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A host of industry leaders, policy makers and subject matter experts will participate in the conference, to include:

  • Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (invited);
  • Fritz Bittenbender, Vice President, Alliance Development & State Government Relations, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO);
  • Jeff May, Vice President, Product Strategy of Mylan North America;
  • Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor, WV Higher Education Commission;
  • Dr. Brady Reynolds, University of Kentucky, Appalachian Translational Research Network;
  • Jeff Trewhitt, Senior Director of Communications & Public Affairs, PhRMA.


Derek Gregg, chairman of the Bioscience Association of West Virginia (BioWV), said, “A successful life science industry begins with research, which then leads to discoveries. Those discoveries then provide the basis for company development and economic growth for the state. West Virginia is having success but there is much more that can be done to help grow this industry within our borders.”

He continued, “This conference will highlight the role and impact of the bioscience industry in West Virginia, showcase research and commercialization efforts taking place at state universities and private companies, and discuss policies and programs to help nurture the industry. Biotech is an important field for our state and it will become an economic cornerstone in the years to come.”

The event will feature panel discussions bringing together university researchers and representatives to highlight the breadth of research being conducted in the state. Speakers include Dr. John Maher, Vice President, Marshall University Research Corporation; Dr. Glenn Dillon, Vice President of Research, WVU Health Sciences; Dr. Gagan Kaushal, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy; Dr. Robert Barney, Associate Director of Research, WV State University; and, Ms. Shana Phares, CEO, Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute.

A separate panel will feature West Virginia bioscience company representatives and funders discussing the challenges involved with raising capital and policies that may help. Presenters include: Derek Gregg, Vandalia Research; Gardiner Smith, Progenesis Technologies; Andy Zulauf, WV Jobs Investment Trust; and, Patrick Bond, Mountaineer Capital.

The event will focus on clinical trials taking place in the state and the societal and economic importance of these programs. Presenters include representatives from West Virginia University, Marshall University and the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America.

Turning discoveries into viable businesses is a critical component of the bioscience industry. Technology transfer and commercialization experts will discuss strategies for turning innovation into enterprise during a panel discussion on the topic. Presenters include: Dr. Mridul Gautam, Associate Vice President for Research, West Virginia University; Amy Melton, Assistant Director, Technology Transfer, Marshall University; Jack Carpenter, Director, Innovation Transfer Consortium; and, Robin Levine Stoller, Esq., Steptoe & Johnson PLLC.

The event will bring together West Virginia's bioscience community - private companies, university researchers, suppliers and funders - as well as policy and opinion leaders, economic developers and others to learn more about how to successfully grow and nurture the industry.  The biosciences comprise biotechnology and life science companies and biomedical research entities.

“The bioscience industry is creating new technologies – pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical technologies, chemical processes and more – that not only advance science but provide high-wage jobs to West Virginia residents,” said Gregg. “This conference will bring people together to highlight what is currently underway and to discuss how we can grow the industry.”

The event is being sponsored by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Mylan, Pfizer, Fisher Scientific, Amgen, Steptoe & Johnson, Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute, WV Small Business Development Center and TechConnect West Virginia.

BioWV also receives funding through a grant by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

For professional economic developers, the WV Bioscience Summit qualifies for five professional development credit hours. The cost to attend the event – which includes a reception on Feb. 27 and lunch on Feb. 28 – is $25 for members, $50 for nonmembers and free to students.

To register for the event, visit www.biowv.org and click on the “events” link.

For additional information, contact Bryan Brown at (304) 546-5500, or visit the website at: www.biowv.org.

The purpose of the Bioscience Association of West Virginia is to promote the bioscience industry in West Virginia, expand the knowledge and expertise of West Virginia’s businesses concerning the life sciences through seminars, educational publications and to enhance public awareness of the biotechnology industry in West Virginia.

PO BOX 20065 | Charleston, WV 25362 | (304) 546-5500