Rustling up the Right Brand

Construction Apprenticeships

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This article was prepared for the October 17, 2001 edition of

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From Genomics To Pharma Gold

Sequencing the genome was a triumph, but the next step

— finding the structure of the genome — is what will produce

the pharmaceutical gold. The concept of structural genomics emerged

only four or five years ago, says Gaetano Montelione of Rutgers

University’s Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine (CABM).

"Only a rough draft of the complete human genome sequence became

available last year. There is a long way to go even from small

molecules

to things you can use in humans."

He points out that the sequencing is generally thought to be a major

landmark in human intellectual history, "and it will provide many

opportunities, but to impact healthcare we need to understand what

the proteins do that are quoted by the genes, what they look like,

and how they work." A "Structural Genomics in Pharmaceutical

Design CABM Symposium" is set for Wednesday and Thursday, October

24 and 25, at the Doral Forrestal. It is being presented by the

Rutgers’

CABM, the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, and the

Princeton Technology Institute. Cost: $495, with some fellowships

available. Call 609-987-1202 or go to www.nesg.org or

www.genomics-bioinformatics.com

This is the first U.S.A.-based scientific conference in which

Princeton

Technology Institute will participate. PTI is the new division of

Hannover Fairs-USA at the Carnegie Center. The organizers include

Aaron Shatkin, Edward Arnold, Montelione, and Ann Stock

of the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The conference

focuses

on new research, technologies and trends in structural biology for

pharmaceutical design, structural and functional genomics. Speakers

are coming from Yale, Harvard, Rockefeller University, Argonne

National

Laboratories, University of Washington, National Cancer Institute,

and Glaxo Smith Kline. Scientists — even those from Europe and

Asia — says Mette Pearson of PTI, seem unaffected by any

airplane travel concerns.

Among the Rutgers-based speakers are Casimir Kulikowski, who

chairs a panel on informatics, and Helen Berman, who will

discuss

Rutgers’ Protein Data Bank. Masayori Inouye of the medical

school

chairs a panel on protein production and drug design, with

contributions

from Arnold and Robert Powers of Wyeth Research. Donna

Bassolino

of Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute chairs a

structural bioinformatics panel that includes Rutgers professor

Ronald

Levy and John Chiplin of GeneFormatics Inc. Peter Lobel

of the medical school is also a panelist.

The CABM’s first meeting, held in Avalon, was the first public meeting

in this field. Both New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology

and the National Institutes of Health fund CABM’s academic research,

and a number of pharmaceutical companies are also involved. One of

the ways that academic institutions can transmit information to the

New Jersey pharmaceutical companies is by having meetings and inviting

their participation.

Another academic/corporate exchange opportunity will be when Princeton

University’s Center for Photonics and Optoelectronic Materials hosts

an annual review on Thursday, November 1, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., in the

university’s computer science building (www.poem.princeton.edu).

Among the subjects will be medical and biomolecular imaging presented

by Warren S. Warren of the university and Wlodek Mandecki

of PharmaSeq, nanofluidics and DNA detection by Jonas Tegenfeldt,

and synthetic gene networks for cellular based competition by Ron

Weiss. Cost: $50. Call Debra Warren at 609-258-4454 or E-mail:

dwarren@princeton.edu

Rutgers’ Montelione says that, after four years of CABM’S organizing

conferences on the genome sequence project, the next step is to

determine

structures and biological functions of the proteins. "Genes are

like the blueprints for little machines that are the proteins,"

says Montelione, a Rutgers professor of molecular biology and

biochemistry.

"Once you discover the gene, you don’t necessarily know what the

protein does or what it looks like. To make drugs — to design

small molecules to fit in its crevices and nooks — you need to

know the protein’s function and what it looks like."

"From the first meeting, a lot of interest was generated both

in private industry and in the federal government," says

Montelione.

"In part, because of that meeting, the NIH created a $200 million

fund for nine structural genomics projects and Rutgers is the center

of one project. We continue to hold these meetings to bring together

people in the field to look at new ideas."

Rutgers is one of nine centers that NIH has funded for $25 million

each. This Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (www.nesg.org)

also includes Columbia and Yale.

Rutgers also has the protein data bank, called Research Collaboratory

Structural Bioinformatics (www.rcsb.org), that is the international

depository for all protein structures that anyone discovers with

federal

funding. It has about 10,000 structures, deposited over the past 20

years, and the size is growing exponentially. As a requirement of

the NIH funding new structures must be deposited in this bank within

six to eight weeks of their discovery, and then they are in the public

domain.

A graduate of Cornell, Class of ’81, Montelione has a PhD from Cornell

and did postdoctoral work in Zurich, Switzerland, and the University

of Michigan at Ann Arbor. "I stated as a marine biologist but

continued to get more details on how things work at a molecular and

at an atomic level. By the time I graduated, I was a physical chemist,

and later came back to biology but with very strong physical

chemistry."

"The reason I was drawn into structural genomics is that I am

a structural chemist, but my field is molecular biophysics, and I

am in a very strong molecular biology department at Rutgers,"

says Montelione. "So early on I was more aware of the gene

sequencing

projects than some other molecular biophysicists."

Montelione’s personal research focus is on the technologies for making

the samples and determining the structures very rapidly, and in

developing

data collection methods and automated analysis software for 3-D

structures

from nuclear magnetic resonance radiography and x-ray crystallography

data. What is the earliest possible date to get good information on

structural genomics, good enough to really accelerate drug discovery?

Montelione thinks this field is 15 years behind the gene sequencing

efforts, even if massive funding comes through: "Fifteen years

ago, they were in the stage we are now."

"Now, you can sequence thousands of genes a day," he says.

"Traditionally, it takes six months or a year to reach the goal

of through-putting one three-D structure. Our goal is to through-put

one structure a day."

Top Of Page
Rustling up the Right Brand

The American Flag, the Playboy Bunny, Coca Cola, and,

trailing behind in fourth place, the Christian cross. Survey after

survey places these aggressively marketed icons as the most recognized

symbols in the entire world. You may not care if some yak herder in

outer Mongolia recognizes your company emblem — at least not yet.

But wouldn’t it be nice if every Garden State resident automatically

linked your logo with your firm’s product?

"How to Build Your Brand and Grow Your Business," a seminar

to be held Wednesday, October 24, from 8 to 10:30 a.m., aims at

helping

you do exactly that. Sponsored by the advertising firm Princeton

Partners

of Forrestal Center and by Piscataway-based Avantt Consulting, the

workshop will feature speakers Fred Teger, Avantt’s vice

president,

Georgeann Occhipinti, Avantt director, and Marc Englesman,

head of Princeton Partners’ Brand Intelligence Office. Together, they

will guide participants through the process of selecting a brand

name/logo

and infuse it with the focused direction of their company. The seminar

is at Middlesex County Community College’s Edison Campus, the Bunker

Lounge in the Student Center. Cost is $50 for those pre-registered

before October 19, $75 at the door. Register at 609-452-8500. Further

information can be obtained from www.princetonpartners.com/seminars.

"Too many companies," notes Avantt’s Teger, "begin by

grinding out a product that they love; then planning an ad campaign,

then as an afterthought, they slap on a brand name or logo." The

product never becomes differentiated in the public mind, because it

never gets truly defined in its own company’s mind.

For the past 25 years, Brooklyn-born Teger has labored to aided high

tech and other firms helping forge unified business plans, each behind

their chosen brand. Using his Columbia and University of Pennsylvania

electrical engineering training, Teger became vice president of

Sarnoff

and head of product development for Phillips Electric. He saw early

on that businesses needed more than merely engineering and producing

the best available widgets. During his past three years with Avantt,

he has — in his words — "taught strategic planning to

the strategically impaired."

The brand name, Teger insists, remains the lynchpin of all your

company’s

planning — both long and short range. And it begins at home. Every

employee, from the lady on the line to the woman in the boardroom,

must know exactly what their brand stands for, what they are striving

to achieve in the market. And most important, it must govern each

and every daily decision of each staff member.

Initially, Teger points out, company leaders should analyze their

competition, the market, their products and their own realistic

capabilities.

From there they must select exactly what they want their brand to

represent. Do you want to be a price leader, a la K-Mart? The most

attractive price regardless? Do you want to go top of the line, and

blanket your public image with a quilt of quality, service and

dependability?

Maybe you have the edge on speed and service.

Whatever your choice, this product goal must be communicated within

the firm. "Ideally," says Teger, "your brand name and

its meaning should be explained within a simple, single page.

Something

that can be posted, and every employee will understand how his

particular

job fits into the total goal." If service stands as your forte,

each receptionist will need a thorough response training. Maybe she

needs to sound smug rather than perky. Trying to sell class to the

masses? Your maintenance, and building crews had best learn the value

of keeping that showroom ultra plush.

Once you have focused your energies within, the time has come to

strike

your product outward. The right brand name will act as a short cut

to the public mind for every aspect you want to stand for — and

a few things you’d rather they forget. "Rolls Royce" instantly

embraces images of comfort, incredibly smooth ride, status, luxury,

quality and absolutely mythical service. It also conjures up visions

of rare and specialized mechanics taking their own sweet time while

installing only extravagantly priced parts. To help companies harness

a flow of more positives than negatives behind their brand, Princeton

Partners’ Engelsman has developed a six-step brand delineation

program.

Upon leaving his hometown of Madison, New Jersey, Engelsman took a

crammed-full bachelors degree at Ohio Wesleyan, where he majored in

Theater, Speech and Broadcasting, with a minor in Journalism. "It

was a meld," he says, "made for advertising, and it led me

to a full decade with several New York ad firms." Now after an

additional nine years with Princeton Partners, Engelsman agrees with

Teger that selecting the right brand and making your firm "totally

true to it" stands as the first and most important step. Yet the

remaining five will bear witness of your efforts to the public.

Making the Promise. The company needs to make a covenant

with its customers. Even if it’s only "use our soap and you will

smell good," the client must feel that every product line of yours

carries something beyond the tangible item is his hand.

Presentation. Once your market niche and offerings are

solidified, they must be presented behind the proper brand name, logo

and perhaps a motto. Ideally it speaks directly to the product and

all you offer. "Nobody Beats the Wiz" (the actual company

name) leaves little doubt that here is probably a great place to seek

out the cheapest possible television set.

Personality. Every sale entails an emotional component.

The car buyer wants his value reinforced. He wants to feel he made

the right choice for all this cash he has just plunked down. Snapple

buyers want something different. So instead, Snapple has convinced

folks that theirs is a fun thing — ideal for this casually

purchased

drink.

Rational Proposition. This variant on Brand Personality

caters to the rational side of the purchaser. "Nine out of 10

dentists endorse . . ." or "Special safety features have been

recently installed . . ." The emotional and rational parts of

a product’s desirability must be kept in balance.

Also, notes Engelsman, "people are smarter than you think. The

best way to kill a bad product is to give it good advertising. Your

product had best live up to its brand name in every aspect or every

succeeding product will also be deemed a lie."

Brand Pipeline. Is it best to sell your designer floor

tiles in Home Depot and Lowe’s or would you create a more valued image

through a series of small custom decorating shops? Whatever levels

of product quality, service, speed, etc. you select, must be able

to be carried through your entire distribution network.

As a final note, Teger believes that the financial side of brand

planning should come at the end. It remains much easier to expand

or redistribute business assets, than to re-switch onto the right

track a brand name which has begun rolling wrong.

— Bart Jackson

Top Of Page
Construction Apprenticeships

Labor union apprenticeships can be hard to find, but

here is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor in the

construction

industry. The Middlesex County Economic Opportunities Corporation

(MCEOC) will hold an information meeting and candidate screening

session

on Thursday, October 25, at 6:30 p.m., at Tabernacle Baptist Church

in 239 George Street, New Brunswick.

Those approved to be apprentices will get free classroom and hands-on

job training at the New Jersey Building Laborers Training and

Apprenticeship

facility in Monroe township. Classes start in January.

To be eligible, candidates must have a New Jersey driver’s license

and either a high school diploma or a GED equivalent. Candidates must

be in the low to middle-income bracket. Graduates of this program

join the Laborers International Union of North America to work on

construction projects administered by the MCEOC. Call Beverly

Williams

at 732-324-1580.


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