Pittsburgh, PA. Sept 1, 2015. Author and research scientist James Lyons-Weiler, PhD has teamed up with other professionals from around the country to launch a new type of research institute that is designed to provide impartial research results and views on some of the most important and controversial topics in biomedicine, psychiatry, and sociology. Conducting science in a way that is independent of any profit motive – so the results can be better trusted – will be the core paradigm of the institute.
The Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge (IPAK) is the first of its kind in the country. Research conducted by people who, under the by-laws, can have no financial stake in the outcome of the research will be key to insuring ethical, rigorous, objective, and impartial results for the studies they conduct. Putting knowledge at the center, instead of profit, will also allow the institute to keeping the cost of infrastructure down. As such, IPAK qualifies as a “pure public charity”. It will work with partner institutions in a manner keeping with the highest standards of scientific objectivity.
“This approach is innovative and definitively counterculture to the mainstream of for-profit research” says Dr. James- Lyons-Weiler, whose own career has stretched twenty years in basic, biomedical, and clinical research. He recently published a book “Ebola: An Evolving Story”, in which he analyzed all of the information coming from West African reports, US government and international agencies, and the media to objectively sort out fact from fiction. He used second book, “Cures vs. Profits: Successes in Translational Research”, due out in 2016, as a means to celebrate the many advances in biomedical research made possible by people conducting research with integrity.
The Institute will focus on numerous primary “Project Areas”, some of which are very important to people in Hampton Township and the greater Pittsburgh region. They include Accuracy in Treatments (e.g., inappropriate use of medicines in nursing homes), ADHD Overdiagnosis, Early Alzheimer’s Diagnosis and Treatment, Early Detection and Diagnosis of Emerging Diseases, Vaccine Safety Research, and factors contributing to Veteran’s Suicide.
“These are hard topics to study, but they affect so many people through public health policy and treatment options, they deserve rational, empirical studies conducted with much more objectivity than they have received to date” says Dr. Lyons-Weiler. Collaborating across institutions and areas of expertise will also be a key to insuring success in these areas. Lyons-Weiler says he learned about the high priority and the need for profit-free research in these areas while writing his second book.
“I discovered in researching my first book that many of our public health policies in response Ebola, and the actual practice of medicine in the fight against Ebola, are not always based on logic, or even based on fact, in many cases. For the second book, I interviewed experts in all of these research areas, and others, including cancer vaccines, and I found a core set of characteristics of research scientists whose work led to improvements in biomedicine. A focus on research integrity was at the core. The advances I review in the book are rock-solid.”
In an era of massive profits in medicine, and with news of scientific fraud increasing, the public has trouble trusting results from any particular study. “The profit motive biases researchers and institutions to specific interpretations – and millions of lives can be impacted when those biases obscure the actual signal in the data. In this era, profit-free objectivity is innovative – and IPAK is at the forefront of that innovation.”
Funding of IPAK will be through donations, foundations, grant support and memberships in SPAK, The Society for Pure and Applied Knowledge. IPAK scientists will compete for government and foundation grant funding in all of these areas.
Dr. Lyons-Weiler also hosted a fundraiser for the 16,600 orphans of Ebola in West Africa, which raised over $1,000 to help fund UNICEF to house orphans in West Africa. He says the epidemic was completely unnecessary. “We were told – quite frankly – that the reason why no vaccine had yet been developed was because there was no profit motive for companies to underwrite their development. IPAK researchers will work on critical developments to produce knowledge that can be used to reduce human pain and suffering – for its own sake.”
Other Project Areas include Compassion Use simplification (easing the burden of FDA paperwork for terminally ill patients seeking use of experimental drugs), FDA clinical trial reform, and colon cancer prevention.
IPAK headquarters will be located north of Pittsburgh, PA.
For more information, visit ipaknowledge.org
For questions about IPAK, contact jim@ipaknowledge d-o-t org