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Heir Jordan


Microsoft Names Les Jordan as BioIT Alliance Director

By Kevin Davies

July 20, 2009
| Les Jordan, industry chief technology strategist for Microsoft’s life sciences team, has been named the new director of the BioIT Alliance, succeeding Rudy Potenzone. Since joining Microsoft five years ago, Jordan has provided architectural and technical guidance to internal product teams, partners, and pharmaceutical companies, and was involved in the original concept and launch of the BioIT Alliance in 2006.

Jordan told Bio•IT World that there were going to be some changes, but pledged a renewed commitment to the industry consortium, which Microsoft launched in 2006.

Jordan serves as the chief architect of Microsoft’s life sciences team, bridging the gap between customers and partners and the firm’s internal product teams. Much of his recent effort has focused on Part 11 compliance. “We’re also looking at how to use Geneva, our identity management application, in the cloud—how do we use that for things like clinical trial management or EDC?” he said.

Jordan says Microsoft is pleased with the adoption of the BioIT Alliance vision, evidenced by the dozens of companies that have joined. “We’ve been very pleased with the ad hoc collaborations between companies,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of things happen behind the scenes. But there’s always room for growth. We’d like to see an even more rapid adoption of integration and interoperability methodology between the member companies of the BioIT Alliance.”

Lack of Standards
“If you think about the early stages of discovery space in pharma and biotech and research, there’s just a dearth of standards and interoperability. Clinical trials have CDISC; hospitals have HL7. There really isn’t anything that bridges that space in the bio-IT early-stage discovery [space]. The original vision of the BioIT Alliance was to drive that, to enable that collaboration, to make our scientific life easier and to drive toward the vision of personalized medicine. The only way we’re going to get there is with seamless integration of laboratory equipment, diagnostics, the hospitals, EMR. The only way we’ll get there is if there’s integration in this space.”

Jordan’s first order of business is to appoint a board of directors that will help guide and direct the Alliance. Two charter members are Becky Kush (president/CEO, CDISC) and Dave Champagne (Thermo Fisher). A call for nominations for two at-large directors will take place at a future meeting of the Alliance this fall. That should also be a chance for Alliance members to interact with the Amalga Life Sciences team. 

Jordan says standards will be an early focus. “We want to reach out to the existing standards that are there and help them be implemented,” he said, while looking at integration between LIMS and E-lab notebook vendors.

As he takes the reins, Jordan hopes that other companies will consider the possibilities for improving integration and interoperability as alliance members. He particularly wants to encourage participation from pharma and biotech companies. “We need to have their voice in this in order for it to be driven forward and legitimate.” 


This article also appeared in the July-August 2009 issue of Bio-IT World Magazine.
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