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Fierce's Top 10 Biotech Techies

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Tech-savvy scientists can help pull the biopharma industry out of the proverbial muck. Drugmakers have fallen short of expectations in translating research breakthroughs into medicines. There are no quick and easy solutions to the industry's problems--biology is infinitely complex, research budgets are finite and the development cycles are long.

Nevertheless, FierceBiotech IT (the information technology wing of the mother FierceBiotech ship) has selected a list of 10 innovators who are challenging the status quo in their respective fields--with computer-based tools playing central roles in their endeavors. The people, who we've playfully dubbed the top "biotech techies," have a wonderful mix of backgrounds. One used to work for a video game maker. Others pioneered DNA sequencing methods. Another has led IT for some of the largest drugmakers in the world.

Given the turmoil in biopharma, reading about the work of the people in this report should give you some hope in the future of the industry. They are building platforms for global collaboration in drug discovery and disease research, developing tools to explore the underpinnings of complex diseases and advancing approaches that could speed the translation of digital research data into treatments for patients.

Many of these innovators are in the midst of developing unproven technologies. While their projects might be unfinished, all of their efforts show great promise. Some of these people (and you) might even disagree with our choices. We welcome ideas about who else should get the spotlight. There's no doubt that there are many experts who deserve to be but aren't on the list. That said, we solicited nominations from our readers and biopharma leaders to help us make our picks.

Enjoy these brief profiles on this year's crop of Fierce's top biotech techies. If you are new to FierceBiotech IT, subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get plugged in to all the news covering the increasingly important role of IT in the discovery, development and marketing of treatments. -- Ryan McBride (Email | Twitter)

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