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4th Annual Life Science Leadership Summit-2011

The Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association and our partners, Greater Spokane Incorporated, Inland Northwest Health Services and Washington State University, hosted more than 80 life sciences leaders  to discuss strategies to help continue the growth of Washington’s life science and enhance competitiveness. The event was held at Washington State University, Spokane on Wednesday, June 15.

The full-day conference brought these leaders together from across the state to share knowledge about major life science activities and initiatives. Life sciences is now one of Washington’s top 5 sectors, and one of its fastest growing and most promising for the future of our state’s economy and citizens. Leaders in the industry agree that by working together, we can fully realize the future opportunities of this sector, collectively facilitating the translation of breakthrough discoveries to better health solutions. 

The strategies and goals of the summit:

  1. To hear from and share knowledge among life sciences leaders across the state
  2. Discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by government, institutions, companies and other industry affiliates
  3. Discuss ways to collaborate to address challenges and leverage opportunities in order to maintain strong engagement among diverse constituencies
  4. To provide information to WBBA in order to develop strategies to foster ongoing collaboration with leadership around the state

Chris Rivera, President, Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association; Tom Fritz, Chief Executive Officer, Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS); and Tom Clement, Chairman, Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association; Chief Executive Officer, Cardiac Insight, Inc.; Chairman, Pathway Medical Technologies kicked off the summit with a welcome and update on the sector.  View Rivera's presentation slides.

Keynote speakers Brian Pitcher, PhD, Chancellor, Washington State University Spokane and Bryan Slinker, DVM, PhD, Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University presented “Development of a Research Intensive Academic Health Science Center”.   The vision of  developing Research Intensive Academic Health Science Center on the Riverpoint Campus:

  • Building a medical school
  • Four-year medical education and expanded residency programs
  • Dentistry programs
  • All four years of the Pharm. D. Program and Ph.D. Programs
  • Nursing programs (bachelors’ through doctoral degrees)
  • Public health programs
  • Allied health programs
  • Health Science STEM programs 

View Presentation Slides

Next on the agenda, industry leaders showcased innovation that is developing in Spokane and Pullman.   The speakers included:

  • Rich Hadley, President and Cheif Executive Officer, Greater Spokane, Incorporated
  • Tony Bonanzino, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Systems Medicine | View presentation slides
  • Susan Ashe, Acting Executive Director, Health Sciences & Services Association and Antony Chiang, President, Empire Health Foundation
  • Tom Fritz, Chief Executive Officer, Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS) | View presentation slides
  • Jim Roberts, Senior Principal Consultant, Client Services, Sirti

Jim Katzaroff, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Advanced Medical Isotope Corporation discussed the research and developments that are emerging from the Tri-Cities.

The entire state was represented as business and academic leaders from western Washington took the podium and highlighted what was happening in their organizations.  Presenters included:

  • Steve Johnson, Director, Seattle's Office of Economic Development (Grow Seattle) | View presentation slides
  • Terrence Sweeney, Global Clinical Affairs, Philips Ultrasound
  • Gustavo Mahler, President and COO, CMC Biologics
  • James Gore, Cheif Operating Officer, Puget Sound Blood Center Research Institute | View presentation slides
  • Maren Ohaks Myers, Industry Relations Officer, University of Washington Center for Commercialization (UWC4C)
  • Lara Mangravite, Senior Scientist, Systems Biology, Sage Bionetworks | View presentation slides
  • Vajra Allan, Project Administrator, Washington Global Health Fund, Washington Global Health Alliance

Washington State Senator Lisa Brown, Majority Leader (3rd District) and Washington State Representative Susan Fagan (9th District) gave a legislative update where they discussed the economic growth of Washington state, the higher education budget, and workers comp and how these items relate to the life sciences industry.  What do the legislators need from the sector?  Continued community collaboration and continued support of higher education. Senator Brown said the importance of early & higher education as well as the importance of research & technology needs to continue to be communicated to government ‘Loud & Clear’. Representative Fagan added that the state does not produce enough engineers and scientists and getting our students interested in life sciences at early ages and into our universities is key.

An update on the Life Sciences Discovery Fund was delivered by John DesRosier, PhD, Director of Programs.  With 43 awards made since 2007 (approx. $33M paid out to date):

  • The return on investment is over $240M in additional funding committed or received from federal and private sources ($27M from Eastern WA grants);
  • More than $67M in health-care cost savings
  • 36 awards (84%) focus on development of an identifiable commercial product or service
  • More than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs anticipated over the next three years
  • At least $500 million in statewide economic activity

View presentation slides

The summit closed with an interactive “Town Hall” discussion moderated by Chris Rivera, President, Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association

Quick Links

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