STAT: When physicist Alex Zhavoronkov looked in the mirror one day and saw alarming swelling around his eyes, he guessed it was an allergic reaction to a drug he’d taken. But he couldn’t just ring up his doctor and ask — the drug was one his own company was developing, and he was its first guinea pig.
As CEO of biotech company Insilico Medicine, Zhavoronkov routinely subjects himself to his own medicine. Self-experimentation lets him quickly see whether lab predictions hold true in a human subject, or whether there are any safety issues — say, a potential allergy. (He now thinks the swelling may have been caused by a drug interaction with some tomato juice he drank.) And he thinks it has a place in the scientific literature, too: He plans to launch a journal of self-experimentation later this year. Read more.