State Biotechnology Conference Slated For CU-Boulder On Sept. 14

September 10, 1999

Scientists, engineers, students and business representatives will present their latest research findings and exchange new ideas at the 12th annual Colorado Biotechnology Symposium at the University of Colorado on Sept. 14.

The conference, to be held at the University Memorial Center, will bring together biotechnology researchers from university, industry and government laboratories in Colorado to share recent research and development progress.

Expected to draw about 300 participants, the event is sponsored by the Colorado Institute for Research in Biotechnology, or CIRB, and has received state funding from the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. The annual biotechnology conference alternates between CU-Boulder and Colorado State University.

"The goal is to promote interaction and cooperation between academia, government and industry on particular biotechnology issues," said Robert Davis, a CU-Boulder chemical engineering professor and chair of the 1999 symposium. "The conference documents successful collaborative research through scientific presentations and promotes future successes by linking academics with business and industry representatives sharing similar research and development interests."

More than 300 people are expected to attend the symposium, including about 100 students, said Davis. "Students get the opportunity to share their research with industry, learn about the business end of biotechnology and network with possible future employers," he said.

The conference will begin with registration in the UMC Lobby at 8 a.m., followed by opening remarks at 8:45 a.m. by Professor Davis and Carol Lynch, CU-Boulder’s associate vice chancellor for research and dean of the Graduate School.

The plenary address at 9 a.m. by Dr. Lisa Brannan-Peppas from Biogel Technology Inc. of Indianapolis will focus on biodegradable polymers in targeted and controlled drug delivery.

Five parallel sessions will begin at 10:30 a.m. One of the sessions, co-chaired by Charles Ferris of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and Jonas Kiken of the Colorado Venture Center in Denver, is titled "The Business of Biotechnology." It will include a panel discussion on "Positioning Yourself for Two-Fold Success: The Patent Process and Early Commercial Concerns."

Another session will be a "minisymposium" on RNA biotechnology featuring presentations by researchers from CU-Boulder, CSU, the CU Health Sciences Center and the Beckman Research Institute of Duarte, Calif. One of the papers presented will detail a ribozyme-based gene therapy for AIDS.

A third parallel session on new, high sensitivity detection methods for molecular biology involves presentations by researchers from CU-Colorado Springs, CSU, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutes of Baltimore, Biostar Inc. of Boulder and Baxter Hemoglobin Therapeutics of Deerfield, Ill.

A fourth morning session focusing on processes and medical biotechnology will include presentations by researchers from CU-Boulder, the Health Sciences Center, CSU, Amgen Inc. of Boulder and SHOT Inc. of Floyd Knobs, Ind. CU-Boulder researchers Jeffrey Heys and Victor Barocas will present new research on the mathematical modeling of fluid mechanics in the eye as part of the session.

The fifth morning session, which covers agricultural, energy and environmental biotechnology, includes presentations by researchers from CU-Boulder, CSU and the University of Arizona. CSU researchers will report on sequential anaerobic/aerobic treatment of PCB-contaminated soil.

A poster and social session in the afternoon will feature dozens of technical posters describing recent biotechnology progress in Colorado, along with tabletop displays on industrial products and services.

Corporate sponsors include Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals Inc., Amgen Inc. Proligo LLC and Dharmacon Research Inc., all of Boulder, as well as Heska Inc. and Cytomation Inc. of Fort Collins, Western Separations of Lake Forest, Calif., and the Piscataway, N.J., office of Amersham Pharmacia Biotech Inc.

For conference registration and fee information, contact Ellen Romig in the CU-Boulder chemical engineering department at (303) 492-6650.

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