Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Big Ideas

Today in our "vet issues" class, we had the president/CEO of the Morris Animal Foundation, Dr. Olsen, come speak to us about her work setting up a new research foundation that will be paired with the American Humane Association. Basically, they're looking into how to do research that benefits animals, but is noninvasive/humane. She was asking our class for ideas - things that need to be funded/looked into, that might otherwise be ignored by more academic research.

While she was talking to us, I was daydreaming/zoning a little bit. And I believe I hit on a great idea. An idea for how to get massive amounts of veterinary epidemiolgic data into a central database, that could be accessed by researchers, veterinarians, or breeders. An idea that could be integrated seamlessly into practice. An idea that could be profitable. Possibly massively profitable.

That last bit there made me bite my tongue. I wasn't just going to throw it out there where anybody could snatch it up. I'm debating what to do with it now. I can contact Dr. Olsen and pitch it to her, and hope it can snag me some sort of summer job/grant/job after graduation. I can figure out a way to raise investment capital. I can figure out a way to sell the idea to a larger business that could maybe integrate it into an existing product. Or I can sit on it, and hope nobody else thinks of it until I can figure out how to implement it. Decisions, decisions.


  1. I know this was awhile ago but I came here from SDN and wanted to comment on this. We (veterinary geneticists) have tried this sort of thing for cats and for dogs, and it is difficult to maintain. A lot of people balk at having their animal's med info out there, particularly breeders who feel that having genetic diseases in their line reflects poorly on them as breeders. And my PI and the other scientist who have been working on this actually have GOOD rapport with breeders in general....

  2. I think I figured out a way to make it work. If you're curious, email me at