Get to know us – Bryan Cleal

Today in our OPEN team introduction series, it is Bryan Cleal´s turn – Timothy´s colleague at Steno. Bryan will tell us about himself and his motivation to be part of the OPEN project.

Hi, my name is Bryan Cleal; I’m a Senior Researcher at Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen (SDCC) and a proud and happy member of the OPEN consortium.

I have lived and worked in Denmark for nearly twenty years, but originally come from the UK. I have a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University (2001) and have worked in a variety of fields and with a variety of method since then.

Throughout my studies and professional career, I have maintained a keen interest in the relationship between humans and technology in all its aspects.

My involvement with OPEN starts with a mail from Shane O’Donnell, inquiring as to whether Steno would be interested in participating in an application to the EU RISE program about DIY artificial pancreas systems (DIYAPS). Shane didn’t need to ask twice, we were very interested and continue to be interested and fascinated by what is happening in this area and what it promises for the future of diabetes care.

I am primarily involved in WP2 (WP=Work Package), where we are looking at the impact of DIYAPS on quality of life and lived experiences. Our initial data already indicates that DIYAPS can have cathartic and life changing implications, but we still need to know much more about what processes are involved here and how the positive implications of DIYAPS can be diffused even further.

The best part of being a part of the OPEN team is the team itself; it’s inspiring to work with such passionate and talented people who are both ambitious but also, more importantly, highly principled in their approach to the work we are doing.

Thank you, Bryan, for being part of our OPEN team, we are very happy to have you and your skills on board!

Get to know us – Maria Marchante

Introduction of the OPEN team: This time Saskia interviewed our team member Maria Marchante.

Hello Maria, tell us a few things about yourself,
people are curious to see who is working with us!  

My name is Maria Marchante. I am from Spain, but I live in Germany (Berlin).  I am a Data Scientist with a scientific background in computational neuroscience and artificial intelligence.

And what are your special interests, Maria?
I am interested in data-driven research, especially in deep learning and predictive analytics.

How did you become a part of the OPEN team?
I met Katarina through Hacking Health (an NGO about digital health), who was looking for a Data Scientist to join the team.

And why are you committed to the OPEN project?
I personally believe in resilience when it comes to fighting for a good reason. No matter how small the contribution might be, I think the OPEN project is a powerful way to change mentalities and help a lot of people with diabetes T1 get a better life.

What is your role at OPEN?
My role at OPEN focuses on the improvement of the DIYAPS experience and the exploration of possible better outcomes regarding the management of T1D (included in the third work package of the project).

What do you like the most about being a part of the team?
I like the internationality of the team, that is great to build ideas from many perspectives, giving the project a broad functionality. I’m also very happy with the interdisciplinary expertise and flexible corporative structure that form this community.

Maria, what else would you like to tell people?
I would like to encourage PwD who don’t use pumps yet, especially the ones struggling with technology to try CGM therapy and “loop”!

Thank you for this interview, Maria, and your positive spirit, it is wonderful to have you in the team!

Get to know us – Dana Lewis

And today, our series on introducing the OPEN team continues with the person without whom DIYAPS and consequently “The OPEN project” would not exist.

Hi, I am Dana Lewis. After building my own (and the world’s first open source) DIY “artificial pancreas”, I helped found the open source artificial pancreas movement (known as “OpenAPS”), making safe and effective artificial pancreas technology available (sooner) for people with diabetes around the world.

I am a passionate advocate of patient-centered, -driven, and -designed research. I am an experienced community builder and facilitator and I have taken a leadership role in a number of research projects that bring together diverse perspectives (academic, industry, government, and patient communities, to name a few).

Currently, I am collaborating with PI, or co-PI on numerous grant-funded research projects on diabetes-related data science and artificial pancreas system projects. Most notably, I serve as Principal Investigator for a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded grant project called “Opening Pathways” to learn more about patient-led innovation and scientific discovery, and scale it in additional patient communities.

I frequently write and publish on topics specific to DIY diabetes work and the broader implications of patient-driven and -designed research. I also authored the book, “Automated Insulin Delivery: How artificial pancreas “closed loop” systems can aid you in living with diabetes“, to help more people understand automated insulin delivery systems.

Rather than coming from a traditional engineering background, I bring together a mix of technical and communication skills and a unique perspective to focus on bringing together individuals regardless of their traditional “role” in healthcare, which is one of the reasons I am proud to be a part of the OPEN consortium. I am serving as the leader of “work package 3” for OPEN, which is the technical development project aimed at increasing the ease of DIYAPS users to donate their data to research, as well as facilitating numerous research studies on community-donated DIYAPS data.

Thank you, Dana, for telling us about your outstanding efforts for the sake of all people with diabetes. We are very proud to have you with us!