Posted: October 30, 2008

Annual Biotechnology Conference returns to Charlotte

(Nanowerk News) It has been a success for the past six years, and it’s back again. The 7th Annual Charlotte Biotechnology Conference (CBC) will be held in the Student Activities Center (SAC) on October 28, 2008 and will feature an array of different speakers elaborating on the different aspects of biotechnology.
According to the CBC website, the 7th Annual Charlotte Biotechnology Conference will provide insight from some of the most recognized biotechnology, business, and research professionals from around the globe in addition to highlighting regional opportunities and investment trends within the local biotechnology sector.
“We have close to 30 speakers presenting this year,” said Kenneth Paulus (Assistant Director for Business and Entrepreneurial Development of the Charlotte Research Institute at UNC Charlotte), “a mix of biotechnology entrepreneurs, economic development specialists, researchers, and investors.”
Paulus is the producer for the 7th Annual CBC, and tells of a few special speakers who will be attending. One of the morning presenters is Dr. Roger Newton, the co-discoverer of Lipitor, then the Charlotte Mayor, Pat McCrory, and MC Gubernatorial Candidates Lt. Governor Bev Perdue will be making their speeches during the luncheon. Paulus feels that the Charlotte Research Institute at UNCC is a kind of “portal” connecting the business world to the academic community of UNCC.
“We have an event committee that first drafts topics that are relevant to the biotechnology sector in the region;” explains Paulus, “We then recruit speakers based on their expertise and relevance to those topics.” A few of the topics for this years’ conference are: The State of Biotechnology in the Charlotte Region, UNCC Research Sessions, and Building Biotech. The CBC is on a tight schedule, but has been attended by people from all over Charlotte in the past. Paulus says there are 325 attendees so far and that students, faculty, and staff of UNCC can get in free but they must pre-register online, “The conference is expected to be sold out and we will be unable to let unregistered guests attend.”
“We also have a Graduate Student Poster Competition where we select 12 students to compete for $2,000 in cash,” said Paulus. Paulus then goes on to explain that the competition is for graduate students doing scientific research, and the commercialization of the research. “’Commercialization is essentially taking research or a discovery and turning it into a commercial product that is ultimately sold in the market.” This is only the second year of the competition and graduate students are applying for the $2,000 from all over the NC state.
According to the CBC website, concerning the competition, the research areas may include, but are not limited to; biomedical engineering, biology, nanotechnology, bio-imaging, bioinformatics, nutritional science, and disease research. Ultimately there are four winners, the first getting the $2,000 prize, the second getting a $1,000 prize, the third getting $500, and two runner ups will get $250 per team.
The judging to determine the winners will be the day of the conference, where the finalists must present their research and poster to a committee’s board. The 12 finalists have been chosen and are posted on the CBC website; there are six finalists from Wake Forest University, three from Claflin University, two from UNCC, and one from Clemson University.
The 325 attendees of the CBC will get to hear speakers on a variety of different topics concerning biotechnology. If you want to know more about the Charlotte Biotechnology Conference and the Graduate Poster competition, visit UNC Charlotte Research Institute.
Source: Niner Online (Vanessa Doran)
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