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Thursday, September 7 • 14:00 - 14:45
Big Data and hidden ways to study drug interactions

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In 2016, Roe was the lead writer and reporter on “Dangerous Doses,” an innovative investigation into prescription drug interactions that produced not just groundbreaking journalism but groundbreaking science. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/druginteractions/

   The project involved a unique journalism collaboration with data scientists, pharmacologists and cellular researchers at Columbia University Medical Center, most notably data pioneer Nicholas Tatonetti. The team set out to discover drug combinations that might be causing a potentially fatal heart condition. By mining the universe of big data in new ways, then testing in a lab, the team uncovered several potentially risky drug pairs. Two scientific papers resulted, including one in a top cardiovascular journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27737742

   Roe wrote about the collaborative approach for Columbia Journalism Review: http://tinyurl.com/zpxu6nf Another CJR article lauded the project: https://tinyurl.com/jepg2et, as did Columbia University: http://tinyurl.com/gqmk829

   For another story in the series, Roe worked with leading scientists at the University of Arizona and the University of Washington to show that pharmacies often fail to warn patients about deadly drug interactions. The investigation, the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind, resulted in major reforms at thousands of U.S. pharmacies as well as new laws and policies.

   The investigation won numerous awards in 2017, including one from the National Academy of Sciences. It was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

avatar for Sam Roe

Sam Roe

Chicago Tribune
Sam Roe is a Chicago Tribune investigative reporter. He was part of the reporting team that won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for an examination of unsafe children’s products. He has also been a Pulitzer finalist four times, most recently in 2017 for an investigation into dangerous prescription drug combinations. For that project, he collaborated with data scientists at Columbia University Medical Center to uncover drug pairs linked to a serious heart condition. Roe also worked with researchers to show that pharmacies often fail to warn patients about deadly drug interactions. Another investigation sparked a U.S. ban on the export of mercury, and articles on the hazards of the strategic metal beryllium prompted the U.S. to pay victims $13 billion. Roe also exposed how the chemical and tobacco industries waged a deceptive, decades-long campaign to promote flame retardant furniture and downplay the risks. Those stories, featured in the film... Read More →

Nicholas P. Tatonetti

Columbia University

Thursday September 7, 2017 14:00 - 14:45
Seminarraum EG (B55) Erich-Brost-Institut, Otto-Hahn-Str. 2, 44227 Dortmund

Attendees (10)