Marshall University research and commercialization experts to speak at statewide bioscience summit

Updated 6 years ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
Marshall University research and commercialization experts to speak at statewide bioscience summit
Marshall University representatives are among more than 25 life science experts who will share experiences and discuss strategies for successfully expanding the state's bioscience industry during the upcoming West Virginia Bioscience Summit.

Sponsored by the Bioscience Association of West Virginia (BioWV), the summit will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the Embassy Suites in Charleston. The annual event brings together members of the bioscience community with policy and opinion leaders, economic developers and others who are interested in learning more about how to grow and nurture the industry in West Virginia.

At the summit, Dr. Zijian Xie, who recently was appointed director of the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, will talk about commercializing university research. Xie, whose laboratory is internationally recognized for its groundbreaking work to understand the behavior of cellular pathways and their relationship to cancer, renal disease and cardiac failure, holds international patents and patent applications on seven medical inventions and has been involved with the creation of two spin-off companies from his research.

Dr. Todd Davies, director of research development and translation for the Marshall Clinical Research Center at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, is on the program to share information about clinical trials being conducted at Marshall, and Dr. Michael Norton, a Marshall professor of chemistry whose lab focuses on developing chemical sensors to detect threat agents in the environment, will join colleagues from West Virginia University, West Liberty University and West Virginia Wesleyan College on a panel highlighting some of the bioscience research being conducted at universities and colleges in the state.

In addition, representatives of two Marshall spinout companies, Derek Gregg of Vandalia Research and Dr. Jagan Valluri of Cordgenics, are scheduled to be on a panel of bioscience company representatives to discuss creating an environment for life science growth in the state and the challenges of raising capital. Gregg and Valluri both founded their companies on technology they developed in Marshall University labs.

Dr. John Maher, Marshall's vice president for research, also will be participating in the summit and said, "The West Virginia Bioscience Summit is a tremendous opportunity to bring attention to the significant economic development happening via our state's life sciences community. We have a great deal of exciting biotechnology and economic development work happening here at Marshall and we are delighted to have this chance to share it with our colleagues and friends from around the state and region."

Gregg, who serves as the chairman of BioWV, added, "A successful life science industry begins with research, which then leads to discoveries. Those discoveries provide the basis for company development and economic growth for the state. West Virginia is having success but there is much more that can be done to help grow this industry within  our borders."

The summit's keynote speaker will be Hurricane native Dr. Mark Bates, CEO and founder of translational research company Nexeon MedSystems Inc. A physician, inventor and successful medical device entrepreneur, Bates will discuss the successes and challenges he's faced in working to improve patient outcomes through commercializing his medical innovations. He is the founder of several successful medical startup companies and holds more than 60 U.S. issued and pending patents in the areas of stents, embolic protection, gene therapy, stem cell implantation, regenerative therapy, nanotechnology, spinal cord injury, catheter design and drug delivery.

Event sponsors include the international Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Amgen, Fisher Scientific, Mylan, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Sanofi, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, TechConnect West Virginia and the West Virginia Small Business Development Center. BioWV also receives funding through a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

Marshall University is a founding member of BioWV. The purpose of the association is to promote and strengthen the bioscience industry in the state by developing a cohesive community that unites biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and research organizations.

For more information or to register for the summit, visit

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