Good Samaritan Institute

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“We believe scientists and engineers create a real wealth for our society,” stated Good Samaritan Institute’s (GSI) Program Director, Doug Liles. “When you have technological advances, its helps everybody.”

Liles is originally fromMemphis, Tennessee. In addition to being a successful builder, he has a master’s degree in microbiology, and always wanted to get back to science. He started Good Samaritan Institute to facilitate science education and share information. “I saw a real, unmet need where scientists and engineers weren’t really sharing their best practices,” said Liles.

Good Samaritan Institute started the “Santa Rosa Project” where they conduct workshops with scientists from all over, who work in the fields of biology, microbiology, cancer, chemistry, computer science, engineering, imaging, mathematics and nanotechnology, who visit Santa Rosa Beach, and take part in conferences held at GSI where they can put forth their research and information, and determine “best practices”. These practices are then published on the Web at to be shared with the world.

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Cancer Vaccines in Clinical Trials

Recent advances in understanding how cancer cells escape recognition and attack by the immune system are now giving researchers the knowledge required to design cancer treatment vaccines that can accomplish both goals (1625).

Although researchers have identified many cancer-associated antigens, these molecules vary widely in their ability to stimulate a strong anticancer immune response. Two major areas of research are aimed at addressing this issue. One involves the identification of novel cancer-associated antigens, or neoantigens, that may prove more effective in stimulating immune responses than the already known antigens. For example, a neoantigen-based personalized vaccine approach that is in early-phase clinical testing involves the identification and targeting of patient-specific mutated antigens to create treatment vaccines for patients with glioblastoma and melanoma (2627). The other major research area involves the development of methods to enhance the ability of cancer-associated antigens to stimulate the immune system. Research is also under way to determine how to combine multiple antigens within a single cancer treatment vaccine to produce optimal anticancer immune responses (28).

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Cultivating an interest in a community garden

GROWING A CONCENSUS: Good Samaritan Institute cultivating an interest in a community garden

Walton County’s Good Samaritan Institute laid groundwork for a community garden this week.

“To inspire a love for gardening,” Nikki Lindsey said, is one of the purposes of creating space for the project.

The one-acre plot near the institute on Hwy. 393 North has been given the green light and cleared.  The garden will include individual plots, a common garden area, and a dedicated children's gardening section. 

The next stage involves gauging community interest and creating an executive committee to make the ultimate decisions on how the garden will develop.

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Scientific Samaritans

Amid a “science and math crisis in this country,” Good Samaritan Institute is born in South Walton

Nestled among mature trees along County Road 393N across from South Walton’s main fire station rests an obscure brick building.

Most don’t know that the meeting rooms inside are a destination for educators and cancer researchers from across the country.

Doug Liles founded the Good Samaritan Institute in 2002, because, he said, God laid it on his heart and he feels it is his destiny to do this.

“There is a crisis in science education in this country,” Liles explains. “Our country is currently 20th in the world in science and that needs to change. Our schools are not even hiring teachers with degrees in science to teach our students. Science education is the thing that makes countries great.”

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Walton institute on the front lines of cancer fight

Killer cells that seek out and destroy cancer

Killer cells that seek out and destroy cancer may seem like the stuff of fiction, but it may become a reality at the Santa Rosa Beach-based Good Samaritan Institute.

Doug Liles, founder for the institute, recently opened talks with St. Jude hospital in a move to expand its educational offerings to include such cutting-edge research.

The idea is to facilitate lab training for oncologists using N-K cells, or natural killer cells, developed by doctors at St. Jude in Memphis, Tenn.“

It is one of the most amazing things I have seen in my life,” the microbiologist said of a video demonstration he saw of “supercharged” cells, which search out and kill nine cancer cells, rest and then begin seeking nine more cancer cells to kill.

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