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Bioscience group holds conference this week

By Megan Workman

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Bioscience Association of West Virginia will host its third annual conference Thursday at the Charleston Marriott Town Center.

More than 100 people have already registered for the West Virginia Biosciences Summit that runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., said Bryan Brown, executive director of the association. People can still register online at www.biowv.org.

The summit will focus on the economic advantages of the biotech industry by bringing researchers, executives and policymakers together, Brown said.

"The whole point of this conference is to highlight what's taking place in this industry and to also show the [size of the] industry in West Virginia and how it has done in other places, too," Brown said. "There is a great desire to grow the industry."

The keynote speaker, Dave Scholl, helped Athens, Ohio-based Diagnostic Hybrids grow into a $100 million biotech company.

Scholl is one of more than 20 speakers who will discuss research and industry growth taking place in the state, throughout the nation and why it is important.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, state higher education Chancellor Paul Hill; Fred Bittenbender, vice president of Alliance Development & State Government at Biotechnology Industry Organization; and Protea Biosciences Chief Executive Officer Stever Turner are among the list of speakers.

West Virginia was one of 34 states that saw job gains in the bioscience industry between 2001 and 2010, according to report released by the Biotechnology Industry Organization and Battelle, a nonprofit independent research and development organization.

More than 6,400 West Virginians work in the bioscience industry, a 22 percent increase in a decade.

The U.S. bioscience industry grew up 6.4 percent from 2001 to 2010, adding more than 96,000 jobs, according to the report. The majority of the jobs added were in research, testing and laboratories.

For information, contact Brown at 304-546-5500 or visit www.biowv.org.

Reach Megan Workman at megan.workman@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.

 

 


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