George Mason Participates in BIO IT Coalition Conference

Posted: April 26, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Stephanie Hay

George Mason is participating in the BIO IT Coalition’s third annual conference tomorrow and Wednesday at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner hotel. The coalition is a nonprofit membership organization that seeks to facilitate economic development in the region through the use of bioinformatics, computational biology, and IT infrastructure.

Daniele Struppa, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, has been involved with the coalition almost since its inception in 1998 and currently serves on the advisory board. “The coalition has given me plenty of opportunities to highlight George Mason’s programs and to make interesting connections. Our labs at Prince William have often been the objects of visits from the participants,” he says.

Struppa notes that George Mason is putting together a joint National Science Foundation (NSF) proposal with BIO IT on how academia can help economic development. The idea for the NSF proposal stemmed from BIO IT activities.

President Alan Merten will introduce the conference keynote speaker Benjamin Wu, deputy under secretary for technology, U.S. Department of Commerce. Wu’s topic is “Policy and Partnerships Accelerate Innovation in the Converging Technologies.” Other speakers include Steve Mandell, chair of the BIO IT Coalition, and Peter Mueller, CSO of Vertex Pharma.

Panels and discussions include topics such as “Innovative Applications in the Life Sciences” and “Dirty Secrets of Technology Transfer.” Jerry Coughter, George Mason’s director of business development for life sciences, will be on the panel discussing “BIO IT and Business Programs Critical to Success in the Life Sciences.”

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