|Life Sciences Action Summit is in Fargo Feb. 19|
Life Sciences Action Summit: Building the Life Science Industry in the Research Corridor & Addressing Our Nation's Need for Readiness and Response is set for Feb. 19 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Fargo, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
U.S Sen. Byron Dorgan and the Red River Valley Research Corridor are co-hosting the Research Corridor's third life sciences action summit. The summit will highlight the region's significant advancements in the life science sector and work to create strategies for capturing high-potential opportunities related to our nation's need for readiness and response to a growing number of bio-threats.
"Growing life science activities here in North Dakota has been one of my top priorities for the Research Corridor," Dorgan said. "This emerging industry has enormous potential to make North Dakota a leader in vaccine research and development in light of the increased threat from flu outbreaks and pandemics, creating many new jobs along the way."
Since the Red River Valley Research Corridor initiative was started in 2002, Sen. Dorgan has directed over $31.5 million in federal funding toward life science activities in the state. These federal investments have helped high-tech companies like Aldevron, Avianax and NovaDigm to develop critical vaccines and antibodies to combat serious diseases like Ebola, HIV, influenza and West Nile Virus.
At the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences, deep brain research is helping with treatments and cures for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and many more devastating illnesses. NDSU is leading the way in research on asthma, cancer, protein and peptide chemistry, plant biosciences, enzymology and bioinformatics.
Hear from prominent, nationally-recognized experts about the nation's most pressing challenges related to biodefense and leading-edge initiatives and ventures to address these challenges:
- Gregory A. Poland, director of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group
Poland directs the cutting-edge Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group which researches vaccine responses and other public health vaccine matters. He also leads the Immunization Clinic and the program in translational immunovirology and biodefense at Mayo Clinic. Poland is the current American editor of the prestigious medical publication "Vaccine." He has previously written articles for the New England Journal of Medicine.
- G. Steven Burrill, chief executive officer, Burrill and Company (a San Francisco-based life sciences merchant bank)
Burrill is a renowned life science venture capitalist that has spent his career helping life science companies achieve success. He currently serves as chief executive officer of the San Francisco-based firm Burrill and Co. Before launching Burrill and Co. in 1994, he worked for Ernst and Young for 28 years, helping to direct and coordinate the firm's services to the high-tech industry.
- Michael Kurilla, director, Office of BioDefense Research Affairs, US Department of Health and Human Services
Kurilla directs the Office of Biodefense Research Affairs and is associate director for biodefense product development for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where his focus is helping to protect the nation against bioterrorism. Kurilla worked previously for Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dupont Pharmaceuticals and Wyeth in drug research and development.
The summit will feature two panel sessions on building life sciences companies and building the life sciences industry here in the Red River region. Confirmed participants include:
Tim Cooke, CEO, Novadigm; Michael Chambers, CEO, Aldevron; Dennis Anderson, associate vice president, Business Development and Industrial Relations, North Dakota State University; Robert Bargatze, chief scientific officer and founder of Ligocyte Pharmaceuticals; John Langstaff, President and CEO, Cangene Corporation; James Carlson, Pharm. D., JDC Management; Barry Milavetz, associate vice president for Research, UND; Kermit Nash, principal, Gray Plant Mooty, Entrepreneurial Services group
Registration is available online at http://www.researchcorridorsummit.com/ . Registration for the summit is $75, which includes meals, materials and the networking social. Student registration is free.