart people. I am always learning. Besides that point, the growing complexity of the world requires collaborations to tap into the intelligence of the network. I don’t believe we can afford to work in silos any longer when facing complex problems such as cancer.
Q. What has surprised you the most about Project Data Sphere? What weren’t you expecting?
A: The passion of everyone — people with very different background/ style of thinking — all working together with a common goal. It has an aesthetic on its own. Beyond the team, I also was surprised how fast everyone involved began to trust and collaborate. I was expecting much more skepticism about the capacity of industry, academic, and non-profit organizations to work together. I believe PDS’ fast credibility is related with the ability of the project team to balance a solid high-level view of the research evolution, with a well-grounded plan on how to execute it.
Q. If you could trade places with anyone in the world for one week, who would it be?
A: I would love to trade for a week with the Dalai Lama.
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