This post is part of our new Biotech Influencer series in which we interview the world's leading experts to get their take on the state of the industry, the top trends to watch for, and what the future holds.
The following is an interview we recently had with Dr. Atanas G. Atanasov, Professor and Head of the Department of Molecular Biology at the Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding in Magdalenka, Poland.
1. What are the top Biotech-related technology trends you're seeing?
AGA: There is much recent technological progress in the areas of gene therapy, biopharmaceuticals (biologics), 3D bioprinting, systems biology and personalized therapies. Biotech-related scientific information sharing also continues to evolve, with an increasing significance of open data initiatives and social media networks. Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing continue to become alternative approaches for biotech funding and problem solving, respectively. Open innovation platforms also are emerging as a new approach for biotech collaborations, with two examples of this being the Open Innovation Drug Discovery (OIDD) by Lily, and the International Natural Product Sciences Taskforce (INPST), which is managed by me.
2. How will AI change the Biotech industry?
AGA: With the ever-increasing accumulation of “big biodata” (derived from different “-omics” approaches, such as genomics, proteomics, metabolomics), AI has a key role to play in translating the information contained in these data into superior and innovative bioproducts (e.g., new biomolecules, personalized drugs). Since already today the available “big biodata” are of of too vast a volume to be handled by the human brain, AI applications are going to provide far-reaching future benefits.
3. How will blockchain change the Biotech industry?
✅ I can envisage blockchain as an excellent approach for integration of “big biodata”, which are so far scattered in multiple diverse public and private databases.
Think about the Wikipedia platform, which has many common features with the blockchain technology.
4. What's the future of Biotech?
AGA: We will witness more personalized biotech products and services, more collaborative work in their development, and greatly increased bioinformation availability and accessibility.
About Dr. Atanas G. Atanasov
Dr. Atanas G. Atanasov holds a MSc degree in Biotechnology from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, a PhD degree in Biochemistry from the University of Bern, Switzerland, and Habilitation (Privatdozent (PD) degree) in Pharmaceutical Biology from the University of Vienna, Austria.
Atanas is currently Head of the Molecular Biology Department at IGAB, Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland) and a Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Pharmacognosy, University of Vienna (Austria). He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers in the area of Molecular Medicine, Nutrigenomics, Biotechnology, Natural Products, and Molecular Pharmacology. His scientific work has been funded from diverse national and international agencies; he acts as a keynote speaker at multiple prestigious international conferences, and participates in the advisory boards of several biotech companies. Moreover, Atanas is an editor for several well-ranked scientific journals, and acts as research evaluator for diverse governmental and industrial funding organizations (e.g., for Novo Nordisk, The French National Research Agency (ANR), and The Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW).