Arizona’s presence at the world’s largest biotechnology convention continued its annual growth at the June meeting of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) in Philadelphia. The state commanded a more prominent, visible location in the exhibition hall than in past years, and generated greater foot traffic from national and international bioscience professionals.
Nearly 19,000 people from 61 nations attended BIO’s 13th-annual convention. Many came primarily to showcase the strengths of their organization or region in the burgeoning exhibition hall, crammed full of trade displays representing states and nations.
The Arizona Department of Commerce coordinated the Arizona Pavilion—an island configuration of eight kiosks representing 27 exhibiting organizations—and led a delegation of nearly 50 individuals representing Arizona universities, firms, research institutes, economic developers, city governments, and the state’s two bioindustry trade associations (Arizona BioIndustry Association and Bioindustry Organization of Southern Arizona). Numerous meetings were held at the Pavilion with prospective partners and clients.
The state was also represented in two sessions. A panel on the role of neurogenomics in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and autism included Dietrich Stephan, director of TGen’s neurogenomics division, and Eric Reiman, scientific director of the PET Center at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center. Another session on nanobiotechnology included Evan Unger, president and CEO of Tucson-based ImaRx Therapeutics.
In a pre-convention program focusing on education, Xan Simonson, Biotechnology Academy Coordinator at Mesa High School, was awarded 3rd place and $2,500 in the National Biotechnology Teacher-Leader Award competition. She was part of a delegation of 10 educators from Mesa Public Schools that attended the conference.
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