2013 CommerceNet intern, Yuan Kang, a graduate student at Columbia University, presented his CN work at DUMA 2014, the 5th International Workshop on Data Usage Management, part of the IEEE CS Security & Privacy Workshop (SPW 2014), in San Jose.

His work, entitled “RAPPD: A language and prototype for recipient-accountable private personal data” was co-authored by CommerceNet Executive Director Allan Schiffman and Senior Fellow Jeff Shrager. The RAPPD system lets the originator of a data-containing email message express his or her privacy desires regarding the data, and provides some accountability for the use and forwarding of that data by the recipient. Jeff Shrager also contributed to a panel at the workshop. He discussed how accountability might evolve in the coming age of intelligent machines, like self-driving cars.

According to the Cambridge Health Institute (CHI), “the need for a more precise, predictive approach to medicine has never been greater, as we face two fundamental crises in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Healthcare costs are spiraling out of control in the face of near epidemics in diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, an aging population, and soaring costs of new technology. Moreover, the pharmaceutical industry struggles as increasing costs, patient expirations, and the demise of the blockbuster model puts a premium on innovation and efficiency.

For 16 years, CHI has tracked the growth, challenges, and opportunities in this space; and on February 25 – 27, 2009, it will host the 16th International Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference in San Francisco, California.

CommerceNet’s own Dr. Jay M. Tenenbaum will give a plenary keynote on February 25 from 8:55 – 9:40am that focuses on “Therapy Development in a Network World.”

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The PRISM Forum has an international membership of senior life science informaticians drawn from a number of biopharmaceutical organizations. The Forum meets twice a year, once in Europe and once in the USA, to exchange precompetitive information and to consider the application of emerging IT technologies within the biopharmaceutical research process.

Marty Tenenbaum, chairman and founder of CommerceNet and chairman and chief scientist of CollabRx (a CommerceNet Portfolio company), gave the keynote address at the PRISM special interest group on open innovation. His presentation focused on the structural problems in the existing drug development process and how open innovation and Health Commons can minimize them–making it affordable to develop treatments for rare and orphan diseases.


Imagine a virtual marketplace or ecosystem where participants share data, knowledge, materials, and services to accelerate research. This Health Commons is a bold vision whose aim is no less than to change the processes, economics, and culture of translating basic research into drugs.

25+ million patients and their families suffer from over 6,000 orphan diseases that are currently uneconomical to address. The time is ripe for a radically different approach that leverages collaboration and the Internet to enable small teams of researchers to develop new therapies in a cost-effective manner and get them to patients quickly.

Virtual biotechs, using innovative research and clinical and business strategies, will exploit the Commons to slash the time and costs associated with drug development. As a result, a small group of patients with a rare disease can fund the development of new therapy in time to save their own lives. In the age of genomic sub-typing and personalized medicine–where every disease is potentially an orphan disease–the implications are far-reaching.

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“On June 23, FasterCures hosted a meeting of the nonprofit disease research foundations in The Redstone Acceleration and Innovation Network (TRAIN). The meeting focused on the important strategic role that foundation funders of research can play in shepherding promising research through the pipeline or continuum, particularly through the ‘valley of death’ that exists between government-funded basic discovery and commercial development.”

Jeff Shrager, a CommerceNet external fellow and Chief Technology Officer at CollabRx, demonstrated a virtual biotech, a Web-based collaborative research platform that enables funding organizations and research teams to manage, track, and prioritize their operations, as well as to share data, knowledge, resources, and services.

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CommerceNet Executive Director Allan Schiffman gave an informal talk at Carnegie Melon University’s West Coast campus on June 12, 2008, titled “Computer Security: Situation Hopeless, but not Serious.”

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The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a large, open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers committed to making the Internet work better, hosted a workshop on peer-to-peer computing and network neutrality in Boston, MA (May 27, 2008). CommerceNet Fellow Lisa Dusseault attended this event, which includesd position papers on the topics from several of the participants.

W2SP 2008: Web 2.0 Security and Privacy 2008 brings researchers and practitioners from academia and industry to focus on Web 2.0 security and privacy issues, as well as establish new collaborations in these areas. CommerceNet Executive Director Allan Schiffman and CommerceNet Fellow Rachna Dhamija participated in this May 22, 2008, event at the Claremont Resort in Oakland, CA.

The Canary Foundation Early Detection Symposium (May 20 – 22, 2008, at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California) serves as a forum for members of the extended Canary Foundation Network to meet and share their successes, challenges, and visions for the field of early cancer detection. Their goal is to work together to generate and optimize strategies for the discovery, validation, and dissemination of early detection tests. CommerceNet Chairman Marty Tenenbaum attended this event that includes academic researchers, clinicians, and commercial and foundation partners.

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The IIW workshops focuses on the technical, social, and legal issues related to user-centric identity and identity at large; the ultimate goal being a decentralized, user-oriented identity layer for the Internet. CommerceNet Executive Director Allan Schiffman attended IIW2008 event, May 12 – 14, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.

With investors and business leaders facing so many questions in today’s difficult economic environment, the Milken Institute Global Conference (April 28 – 30) in Los Angeles was the place to be. CommerceNet Chairman Marty Tenenbaum attended this important event that brought together some of the most extraordinary people in the world to discuss, debate, and deliberate today’s most pressing social, political, and economic challenges.

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