George Mason Is Active Participant in Virginia Biotechnology Convention

Posted: October 19, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Patty Snellings

George Mason’s highly visible presence at the statewide meeting of the Virginia Biotechnology Association set for Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 22 and 23, is yet another indication of the university’s growing influence and prestige in life sciences research in Northern Virginia and throughout the commonwealth. The fifth annual convention is held at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria and is complemented this year by the “Governor’s Conference on Human Genomics, the Family, and the Law.”

George Mason participants include President Alan Merten, who leads administrators from Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Eastern Virginia Medical School in a panel discussion on “Emerging Research from Virginia Universities.” He also speaks to convention attendees about the growing importance of partnerships and cooperation between academic institutions in the state.

James Olds, director of the Krasnow Institute, is a member of a panel discussion on “The Convergence of IT and Life Sciences.” Erin Williams, School of Computational Sciences, speaks at a workshop on gene chips; Stephanie Ferguson, College of Nursing and Health Science (CNHS), addresses workshop attendees about genetic testing and discrimination; and Mary Silva, CNHS, serves as moderator for a discussion on genetic literacy.

Other guests and speakers featured in the two-day program include Gov. James Gilmore, Deputy U.S. Secretary of health and human services Claude Allen; U.S. Sen. John Warner; and Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute.

“It is important that business and governmental officials know of the exciting research and teaching that George Mason is doing in the areas of bioscience, biotechnology, and bioinformatics,” Merten says. “Our success in the future will depend on how we work across disciplines and with the corporate community.”

Write to at