Archive for Thursday, May 3, 2007

Lab push continues at bioconference

May 3, 2007

Sen. Pat Roberts

Sen. Pat Roberts

A team of power players in the state's bioscience industry now has a captain for its road trip to Boston.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., announced Tuesday that he would lead the Kansas delegation during the BIO 2007 convention, which runs Friday through Monday in Boston.

The international event is billed as the world's largest bioscience convention, intended to educate the public and policymakers about biotechnology, showcase the latest in bioscience innovations and provide states with an opportunity to promote their bioscience strengths.

"Kansans have a rich history of embracing and leading innovation, and our work at BIO 2007 will demonstrate to the world that we are committed to aggressively moving this industry forward," Roberts said.

KansasBio, a bioscience booster organization, announced last week that it would field a team of seven "Big Thinkers" for the conference. The group includes Val Stella, a distinguished professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at Kansas University.

In keeping with Kansas' theme for this year - "Big League Bio" - Roberts will throw out the ceremonial "first pitch" as the delegation opens its pavilion at the convention.

Tom Thornton, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Bioscience Authority, praised Roberts' leadership - including his work on a potential $451 million federal laboratory that could be in Leavenworth or Manhattan.

"Through his leadership of Kansas' efforts to secure the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, Sen. Roberts continues to demonstrate unwavering support of the biosciences in Kansas," Thornton said.

Angela Kreps, president of KansasBio, said the delegation also would focus on Kansas' strengths in specific bioscience sectors, including biofuels, pharmaceuticals and animal health.


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