ChemDraw Video: How to Use ChemDraw Without a Mouse

Taking the Pain out of Chemistry Drawing

Every scientist is keenly aware that time equates to money in scientific discovery. Increasing productivity means keeping up with the latest tools that allow more time for actual research to take place. 

In response to helping scientists increase their productivity— and after more than 30 years of honing our chemical drawing expertise thanks in large part to our very passionate customers— we decided that it was time to draw simple things more simply. With that, we invite you to take a tour of the latest features in ChemDraw® with our ChemDraw Wizard, Pierre Morieux.  

Enjoy the Tour:  How to Use ChemDraw Without a Mouse

Throughout the video, you’ll be in a mouse-free zone learning how to create molecules amazingly fast with hotkeys that only require the arrows on your keyboard. Consider this: with ChemDraw, you can insert a carbonyl group with the simple keystroke “2”. What’s more, with the new hotkeys, you can continue typing without touching your mouse once. An amide bond then simply becomes “2,n,1”. 

Enhanced hotkeys make drawing complex molecules much easier.

Time-saving Tools at Your Fingertips

Are biomolecules your area? You’ll learn about the new HELM tool bar to more easily define custom biopolymers. Looking for a faster way to process NMR and MS spectra? Mnova ChemDraw Edition is the ideal fit.  Ready for a new lab notebook?  Modernize with Signals™ Notebook Individual Edition, our new cloud-based ELN that helps you capture, manage and share your chemistry research data quickly and confidently. 

Developing, Storing, Sharing Chemical Data Just Got Easier

Many scientists consider the ability to easily develop, store and share chemical and molecular data from their research just as important as the science itself.  We surely agree, and hope you’ll agree following the demo that ChemDraw, the new hotkeys, and our other productivity-boosting features make your research that much easier. 

When Art Meets Science

Visualization as a powerful communication tool

We live in a world of displays: on laptops, smartphones, tablets, smartwatches. These devices bring together technologies to make our lives better, but, above all, their key feature is that they’re primarily visual. Rich colors, high resolutions, and bright backlights enable an engaging experience. It is not surprising that these devices resonate with so many, since we are visual beings with significant portions of our brain dedicated to processing this kind of stimuli. 

Recognizing this inspires us to explore innovative ways to communicate our ideas. For scientists, this is even more critical. What good are our ideas, research, and data if we cannot communicate them efficiently, comprehensively, and elegantly? This inspiration and a personal passion for art have shaped how I communicate my work and knowledge as an organic chemist and have, most recently, inspired me to create infographics. I hope that my inspiration, experience, and some of the principles that I share here will encourage you to incorporate infographics in your own publications, teaching, and learning, with a solution that I have found useful: ChemDraw.

The inspiration
I have always had a fascination with art and creative expression from as early as grade school through college and beyond. Using colored pencil as my primary medium, my sketches evolved to drawings, and my drawings evolved to thematic collections.  Colored images were always more memorable than words alone. 
This preference for imagery also influenced my choice of scientific field: organic chemistry. Early in my education, I was fascinated by the look of chemical structures. I still appreciate how concisely they can convey so much useful information. And I think that many chemists would know what I mean if I said that a given structure illustrates a “beautiful molecule”. 
As a scientist, experimental data is the most important outcome of my work.  However it is meaningless unless we can communicate it to others. Visualizations are our most powerful tool for accomplishing this.

This simple truth was also encouraged by my post-doctoral advisor, K. C. Nicolaou, who emphasized that a great publication should include schemes that are able to convey the complete scientific story to the reader before they look at even a single word of text.

This same principle appeared later in an American Chemical Society (ACS) webinar: Mastering the Art of Scientific Publication, that I attended. In particular, the discussion on preparing a table of contents with images resonated with me. This seemingly minor addition can make a publication stand out and be more accessible for readers. Infographics, which expand upon our traditional visual tools of structures, graphs, and tables, are perhaps the most striking and accessible way to accomplish that. 

Infographics are very popular in the media and take center stage in some of the most-read publications including National Geographic and WIRED Magazine. They capture the attention of the reader and present information in a concise yet comprehensive and memorable way. 

In chemistry, some of my favorite educational infographics are made by Compound Interest and Andy Brunning, who I discovered recently. His work has encouraged me to think about how I could create my own chemistry infographics using ChemDraw to organize and convey useful knowledge. Later this gave birth to my blog: ChemInfoGraphic

Most of the subjects for my recent infographics are inspired either by chemistry tutoring or personal experience. When exploring a topic in chemistry or solving a problem, I have to identify what principles or patterns my student needs in order to see the bigger picture or to understand a key relationship. As I tackle these challenges, I think about how to visually organize these principles or relationships. 

In making infographics I have three goals: 
(a) to summarize the related information in a concise, useful, and presentable manner; 
(b) to facilitate understanding and recall of the larger picture: see the relationship and connection between challenging concepts; and 
(c) to encourage learning by presenting information from a different and sometimes unconventional perspective, utilizing mnemonic rules, for example.

Examples and Illustrations:
An effective infographic has several key features. It should maintain 
(a) content accuracy
(b) be useful to the audience, and 
(c) have aesthetic appeal. 

Content accuracy is undoubtedly the most important aspect of any infographic. Usefulness is a rather subjective criterion. I find an infographic useful if it covers complex, narrow, or broad subject matter in a manner that is efficient, comprehensive, or even unusual, unexpected, or unconventional. It is also useful if it is memorable and helps to organize and easily recall concepts and relationships. The aesthetic appeal of the image captures attention and can also help with recall. Several factors contribute to aesthetic appeal: the size, position, and amount of text; the proportions and utilization of empty space; symmetry and color selection or complementary color combinations are also important.  

Achieving all of this can be challenging, but with the right mindset and tools it can be accomplished. For the design of my infographics, ChemDraw has been my paintbrush. It is the best tool for creating a wide variety of visual representations. It is familiar to me from my graduate and post-graduate work and best-suited because it is designed specifically for chemists – though not only chemists use it. ChemDraw saves a lot of time to digitalize an image and has a library of premade building elements (templates) and simple images. Moreover, I find that the software is rather intuitive and versatile. Using creativity, I am able to not only draw a molecule (or chemical reaction), but also to create flow charts, diagrams, tables, and more complex schemes and drawings. I have created a diverse array of infographics using ChemDraw including: 

Tables, Schemes, and Figures
These infographics are more traditional, however, they can also be essential. I started using this sub-type initially to capture and demonstrate
nomenclature (naming) rules (See Fig. 1) 
general chemistry concepts or terms

Figure 1

Nomenclature of Organophosphorus Compounds table: This infographic provides a summary and general trend (color-coded: blue color for P(III) and maroon color for the higher oxidation state P(V)) to name ogranophosphorus  compounds containing O and N atoms. Here I used gradient and color to make the infographic both visually interesting and to show key groupings and common elements among the structures and their names. ChemDraw’s tools make it easy to add visually interesting color gradients. 

Flow Charts
These are generally great for summarizing. I often use them to condense and compare one or several chemical concepts, especially if different (sub)levels of classification are involved. For example, Stereoisomerism in particular (and Constitutional or Isomerism flow charts) compare the differences between conformational and constitutional isomers and demonstrate the relationship between several commonly used terms such as: enantiomer, diastereomer, epimer, anomer. I strive to make it a condensed yet comprehensive reference source for my students and myself. And I specifically focus on highlighting relationships, differences, and similarities with other terms and definitions by presenting classifications and representative examples. (See Fig. 2)

Figure 2

Stereoisomerism flow chart: This infographic summarizes the relationship between configurational and conformational isomers. It also classifies other type of isomers (diastereomer, enantiomer, atropisomer, etc) with numerous examples. The consistent use of color helps to quickly determine the appropriate and historic nomenclature conventions. I also used the “single bond” tool in ChemDraw to create a classification hierarchy. 

Star Diagrams
These infographics are very popular and useful for conveying the breadth of chemical properties of a particular functional group, class of compounds (Alkenes, Alkynes, Alkyl Halides, etc) or a reagent (Grignard).  Such symmetric infographics emphasize the diversity of chemical transformations and help students to memorize individual reaction conditions. 

I encourage the thoughtful use of colors to convey useful information, especially if the main feature of the infographic is breadth and diversity. This is illustrated in the case of Alkyl Halides and Diazonium Chemistry. The central element uses color to capture attention and create a focal point and the emanating arrows guide the eye to the variations around the center. Here color helps to focus attention on the difference between the structures around the center and emphasizes the synthetic diversity of diazonium chemistry. (See Fig. 3)

Figure 3

Diazonium Chemistry star diagram: This infographic summarizes the synthetic utility of diazonium salts and demonstrates the scope of functional groups, which can be accessed using this approach. Here a focal point with arrows guides the eye, and consistent use of color helps the reader see the differences between structures.

Figure 4

Grignard star diagram: This infographic summarizes the versatile chemical reactivity of a Grignard reagent and emphasizes its capability to react with a vast scope of functional groups.  
Additionally, the popularity, simplicity, and usefulness of star diagrams encouraged me to develop additional variations to capture more general synthetic approaches and transformations: Aryl-Aryl Coupling or Condensation reactions (See Fig. 5). 
In those cases, the infographic is less specific with respect to particular reaction conditions or functional groups and usually highlights a wider scope of numerous named reactions. These are best for illustrating the bigger picture and providing a more general overview of synthetic transformations. For example, we can group the reactions in chronological order to present them from a historic perspective.

Figure 5

Aryl-Aryl Coupling star diagram: This infographic summarizes general scope of aryl-aryl homo-coupling and hetero-coupling reactions with a special emphasis on named metal catalyzed aryl-aryl coupling transformations. It creatively presents the years of discovery of each coupling reaction in chronological order mirroring the progression of time on a clock.
These infographics illustrate several examples of formats that I have used, each suited for the type of information it conveys. The versatile palette of tools in ChemDraw and thoughtful planning have helped make the creation of the visuals efficient. 

My foray into creating infographics has helped me to organize key concepts and information and to present them in a concise, memorable, and creative fashion with the help of my digital paintbrush: ChemDraw. By creatively organizing and presenting ideas using a smart layout, color scheme, and illustrations, I have strived to create visual summaries that are pleasant to look at and useful to reference. A balanced combination of art and science, they present a novel and creative way to convey information. They fulfill our inherent preference for visuals and help to communicate knowledge and information in science. I hope that sharing my inspiration and approach will encourage the incorporation of infographics in teaching, learning, and publications

Roman A. Valiulin is a synthetic organic chemist who is currently working as a scientist in the medicinal chemistry group at a biopharmaceutical company in Boston. He is also a passionate teacher and host of ChemInfoGraphic. Connect with Roman on LinkedIn.

ChemDraw 17 - Chemistry at the Pace of Now

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Over the last 30 years, science has evolved rapidly…and so has ChemDraw®. 

With ChemDraw® 17’s updated features and benefits, the latest version of the world’s top chemistry drawing program keeps you right where you need to be – at the cutting edge of science. ChemDraw® 17 features all of the functionality of ChemDraw® 16 plus a number of innovative features to further accelerate your research.

Trusted by more than one million users, ChemDraw® is the preferred platform of chemists and biochemists to draw, store, analyze and share chemical structures and reactions. 

Introducing Hotkeys – Complex Chemistry at a Keystroke

Among our new features is Hotkeys, placing the most complex chemical drawings just a few keystrokes away. Whether it’s a huge biomolecule or a complex reaction scheme, Hotkeys make it easier and faster than ever to draw complex chemical structures. 

If biochemistry is your focus, we’ve got great news for you in ChemDraw® 17!  We’ve added HELM notations to keep pace with the progression of biomolecular science. HELM (the Hierarchical Editing Language for Macromolecules) is Pistoia Alliance’s emerging global standard for representing and sharing large biomolecules


Integrated HELM Notation 
& Metadata Tagging

HELM notation is now fully integrated, so you can easily and quickly share your research with the world.

With Metadata tagging, it’s simple to add defined or ad hoc metadata to your document. ChemDraw® provides an easy, intuitive way to mark up your documents to enforce corporate standards or add additional criteria to enable search & recover.

ChemDraw® 17 also supports the latest in standards Compliance. Data elements and structures are uniquely identified in accordance with the most current standards to keep pace with evolving regulatory and quality requirements

Chemistry at the Pace of Now. 

These are just a few of the new additions to ChemDraw®’s suite of features that over a million users trust every day to quickly & accurately draw, store, analyze and share their chemistry – whether they are in the lab or working in the cloud. Learn how to enjoy chemistry at the cutting edge. 

Download a Free Trial and learn about the power of PerkinElmer’s ChemDraw® 17. 

A Global Collaborative ELN: Signals Notebook

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The ELN Evolves to Scientific Research Data Management & Decision Support

While ELNs were initially introduced primarily for IP compliance purposes, the benefits of electronic lab notebooks have extended & embraced global collaboration and workflow support. 

Today, ELN systems are positioned to manage substantial portions of R&D data in a research organization. It’s a significant shift, and it means that a properly developed & implemented ELN can play a fundamental role in decision support. 

Expanding Role of Today’s Lab Notebook Integral to Decision-Making Process

Michael Swartz, VP of Business Development at PerkinElmer Informatics recently commented in the May issue of Lab Manager’s Informatics Resource Guide

“A key objective of our approach is to provide functionality that first, is very adaptable to different research purposes, and secondly, makes it natural for scientists to structure their data in the course of their work. This enables the data in an ELN to be easily transferred to an analytics platform where researchers can decide what to do next. Enabling this natural transition from collaboration and workflow to decision support is probably the most important requirement for ELN’s today.”

This workflow represents a fundamental transformation from ELN systems in the past which served more like document repositories. Such systems - while searchable - did not structure the data to enable decision-making and analytics. 

The world of science is changing faster than ever, and scientists need an electronic lab notebook with the power and flexibility to change with it.

PerkinElmer’s new Signals Notebook web-based ELN  also delivers an effective scientific research data management solution. Write up your research data in notebooks and experiments, then drag & drop, store, organize, share, find and filter data with ease. All scientific data is electronically recorded and stored, making it simple to be more effective, reproducible, and accurate in your scientific endeavors.

It’s Not a Notebook…It’s a Place.

Signals Notebook is a centralized, secure web-based ecosystem that allows your team access anytime - from anywhere. It’s a place where people, ideas and data come together to collaborate, seamlessly share data and discover crucial insights. 

Signals Notebook is More Than an ELN

As mentioned above, ELNs are nothing new. In fact, PerkinElmer has been an industry leader in the space for years. But Signals Notebook reinvents the ELN for today’s science…and beyond. 

We’ve incorporated the market-leading chemical drawing platform, ChemDraw® – available without any additional install. We’ve also fully-integrated Signals Notebook with Microsoft Office® & Microsoft Office® Online. You can now effortlessly create or attach your Office documents with your experiments and update them.

Signals Notebook – The Global ELN for a Collaborative Scientific World

Connecting & sharing with colleagues and collaborators around the world has never been easier. Signals Notebook lets you start discussions, provide feedback, coordinate follow-on experiments, and stay in sync…anywhere, and anytime.

Scientific “Eureka” Moments Happen Faster Than Ever Before

With the support of PerkinElmer, you can be up and running in minutes! There is no software to install, since the platform is 100% web-based. With no downloads needed, no hardware to buy, and no IT assets to maintain, Signals Notebook provides immediate Return on Investment (ROI) for budget-minded science teams.

Achieve meaningful scientific breakthroughs with PerkinElmer Signals Notebook.  Learn more about PerkinElmer’s powerful new web based ELN - Signals Notebook. 


And the ChemDraw Innovation Challenge Winner Is…

Back at the beginning of the year, we were curious: what would the million-plus users of ChemDraw add to the premier chemical drawing platform to help them do better science? So we asked them, launching the first-ever ChemDraw Innovation Challenge in March.

The ChemDraw Innovation Challenge

The Challenge - which concluded in June - was a tremendous success. From nearly 1,000 participants in 88 countries who supplied more than 300 ideas, we engaged in peer collaboration and voting, expert panel review, and pairwise testing before selecting not just one, but four winning ideas and seven Honorable Mentions. 

The ideas - with 305 initially submitted - ran the gauntlet of the Innovation Challenge’s review process . After eight weeks of collecting ideas and evaluating for feasibility, 261 advanced to the collaboration phase - in which anyone who contributed an idea could remark on, build upon, and then vote for the ideas presented by others. From these refined ideas, 67 advanced by a vote of the Challenge Community to a review panel of experts from within PerkinElmer. 

The expert reviewers scored the ideas based on criteria, ranging from feasibility to impact on the chemistry and biology community, to further pare down the list to 47 ideas. The Challenge Community then voted to identify the Top 10 finalists, and the expert panel selected the winners from this list. 

Honorable Mentions went to individuals selected as Expert Panel Favorites (3), Top Innovators (2) for generating the most ideas, and Top Contributors (2) for being most involved in voting, commenting, and contributing to the development of other ideas.

The Challenge Winners

Reaction Condition Arrow
Ehsan Fereyduni, a graduate student/research assistant at the University of Florida, won for his idea to simply right-click on the reaction condition arrow to be able to enter data on reagents, solvents, temperature, etc. and for ChemDraw to automatically fit them on the arrow. This saves users from manually adjusting the reaction condition - especially when you have more than 100 reactions to report.

Enhanced Structure Clean-Up
Wayne Mascarella, a senior chemist at RTI International, submitted a winning idea that would allow the enhanced clean-up of structures relative to a user-defined template so that small variations in drawn ring systems could be forced into a consistent appearance.

Atom Numbering
S. Barrie Walker, a consultant in chemical information, data, and databases, suggests ChemDraw show atom numbering as used in chemical names. When a structure is drawn and then named, ChemDraw could provide a toggle switch to turn on atom numbering - which is particularly useful for larger molecules.

Smarter Structure Perspective
Alex Stirk, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, won for his idea to change the center of rotation for a smarter structure perspective. It’s a better way to help draw 2D representations of complex 3D constructs.

The Hall of Fame

These four Challenge winners will be entered into the ChemDraw Hall of Fame, along with the Honorable Mention recipients:

  • Expert Panel Favorites:  Jennifer Beveridge, Tim Williams, Linda Press
  • Top Innovators: Bharat Kumar Allam, Luc Boisvert
  • Top Contributors: Nicholas Ondich, Leo Betschart 

This new Hall of Fame will be a virtual presence on PerkinElmer’s website, to honor the contributions of Challenge winners and others in advancing the legendary drawing tool.

From Challenged to Changed

PerkinElmer is committed to building out the winning ideas in future versions of ChemDraw - as well as several of the other ideas generated by the Innovation Challenge.

“The ideas submitted through the Challenge were truly of high caliber, and I’m sure our ChemDraw development team will be excited to bring many of these innovations to life in future releases of ChemDraw,” said Philip Skinner, product manager of PerkinElmer Informatics chemistry portfolio. “We’ll be able to draw from these ideas and build out the product roadmap for some time to come. It is always rewarding to incorporate user feedback into the product, but this has been a uniquely fun experience for us — and I think for our user community too.”

Leo Betschart, a Top Contributor Honorable Mention recipient, agrees. “It was a pleasure to participate for two reasons,” he says. “First, to learn what other people think about ChemDraw and to see which direction they would like to see it headed, and second, for me to voice some aspects of ChemDraw that I would like to see addressed.”

ChemDraw – 32 Years Old and Going Strong

“At 32, ChemDraw is going strong,” says Michael Swartz, Vice President of Business Development for Informatics at PerkinElmer. “We recognize it wouldn’t be what it is today without the support and involvement of our million-strong user community. Hosting the Innovation Challenge leveraged the enthusiasm of our users, and the open and collaborative approach to problem-solving and software development, to ensure many more decades of success for ChemDraw and its users.”

Click on the below image to access the "ChemDraw Hall of Fame"

Collaborative Data Storage & Security: Critical Needs of the Precision Medicine Data Life Cycle – Part 2

As we discussed in the previous post on precision medicine, the quantity of data being generated in the life sciences is reaching staggering proportions - especially in the field of genomics. This post is the second in our Critical Needs of Precision Medicine Data Life Cycle series. 

Growing Biological Data Analysis Costs 

Although generating raw DNA sequence data has become progressively less expensive, the associated costs of data analysis have continued to grow. Due to the challenges of computational resource availability, cloud computing has become increasingly more important in the development and execution of large scale biological data

Scalability and collaboration are often cited as primary motivations for cloud computing both by commercial and academic scientists. The utility and scalability of the cloud is an attractive option for not only multi-site collaborative research projects, but also for smaller labs lacking adequate computational infrastructure to meet current and future needs. 

Cloud Computing Defined

So, what exactly is Cloud Computing? Gartner Group  - a world-class IT consulting organization - describes it as “a style of computing in which massively scalable IT-related capabilities are provided ‘as a service’ using Internet technologies to multiple external customers.” 

The group also predicts that “By 2020, a corporate ‘no-cloud’ policy will be as rare as a ‘no-internet’ policy is today”.  To put it simply, scientific or business users who want to run complex applications or store very large datasets no longer have to rely on in-house computing infrastructure but can simply rent the services of a cloud services vendor, do their work, get their results, and then release the resources back to the cloud.

50 Years of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is by no means a new phenomenon. In fact, it traces its roots back over 50 years to the computer clusters of the 1960s in which groups of computers were networked together to function as a single computing entity. 

Computer clusters eventually grew and developed into the internet and led to the rise of grid computing – a form of distributed computing. One key cloud development – MapReduce – was implemented by Google to regenerate their entire index of the web. MapReduce (and open-source adaptations such as Hadoop) allow large datasets to be broken into smaller pieces which can be spread among different computers - a key element in today’s life sciences cloud computing

Amazon Web Services & Life Sciences R&D

Today, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the market leader for cloud computing both in general, as well as for the life science R&D sector. AWS is currently used to create scalable and highly available IT infrastructures to store, compute and share data. It is also the technology platform used to deliver cloud scale architecture to PerkinElmer Signals for Translational.

Private, Public & Hybrid Cloud Computing

Cloud computing services can be offered as either public or private clouds, or as a hybrid model combining elements of the two. Public clouds allow the user to ‘rent’ hardware and software needed to process or store their data, and release back to the cloud when no longer needed. 

Private clouds are generally preferred by large organizations that cite data security as a primary concern. Private clouds have the advantages of the cloud model, while keeping the infrastructure itself contained behind their own firewall. 

A third model - the hybrid cloud - allows companies to keep key data within their firewall while extending selective activities out to public clouds. 

Cloud Computing Security

Because healthcare data is subject to certain regulations that other industry sectors might not face, both commercial and academic sectors have in the past voiced concerns over data security and integrity in cloud services

However, cloud security has surpassed the security measures at most private data centers - and cloud solutions are well positioned to be turned into data-security aggregators. Given the protections afforded to their mission-critical data and intellectual property, the life sciences industry as a whole is beginning to embrace cloud technology.

For example, Pfizer’s adoption of the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud - which permits a company to extend its firewall and other security measures to the cloud (though at some cost in operating efficiency) - exemplifies this issue. Hybrid cloud solutions are also very popular because they can be deployed to provide the required information for research while maintaining personal or confidential information on a separate system.

The Promise of Cloud Computing

The most promising aspect of the cloud technology “is realizing the pairing of the cloud with big data, analytical tools and mobile devices, especially in healthcare where it can provide around-the-clock monitoring at a fraction of the cost of traditional on-premises tools.” 

Cloud solutions can be leveraged to improve the quality and accessibility of data by allowing data mashups between public and private data sets. This, in turn, enhances the quality and accessibility of life sciences and clinical trial data. 

At PerkinElmer informatics, this is precisely what we are trying to achieve by leveraging the best-in-class in cloud technology and data analytics to help disseminate information faster and more efficiently, in order to provide deep insights into Translational Medicine data. 

For further information, check out this webinar  and stay tuned to find out about other Critical Needs for the Precision Medicine Data Cycle.  


Focusing on Innovation to Solve Customer Problems

Innovation is the lifeblood of any organization. As such, how organizations define and foster a culture of innovation is critically important to their success. True innovation means improving processes and products, and finding new ways to serve customers.   

From Doblin, Deloitte Consulting's innovation practice, we know that there are 10 types of innovation  – far beyond the obvious product development, which Doblin says delivers the lowest return on investment and least competitive advantage.

So, beyond product innovation, what can organizations do to be fully innovative? Doblin breaks its 10 innovation types into three broad categories of configuration, offering, and experience. From how businesses are organized, to how products and services are made available to customers, to how customers interact with brands -- all are potential opportunities for innovation.

The Ultimate Innovation: A Problem Solved

While customers will always seek product improvements, what they are ultimately looking for are solutions to their problems. Solving our customers’ problems -- whether in the lab or how they engage with us — is the main driver of our innovation efforts. 

To help customers make informed decisions based on earlier and more accurate insights, PerkinElmer makes our numerous subject matter experts available. They possess the knowledge and expertise, not only in detection, imaging, informatics and services, but also in the scientific application of our solutions across a broad range of industries. Furthermore, our partnerships with customers strengthen our understanding of their needs and our ability to help them do their work better.

Innovation Tools 

Collaboration within PerkinElmer, with our customers, and with academic and industry leaders is essential to innovation. It’s one of the reasons we’ve deployed Spigit, the cloud-based ideation and innovation management platform. We’ve used it to drive internal innovation challenges and most recently, to include our one million ChemDraw users in the ChemDraw Innovation Challenge.

Also internally, we drive collaboration with Innovation Summits that bring together over 120 R&D scientists and product managers from around the company. These events feature incredible speakers, a technology and innovation fair, and in 2015, 25 teams of employees submitted projects for a chance to win funding to develop their ideas.  

As part of the 2016 Innovation Summit, we recognized two outstanding researchers who have demonstrated a long history of invention, commercial success, and thought leadership at PerkinElmer: Andy Tipler, a leader and innovator in the area of gas chromatography for 30 years, and Dr. Veli-Matti Mukkala, for three decades of work and leadership in the area of lanthanide chelate chemistry that underlies many of our reagent technologies. 

Precompetitive Research Initiatives

Another method of driving innovation, and lowering the cost of R&D, is participation in alliances and organizations that lead precompetitive research initiatives. PerkinElmer has joined a number of such organizations, including:

In doing this, we ensure that we’re part of the industrywide dialogues driving standards and best practices that will move science and research forward.  

Organizational Focus

In the fall of 2016, PerkinElmer named Karen Madden, formerly president of our Informatics business, to a new position as Vice President of Technology and Innovation for the entire organization. Madden leads a team that identifies new markets, technologies, and customer-driven product offerings. She is also focused on infusing the customer voice into our innovation efforts and challenging conventional thinking and approaches. 

In addition to Innovation Summits that recognize and motivate employees, Madden says meaningful culture changes can stimulate an innovative environment. She points to a story that NASA engineer Adam Steltzner told to PerkinElmer employees about his work at the Jet Propulsion Lab to land the rover Curious on the surface of Mars.

The culture of innovation arises from the brutal combat to which ideas are subjected,” Steltzner had said. Madden agrees that when ideas go to battle with other ideas and suggestions, the idea which emerges is the strongest and best.

“Very importantly, the people with the ideas can walk away feeling good and not that they themselves have been through a battle,” she says. “This was key in Adam’s experience of finding the most innovative solutions and made the mission a success.”

What Does All of This Mean For Our Customers?

Our promise is more than better products; it’s better solutions to customer problems. Driving innovation throughout our organization, in all our customer interactions, is becoming more intentional. 

That kind of drive was behind our innovative PerkinElmer Signals™ for Translational informatics platform. In response to difficulties working with siloed data that was hampering discovery, this solution enables translational scientists to search and integrate clinical and research data and seamlessly explore and make new biomarker discoveries using the analytics and visualization power of TIBCO Spotfire®

It’s also why we partner with customers like Johnson & Johnson, where we provide onsite expertise at its JLABS locations. Our services – from validation to scientific and multivendor asset management – are helping to reduce lab complexities and increase efficiencies.

When we are focused on finding new and better ways to help customers overcome problems and achieve their goals, that’s being innovative. 


ChemDraw® - Because Chemistry Happens Everywhere

Wondering what’s new in ChemDraw®? Watch this short 1-minute video highlighting both the portability and new capabilities of PerkinElmer’s ChemDraw® - now in its 30th year. 

Accelerating Chemistry Research

With the latest release of ChemDraw®, new features have been integrated to help accelerate research. ChemDraw® is also now available with new bundle options which pair its chemical drawing package with PerkinElmer’s chemically-intelligent database, 3D modeling and data analysis package, visualization tools and an integrated ELN solution.  

Same Comfortable System – But Better

And while ChemDraw® offers researchers even more power and capabilities, it remains the same leading program for creating publication-ready drawings effortlessly. 

With over 1 million users, ChemDraw® is still the only tool you need to draw, store, analyze and share chemical structures and reactions—quickly and accurately.

The New Global Lab Bench

Among the latest features is the ability to “ChemDraw® anywhere,” freeing chemists from the lab bench and allowing them to take their research with them, wherever they happen to be. Let’s face it: chemistry is everywhere…and now ChemDraw® is, too. 

Welcome to the Cloud

Among the new additions to the ChemDraw® suite is ChemDraw® Cloud. Using ChemDraw® Cloud and PerkinElmer Signals Notebook for ChemDraw®, scientists can access their work through any web browser. With your favorite drawing features available via mobile – alongside the ability to share chemical drawings with a single click – chemists can transform their favorite park bench into a lab bench effortlessly!

ChemDraw® Cloud requires no software installation. All editing, viewing and document management is done via web browser – whether by laptop, tablet or mobile device. With an internet connection, users are able to access ChemDraw® documents from any computer, anywhere. To ensure peace of mind, the documents are stored, encrypted, and backed-up on secure ChemDraw® Cloud servers.

Even More ChemDraw® Platform Support

The latest version of ChemDraw® expands Mac platform support, operating up to 6x faster than previous versions and delivering an improved UI along with numerous other features. Windows support has also been expanded, and now includes Microsoft® Office 2016 support on Windows - including Windows 10. 

ant to learn more about the world’s most popular chemical drawing platform? Watch the ChemDraw video, or start a free ChemDraw trial today. 


How Analytics Centers of Excellence Improve Service & Save Costs

Centers of Excellence: Centralizing Expertise
The “Center of Excellence” as a business model has an assortment of definitions and uses. In general, such “centers” are established to reduce time to value, often by spreading multidisciplinary knowledge, expertise, best business practices and solution delivery methods more broadly across organizations.

They have been identified as “an organizing mechanism to align People, Process, Technology, and Culture” or - for business intelligence applications - as “execution models to enable the corporate or strategic vision to create an enterprise that uses data and analytics for business value.” Still others define these centers as “a premier organization providing an exceptional product or service in an assigned sphere of expertise and within a specified field of technology, business or government…

Using a CoE to Improve Business Intelligence
In approaching how the Center of Excellence (CoE) concept might improve business intelligence (BI), analytics, and the use of data in science-based organizations, PerkinElmer Informatics has developed an Analytics Center of Excellence to deliver service for our customers.

As a framework, the CoE offers ongoing service coverage by experts from a variety of domains, including IT & architecture, statistics and advanced analytics, data integration & ETL, visualization engineering and scientific workflows. In many cases an expert is located at your facility and then leverages a wider range of remote staff, to provide support, reduce costs, and eliminate red tape and paperwork.

There are four pillars to our Analytics CoE for your organization: 

Architecture Services
Mainly for IT, this covers architecture strategy, sizing and capacity planning, security and authentication, connectivity and integration planning, and library management

Governance Services
Centralizing planning, execution and monitoring of projects, Program Management approach to managing multiple work streams, Steering Committee participation, SOPs and best practices, and change management

Value Sustainment Services
Expertise for subject matter consulting, support, hypercare, roadmap and future planning, and analytics core competency

Training & Enablement Services
Training needs assessment, training plans, courseware development, training delivery and mentoring

Cost Savings with Standardized BI Solutions
PerkinElmer’s Analytics CoE leverages TIBCO® Spotfire to help our customers get the most out of this technology as quickly as possible - from the experts. Very often - especially at mid- to large-enterprises - the question is asked, “Why aren’t we standardized on a single BI solution?”

It’s a good question.

Rather than investing time, effort, and money in evaluating, implementing, and maintaining and updating several BI solutions, not to mention training staff to use them, considerable cost savings can be gained from deploying a standard business intelligence solution across the enterprise. And the savings can be further supplemented because the Analytics CoE covers both foreseen and unforeseen needs.

Under an Analytics CoE implementation, cost savings are derived from:

  • Economy of scale from a suite of informatics services
  • Reduced administration efforts for both customer and vendor
  • “Just-in-time” project delivery that engages the right resources at the right time

Reducing the Pharma Services Budget
After converting to the Analytics CoE model, a top 25 pharmaceutical company saved 50% on its services budget, relative to TIBCO® Spotfire. This was possible because the services were bid out once - not for every service engagement. Purchasing service engagements was significantly less fragmented, and the high costs of supporting multiple tools & platforms and responding to RFPs was greatly reduced.

Standardizing on an Ongoing Service Model
Centralizing around a formal service model focuses management of the vendor relationship on a single partner – who truly becomes a partner as they manage projects across multiple domains and departments. 

The Analytics CoE model, also called competency centers or capability centers, oversees deployments, consolidation of services, dashboard setup and platform upgrades - all without the additional burden of new RFPs, vetting of new vendors, and establishing new relationships.

The benefits of standardizing on an ongoing service model, centered on a standard BI platform, include:

  • Holistic approach to deploying analytics solutions across the organization
  • Cost savings from reducing the number of tools used 
  • IT organization isn’t spread too thin as it no longer has to support multiple systems
  • Greater departmental sharing
  • Improvements beyond the distributed model

In addition, there are numerous reasons for analytical organizations to adopt an Analytics CoE:
  • Program Management managing multiple project workstreams and chairing Steering Committee meetings to provide management insight into solution delivery.
  • High quality of subject matter expertise (SME) available for your projects; SMEs are pulled in as needed and are billed against CoE.
  • Significant savings over typical daily rates – up to 50%.
  • Flexible engagement period.
  • Hourly rate fees move from the FTE model to “pay for what you use” further reduce costs.
  • Multiple projects billed against Analytics CoE.

Are you ready for true service excellence in your data-driven organization? Find out if PerkinElmer’s Analytics Center of Excellence is a good fit.

Contact us at informatics.insights@PERKINELMER.COM

Addressing Critical Needs Of Precision Medicine Data Life Cycle

With the amount of data currently being generated, we are in a unique position to find diagnoses and treatments for a multitude of diseases. However, the progress of lab technologies in generating data is now beset by another very unique form of challenge- making sense of the copious amounts of immensely heterogeneous data. 

In the 2010 paper, “The $1,000 genome, the $100,000 analysis?” the author rightly points out that regardless of how cheap human genome sequencing gets the development of ‘clinical grade’ interpretation analysis is needed to make coherent clinical sense out of the data. However, as mentioned in one of our previous blogs (Beyond Genomics: Translational Medicine Goes Data Mining), genomic data cannot work in isolation within a biological context and integration of knowledge from different biological silos is the next big challenge. The clinical utility of all this data will be determined by our ability to mine these data appropriately by addressing some very critical pain points in the data life cycle that are briefly discussed below: 

1) Collaborative Data Storage & Security

As the availability of computational resources becomes challenging, cloud computing is becoming increasingly more important in development and execution of large scale biological data. It’s scalability on demand is an attractive option, especially for multisite collaborative research projects.  Healthcare data is subject to certain regulations that other industry sectors might not have to comprehend, such as ensuring that data is stored in on premise private data centers. However, cloud security has surpassed the security measures at most private data centers and cloud solutions are well positioned to be turned into data-security aggregators. Furthermore, on premise solutions are not able to provide the same level of scalability as cloud computing without significantly increasing the infrastructure costs. This coupled with multisite collaborative research projects that happen in healthcare, makes cloud solutions an attractive scalable option on demand. This article can help you assess whether an on-prem or cloud solution is better suited for your needs. 

2) Facilitating rapid transfer and data processing: Support for Distributed Research

Using tools that allow for processing and storage of extremely large data sets in a distributed computing environment are a foundation for Big Data processing tasks. Some of these Big Data tools include Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) and Spark. The distributed file system of HDFS facilitates rapid data transfer rates among nodes and drastically lowers the risk of system failure, whereas Spark can process data from a variety of data repositories including HDFS, NoSQL databases and relational data stores (e.g. Apache Hive). These technologies help organizations move away from traditional data warehouses towards a data lake where data can be stored in its original structure.

3) Access to public or legacy databases: Data Type Flexibility

There is currently a large amount of data sitting in public databases and the need to integrate them with your data can be of utmost importance. Any Big Data platform looking at life sciences data needs to deploy technology that allow for a seamless access to data stored in databases such as Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), tranSMART, OHDSI etc. just to name a few.  

4) Searching and analyzing data in real time: Accessible Data 

The ability to search and query data at a fast speed is a critical step in the data lifecycle. Tools such as Elasticsearch vastly improve the ability to query/mine your data by focusing on searching an index instead of searching/querying the text directly. This allows for a seamless flow of information from the data lake to the user.  

5) Enriching or curating your data: Information Intelligence

A comprehensive environment should further integrate tools that enrich data by adding context for deeper and more meaningful integration of data from different sources. Tools such as Attivio achieve precisely this by semantically enriching the data across structured and unstructured silos and thereby making the eventual analysis more powerful.

6) User friendly Advanced Data Exploration applications: 

Providing the end-user with a state of the art user friendly workflow is a two-tiered challenge. Firstly, the ability to reuse analytics workflows for reproducible analysis of biomedical data is become increasingly important. Secondly, visually aided data exploration is an important component of combining scientific data and disseminating complex knowledge. The ability to interact with data to slice and dice it in different ways whilst working with a reproducible analytics workflow can help the end user to identify unexpected patterns and allow them to further refine their hypothesis. Visual data analytics platform such as TIBCO Spotfire® allow for self-service access to all relevant data and allow the end-users to take an exploratory approach of their data and make informed decisions based not just on interactive dashboards but with best in class statistical analysis. 

The large scale nature of biological data means that we need to have an agile, integrated environment that implements the right tools to tackle the problem of data storage, management, integration and eventual analysis. All of the components of the data life cycle need to work in sync and in an optimal manner to enable the end-users to make real-time decisions in a scalable and informed manner.  In subsequent blogs, we intend to tackle each one of these pain points in detail to see how a turnkey solution can be created for Translational Medicine applications.

Want to learn how you can configure your data analytics workflow to address the critical needs of your Precision Medicine Research? Join David John for a dedicated webinar on April 24th.