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Life Science Forum showcases regional research, new companies


BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 29, 2009 – The Third Annual Southwest Virginia Life Science Forum and a BIO Town Hall meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 13, beginning at 5 p.m. at the Inn at Virginia Tech.

The two events offer opportunities for academic and corporate researchers to connect with industry leaders, network with potential partners, and learn about each other's work.

BIO Town Hall will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. The national program to communicate the good work of biosciences, is hosted by the Virginia Biotechnology Association (VaBIO) and BIO, the Biotechnology Industry Organization from Washington, D.C.

At the Life Science Forum, poster presentations from 6 until 8 p.m. will include life sciences and material sciences related to biotechnology applications and biomedical engineering. "Local scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to learn about current academic research in their fields and to network and learn about new technologies coming out of Virginia Tech," said Jackie Reed, a licensing associate at Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties Inc. (VTIP). "Regional companies are looking for ways to capitalize on Virginia Tech research, and this forum is a good venue for making connections in their areas of interest," she said.

A special feature of this year's forum will be research and inventions from Virginia Tech that are being developed into start-up companies, including Techulon and BC Genesis. "We are encouraging the university's scientists and engineers to showcase their research, especially those with inventions that have been disclosed to VTIP," said Reed.

"With nearly 160 biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies based in Virginia, it is important to the state's economy that corporate and academic leaders share the latest research and business development opportunities," said Mark Herzog, executive director of VaBIO, co-host of the forum with the NewVa Corridor Technology Council (NCTC).

"The forum is a great opportunity for students who enjoy living in Southwest Virginia to speak with local companies about future employment and internship opportunities. It’s important that those competent in their technology field also be able to communicate. Events like this help create connections and foster dialog with peers and employers,” said NCTC Director Cory Donovan. Student registration is free, thanks to sponsor Novozymes Biologicals.

More than 100 academic and private sector bioscience leaders are expected to participate in the event. Previous forums were held in the lobby of the Fralin Life Science Institute, but the event has outgrown that space. The Fralin Institute and Latimer & Mayberry IP Law LLP are sponsors of the forum. Additional support is provided by Virginia Tech's College of Science and the Science Museum of Western Virginia.

Advanced registration for the forum is $10 for members of VaBIO or NCTC or $20 for non-members. Registration for poster presenters is complimentary. Register to present a poster or to attend, or visit the technology council online. If you have questions, contact Sherri Halloran, director of VaBIO membership services, at (804) 643-6360. There is no charge to attend BIO Town Hall.

Free parking is available at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. Find more parking information online or call (540) 231-3200.



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