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Industry Leaders Discuss the Future of Biotech at UAlbany Conference

Contact: Office of Media Relations (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 16, 2005) -- "The Future of Life Sciences Innovation in Tech Valley and New York State" will be the focus of a May 18 panel discussion featuring industry leaders from GE Company, Pfizer Inc., and Battelle. The University at Albany has joined with the New York Biotechnology Association (NYBA) and Bioconnex, the Center for Economic Growth's local biotech association, to cosponsor the panel discussion. The event, hosted by Turner Construction's vice president and general manager Mark Breslin, will take place on Wednesday, May 18 at the UAlbany Life Sciences Building on the Uptown Campus. The event begins with registration at 4:30 p.m., the panel at 5 p.m., followed by a 6 p.m. reception. This forum is part of a series produced under the Life Sciences Research Initiative (LSRI) at UAlbany. The LSRI at the University at Albany is building new strengths for the scientific challenges of today and the future.

The panelists will discuss issues impacting biotech growth from the perspectives of regional and statewide biotech-related firms and associations. They will also talk about the need for increased life sciences research funding, the impact of state and federal legislation on the industry, and the initiatives, incentives and partnerships critical to biotech growth. Representing the Tech Valley regional perspective will be moderator Eugene Schuler, chief administrative officer at the Ordway Research Institute, and Shreefal Mehta, Ph.D., vice president of Cytopia and member of Bioconnex' Steering Committee.

Representing the pharma and biosciences industries will be Joseph P. Hammang, Ph.D., Director, Science Policy and Public Affairs, Pfizer, Inc.; Christoph Hergersberg, Ph.D., Global Technology Leader of Biosciences, GE Global Research; and David Hochman, Senior Principal, Technology Partnership Practice, Battelle Consulting.

Karin Duncker, executive director of NYBA, will give opening remarks which will address the issue from a statewide perspective. NYBA's 260+ members - pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academic and research institutions, service providers and consultants with a stake in growing biotechnology in New York - are dedicated to strengthening its competitiveness as a premier global location for biotechnology and biomedical research, education and industry.

To register, contact NYBA at (631) 444-8895 or For information, contact Penelope Benson-Wright, UAlbany at 437-4978 or

A keystone of the LSRI is the Life Sciences Research Building, offering state-of-the-art facilities essential for research occurring at the frontiers of contemporary science. UAlbany scientists are advancing knowledge across the broad spectrum of life sciences research, and the new building dramatically expands the space and tools available to support their investigations


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