Matthew Engel

Science and Technology Advocate

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Entries Tagged as 'Communications'

Social Media in Healthcare – FOBIP Seminar Series

January 19th, 2011 · No Comments

The FOBIP Alumni Network Executive Committee, Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine Present:


Social Media in Healthcare

Date: Monday, January 31st, 2011 at 6:30PM
Location: Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Icahn Medical Institute – 1425 Madison Avenue (@ 98th St.), 1st Floor Seminar room
Agenda: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm Panel Discussion
(networking reception to follow)

Click Here to RSVP

($10 suggested donation)


Social media is emerging as an effective tool for attracting business opportunities. Healthcare providers and patients are building online communities to help manage disease and sort through medical information. In the quest to improve outcomes, hospitals and clinics are using online social networks to discuss their medical practices and for patient outreach. The FDA is considering guidelines for the drug industry’s use of social media for drug marketing.

Dr. Michelle Hoffmann, of Deloitte Research, will be presenting a summary of a recent industry study she co-authored on the practical applications of social networks in the Life Sciences industry. Results from the study are based on interviews with executives in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as experts in the social media community. Her presentation will be followed by a panel discussion. The panel, composed of individuals experienced in the use of social media and communications, will share their thoughts on the opportunities, challenges, best practices, and value of social media for healthcare.

  • Presentation
    “To friend or not? New insights about social networks in the life sciences industry”
  • Michelle Hoffmann, PhD, Senior Research Manager, Deloitte Research.
  • Panelists
    • Bradley Jobling, MBA, Social Media Consultant, Dept. of Surgery, Columbia University Medical Center.
    • Louise Clemens, JD, Consultant on Digital Strategy for the Healthcare Industry.
    • Sandra Holtzman, President and Founder, Holtzman Communications.
    • Diane Zuckerman, RPh, CEO, Evidence-Based Solutions.
  • Moderator
    • Sarah Webb, PhD, Journalist, Science Writer and Editor, Webb of Science.

    Speaker’s Bios


    Sarah Webb, PhD, is a science writer and editor based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Discover, Science News,, Science Careers, Nature Biotechnology, The Scientist, Weekly Reader’s Current Health titles, and many other publications. She has a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in German from Furman University (Greenville, SC). After a Fulbright fellowship studying organic chemistry in Gieβen, Germany, she completed a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry at Indiana University in Bloomington. Committed to communicating science to the public, she shifted her focus from laboratory research to writing, editing, and informal science education. In 2004, she launched her writing career in New York City with internships at Discover magazine and as an AAAS Mass Media Fellow at WNBC-TV. Learn more at

    Guest Speakers

    Michelle Hoffmann, PhD, is a Senior Research Manager in Deloitte Research specializing in the life sciences sector. As part of Deloitte Research, Michelle keeps abreast of emerging trends and drivers that impact the rapidly changing drug and device industry. Michelle recently co-authored an industry study on the practical applications of social networks in the Life Sciences industry. Results from the study are based on interviews with executives in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as experts in Health 2.0. Prior to joining Deloitte Research, Michelle was a consultant in the Strategic Advisory group at Leerink Swann, a boutique health care investment bank where she helped clients understand how to value and leverage new therapies and technologies. She led projects on a diverse range of topics that include cell therapy opportunities, the diagnostics landscape, oncology clinical strategies, next generation sequencing, as well as numerous opportunity assessments. Her clients included start ups as well as top 5 biopharma companies. Michelle holds a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in biology from Cornell.

    Bradley Jobling, MBA, created the social media program for the Columbia University Medical Center Department of Surgery. He has 15 years of experience on Internet strategy and online marketing projects. His work has involved the advertising, media and health care industries. Bradley’s additional interests include online video and entrepreneurial businesses.

    Sandra Holtzman, President and Founder of Holtzman Communications, is an award-winning creative director and marketing strategist. She has over 20 years of expertise in all areas of pharmaceutical advertising (ethical, OTC, DTC), nanotech, biotech, and chemical as well as emerging and converging technologies. Her experience includes business-to-business, medical communications, and international marketing, as well as consumer marketing.

    Diane Zuckerman, RPh, is the CEO of Evidence-Based Solutions, a company focused on making medical data actionable, by collecting, organizing, and turning medical information into useful solutions for healthcare providers, patients, systems and payers. Diane is an entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building successful medical education and technology-driven companies, including PROmedica Communications and the Foundation for Better Healthcare.

    Louise Clemens, JD, is currently working as a consultant on digital strategy for healthcare agencies, hospitals, non-profits, to create online community for healthcare constituents using social media platforms that provide metrics and ROI. With more than 20 years of experience in solution selling, Louise’s most recent experience was VP of Business Development for Within3, a company that builds and sustains secure online communities for formal and informal networks of healthcare professionals. Prior to joining Within3, Louise was with a medical publishing company, where she headed a multi-million dollar biomedical device magazine and quadrupled its revenue within a two-year span. In addition, to her extensive sales background, Louise has her JD from Cleveland-Marshall School of Law at Cleveland State University ensuring that the custom community solutions she develops with each customer meet the stringent regulatory and legal requirements necessary to be successful.

    ANEC Logo CFB logo MSM logo

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    Embrace the Cloud

    December 23rd, 2009 · 1 Comment

    By now, most of us who use the internet daily have had some interaction with cloud computing. Cloud computing allows users to write documents, create presentations, spreadsheets or store data on a virtual server accessible via the web. The most well known example is Google Docs which allows users to create and collaborate on articles in real time, online. This way, you and I could be working on the same document simultaneously without having to email it back and forth. It allows for many users to be working on the same project at any one instant and automatically backs up the most updated version. It also allows you to store an almost limitless number of documents on the internet for free, thereby allowing one access to files from any computer in the world at any time, without having to lug around the data yourself. This is a tremendous convenience at no cost (for now).

    I have been using Google Docs for several years, and it has never inspired me to write a blog post. However, most recently I encountered a new piece of software/service which I found so convenient and useful, that I am rushing to spread the word. I would highly recommend making an account with the service Dropbox which gives you 2GB of webspace for free. So what’s the big deal you say? Dropbox features one of the most user friendly drag-and-drop interfaces I have ever seen. It allows you to toss files directly up onto the cloud from any computer – that has the dropbox application installed. And then download them from any computer. The only drawback of this process is that it requires you to download and install a program on each machine, however it is lightweight, relatively non-intrusive and worth the convenience of being able to store large quantities of files on the fly. What’s really cool, and a great marketing strategy, is that you gain additional storage space when you successfully invite users to sign up for the service.

    Dropbox Wiki

    When I discovered the service, I was curious as to how they make money. What is their business model? How does a company which provides services for free make any profit? I believe this is a common catch-22 on the web. Everyone wants information, services, and conveniences for free and we are so used to this almost no one is willing to pay for web content or storage space. Dropbox offers additional storage options beyond the 2GB for a fee – 50GB for $9.99/mo or 100GB for $19.99/mo. I questioned why anyone would pay for this or keep that much data on the web? The answer I got from a friend, was that once customers become accustomed to the conveniences of keeping their files on the web, they may eventually reached their storage limit and decide to splurge for an upgraded their account. I am curious how many paying vs. non-paying custiomers Dropbox has and how they plan to increase their paying user base.

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    New Fundamentals of the Bioscience Industry Program Alumni Website

    November 12th, 2009 · No Comments

    On Oct. 25, 2009 the Fundamentals of the Bioscience Program Alumni Organization launched its official alumni website: The Fundamentals of the Bioscience Industry Program is a semester long collaborative course covering information critical for students to prevail in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and business worlds. Graduate students are able to hear and watch seasoned professionals from both start-up and established companies describe their career paths and discuss their business models. The program has an excellent reputation for producing bright, motivated students who have been extremely successful in their careers.

    The target audience for the alumni website is professionals working in the biotech and pharma industries. I wanted to create a resource that would feature useful articles from alumni and guest authors with experience relevant to program graduates. One of my goals was to put a spotlight on the alumni and draw attention to the high caliber of its course instructors, graduates, and applicants. We hope to feature articles covering the the financial industry, venture capital, intellectual property, technology transfer, recruiting, and academia in relation to biotechnology. We want to provide information that will be useful to the start-up entrepreneur, industry veteran, and job seeker. Without any advertising we have had already 1,000’s of page views and hundreds of unique visitors. I am hoping that the content we generate will be a useful resource and we are aiming to add interviews and new articles approximately every 2 weeks.

    I dreamed up this concept in early Summer 2009 and discussed it with Kate Posnanski, Manager of Programs at the Center for Biotechnology. With the help of many program alumni such as Jenne Relucio and Banke Fagbemi, we were able to bring the project to fruition and launch the website this Fall. I decided to use my experience creating websites use WordPress to generate the blog format with some additional features. We have an alumni page we are trying to build on every day featuring over a dozen of our graduates.

    On the techie side, I used WordPress as my publishing platform with the Red Evo News Blue theme from Red Evolution installed. This theme evens offers a modest support forum which was able to answer some of my questions about theme customizations about controlling the length of the except. The except is the text displayed on the homepage describing the content of an article in brief. Also, I took advantage of using custom fields for the first time. Before creating this site, custom fields were a complete mystery to me. I found this video tutorial EXTREMELY helpful, and now I use the custom field to display images on the homepage for each post. There are both thumbnail and featured image custom fields available, built into the Red Evo News Blue theme. This was also the first time I embedded a Google Calendar into a website. That part was extremely simple, and if you want to know how to do that check here.

    In summary, I hope to continue building this special website, which I hold dear to my heart and hope it will bring alot of benefit to the Fundamentals Program and its graduates. Cheers!

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    WordPress Application for LinkedIn and other news

    September 17th, 2009 · No Comments

    It has been some time since I wrote a post on here, and it is for a good reason. A lot of great and interesting things have been happening, and I still plan on sharing them. I have to say the one thing about writing a blo, and that is the longer you wait to post something, the tougher it becomes. I have alot of great ideas floating around my head, and several of them already have legs. I often see or hear something in the news and think “Gee. That would be really great to write about on my website”. Alas, it hasn’t been happening as frequently as I would like. However, the topics I have in the pipeline are going to grab your attention and capture the current trends in energy, technology, and financial investments in these fields. They include a report on biofuel start up companies, the mass production and marketing of electric vehicles, a new 37 Megawatt solar panel plant being built at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the launch of a new website I have created and a note on my passing of the Ph.D. qualifying exam in biomedical engineering at Stony Brook University. This is alot of stuff to write about! For now, I just wanted to mention that I’ve linked this blog with my LinkedIn profile using their WordPress application. To see this, you have to be signed into LinkedIn and able to view my full profile. Check it out, it’s really neat! I’m wondering if it’s possible to link multiple blogs there, since I actually manage almost half a dozen websites by this point. Hope to keep you posted and have a great week!

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    Google and Microsoft Absorb College Email Accounts

    August 18th, 2009 · No Comments

    Everyone know’s Google is still growing. Backed by their powerful webmail client, Gmail, Google is adding universities to their ever growing list of clients, according to Time magazine. Both Microsoft and Google are offering webmail services to colleges all over the US for free! This can save a school millions of dollars a year in server storage space, security management, and network maintenance. It has allowed major universities to streamline IT staffing or much better yet, refocus their efforts on actually helping students learn and teachers communicate via technology. Traditional university email accounts are capped at 100mb with very little space for attachments. Many users treat gmail as a free data storage dump emailing themselves hudreds of pictures, documents or pdf’s as a back up so they can be downloaded on the fly. The amazing search capabilities and add-on features for gmail such as color coded labels, multiple inboxes, viedo chat, and collaborative document editing place the service in high demand for tech savy students. When Gmail shed its beta test icon just this July after 2 years of ‘trial’ use, major universities such as Notre Dame, Brown, Cornell and Georgetown have all begun implementing their service. Personally, I am confused by Google’s business plan here. How can this be a profitable enterprise when they are giving services away for free to major clients? Their is no advertising, so that revenue source is gone. The real value I see here, is that 1) Google could start charging users for this service at any time – though they probably never will, and more importantly 2) Google has access too all your data. As much as we would like to think our information is completely secure, we all know that any information written in an email can be used as evidence and is not considered private. Email providers make no promises about the security of our emails, and the vast sums of information now on Goggle’s network is priceless. This itself is an interesting topic and worth exploring more in the future.

    Tags: · , – Social Bookmarking system

    January 15th, 2009 · No Comments

    I have recently become a fan of a new service known as This pioneering system allows one to easily access their own internet bookmarks from any computer in the world, while providing a simpler and faster method for bookmarking pages and accessing them. Recently, I became tired of bookmarking pages using Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox’s inherent system which I found archaic, flawed and cumbersome.

    Using the typical bookmarking strategy built into the web browser, it is difficult to retrieve your own bookmarks as they are often buried in a folder directory substructure. To keep my bookmarks organized I was constantly having to save them in particular folders and making new folders so as to more easily find them. My directory structure of bookmarks was becoming large and extensive. In addition, it required an exorbitant amount of clicking and moving the mouse around, which I try to avoid at all costs. Their blog cites 5.3 million registered users. provides a mechanism for bookmarking pages with a single click then tagging that bookmark with keywords. Your bookmarks are updated in real time on a webpage just for you in chronological order. I cannot recommend enough that you should sign up for an account and try it for yourself! You will quickly become a convert if you spend any amount of time on the web and need to keep a large volume of webpages for reference.

    In addition there are some very cool and unique features. Being as this is a social bookmarking system, other users can see what you are bookmarking. There is a simple option to keep all of your bookmarks private, or only certain ones. For each of your bookmarks, you can see how many other people have bookmarked the same page. The homepage shows you the most popular bookmarks on right now. Your tags can be quickly searched and managed by popularity and usefulness. There is an efficient Firefox add-on which allows you to integrate bookmarks and tags into your browser. If you are tired of managing your bookmarks using your web browser, this is definitely worth a try. Don’t forget to import your bookmarks from your current browser – their existing folder names will be used as their tags.

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