BIOTECHNOLOGY: PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE
September 21-23, 2008
Garen Bohlin has served as Chief Operating Officer at Sirtris since
2006. Prior to Sirtris, Mr. Bohlin served as Chief
Executive Officer of Syntonix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for six
years from its inception in 1998. Prior to Syntonix, which
was acquired by Biogen Idec in 2006, Mr. Bohlin spent 14
years in executive management at Genetics Institute, Inc.
In his last role at Genetics Institute, Mr. Bohlin served
as Executive Vice President with responsibility for most of
the non-scientific areas of the company that comprised
approximately half of the company's then 1,600 employees.
Mr. Bohlin played a leading role in structuring and
implementing a strategic alliance with American Home
Products (now Wyeth) that resulted in the eventual
acquisition of Genetics Institute at an implied valuation
of approximately $3 billion. Prior to Mr. Bohlin's tenure
at Genetics Institute, he was a partner at Arthur Andersen
& Co., where he spent 13 years. Mr. Bohlin serves as a
director of Acusphere, Inc. and Targanta Therapeutics
Dr. Robert Bud is a Visiting Professorial Fellow in the Department
of History at Queen Mary, University of London. Dr. Bud is an historian
of science, technology and medicine and the Principal Curator of
Medicine at the Science Museum. He has worked at the Museum in a
variety of roles, for 30 years. Fascinated by the process of story
telling in the Museum medium, he has directed the development of
major narrative and collections based websites at the Science Museum
as well as several major exhibitions. In his most recent studies
he has examined the social and cultural history of penicillin, and
he is working with colleagues at Queen Mary on better understanding
of the place of science in post-war Britain.
Dr. Donald G. Comb is the founder and owner of New England Biolabs,
a research and biotechnology company in Beverly, Mass. He is also
the creator and principal benefactor of the Ocean Genome Legacy
Foundation. Don received his PhD from the University of Michigan
and did his postdoctoral work with Saul Roseman at the Rackham Arthritis
Research Unit, University of Michigan. He was Assistant Professor
at Harvard Medical School studying nucleic acid synthesis during
embryonic development. He spent four years on the function of 5
S rRNA before leaving Harvard to start New England Biolabs.
Peter Feinstein is a General Partner and cofounder of BioVentures
Investors. Feinstein became active in the world of biotechnology
in 1981 when he was hired by Dr. Walter Gilbert to direct Biogen’s
investor relations and communications activities in Europe and the
United States. In 1985, Peter co-founded the Massachusetts Biotechnology
Council, serving as its executive director during its initial years
and as a board member from 1985 through 1997. In 1990, he received
recognition for his work for the industry as a Finalist in the Entrepreneur
of the Year competition. Feinstein founded the leading biotechnology
communications firm, Feinstein Kean Healthcare, in Cambridge in
1987. The firm was sold to the WPP group in 1999, after building
a stellar reputation and a client list that included Genzyme, Biogen,
Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Amgen, Abiomed, Novartis, Sepracor and others.
He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Advisors
of the Harvard-MIT Health Science and Technology Division and serves
as Chair of its Development Committee. He also co-chaired the Leadership
Circle at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, and is
a member of its Board of Associates.
Dr. Maryann Feldman is the Jeffery S. Skoll Chair in Technical Innovation
and Entrepreneurship and Professor of Business Economics at the
Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Prior to joining
Rotman, Dr. Feldman held the position of Policy Director for Johns
Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering and prior to that she was
aresearch scientist at the Institute on Policy Studies at the University.
Dr. Feldman is on the Advisory Panel for the U.S. National Science
Foundation's Program on Societal Dimensions of Engineering, Science
and Technology. Her research and teaching interests focus on the
areas of innovation, the commercialization of academic research
and the factors that promote technological change and economic growth.
A large part of Dr. Feldman's work concerns the geography of innovation
– investigating the reasons why innovation clusters spatially
and the mechanisms that support and sustain industrial clusters.
Dr. Herbert Heyneker is a renowned scientist with more than 25 years
of experience in molecular genetics. He was the first scientist
hired at the founding of Genentech in 1976. In 1984, he joined Genencor,
a spin-off from Genentech, as Vice President of R&D. He received
his PhD in Molecular Genetics from Leiden University, The Netherlands.
He co-founded three biotechnology companies and has been on the
board and/or an advisor to numerous biotechnology companies worldwide.
An author on more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, Dr. Heyneker holds
over 30 issued patents.
John H. Leamon, Ph.D., obtained a B.A. in Zoology from Connecticut
College in 1989, his M.S. in Biological Oceanography from the University
of Connecticut in 1994, and a Ph.D. in Physiology and Neurobiology
from the University of Connecticut in 1999. John conducted his postdoctoral
research at Yale School of Medicine under the direction of Dr. Paul
Lizardi, working on rolling circle amplification and single molecule
detection. Following his post-doc, John developed and productized
the emulsion PCR (emPCR) process at 454 Life Sciences. He then transferred
to RainDance Technologies, where he led the development of genomic
applications for the company’s droplet-based nanoreactor technology.
John is currently directing molecular biology at Ion Torrent Systems,
Inc. in Guilford, CT. John’s research interests revolve around
nucleic acids in general, including nucleic acid amplification,
microfluidics and genomics, with a personal interest in the practical
benefits and limitations of single molecule amplifications. He has
co-authored several articles on emerging sequencing technologies
and their real-world application.
Yuk Lam Lo has served as a Director of Sinovac Biotech Ltd. since
March 2006. He is currently serving as the Vice President of PerkinElmer
Life and Analytical Sciences, Pacific Rim, the Chairman of the Industry
Technology Committee of the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association
of Hong Kong and the Director of the Chinese Manufacturers’
Association of Hong Kong. Mr. Lo also served as the Chairman of
the Innovation and Technology Fund (Biotechnology Projects) Vetting
Committee, HKSAR, and as chairman of the Biotechnology Committee,
Industry & Technology Development Council, HKSAR. Mr. Lo is
a member of the Advisory Committee of the World Trade Centre Association
(Hong Kong), an Adjunct Professor of the Chinese University of Hong
Kong, the Special Advisor of the Hong Kong University of Science
& Technology (HKUST), a committee member of the Biotechnology
Research Institute (BRI) of HKUST, and a member of the Advisory
Committee of the City University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong
Dr. Alan McHughen is currently a Specialist in Cooperative Extension
(Plant Biotechnology); Geneticist and Lecturer at the College of
Natural and Agricultural Sciences at UC, Riverside. After earning
his doctorate at Oxford University, Dr. McHughen worked at Yale
University and the University of Saskatchewan before joining the
University of California, Riverside. A molecular geneticist with
an interest in crop improvement and environmental sustainability,
he helped develop US and Canadian regulations covering genetically
engineered crops and foods. He served on the recent US National
Academy of Sciences panels investigating the environmental effects
of transgenic plants, and a second investigating the health effects
of genetically modified foods. His is now Past President and Treasurer
of the International Society for Biosafety Research (ISBR).
Dr. Stelios Papadopoulos is a Vice Chairman of SG Cowen and as an
investment banker he focuses on the biotechnology and pharmaceutical
sectors. Prior to joining SG Cowen in February 2000, he spent thirteen
years as an investment banker at PaineWebber, Incorporated where
he was most recently Chairman of PaineWebber Development Corp.,
a PaineWebber subsidiary focusing on biotechnology. He joined PaineWebber
in April 1987 from Drexel Burnham Lambert where he was a vice president
in the Equity Research Department covering the biotechnology industry.
Prior to Drexel, he was a biotechnology analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin
Before coming to Wall Street, Dr. Papadopoulos was on the faculty
of the Department of Cell Biology at New York University Medical
Center. He continues his affiliation with NYU Medical Center as
an Adjunct Associate Professor of Cell Biology. Dr. Papadopoulos
holds a Ph.D. in biophysics and an MBA in finance, both from New
Dr. Stelios Papadopoulos is a co-founder and Chairman of the Board
of Exelixis, Inc., and he is a co-founder and member of the Board
of Cellzome, Inc. and Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He is also a
member of the Board of Directors of GenVec, Inc., SGX Pharmaceuticals,
Inc. and BG Medicine, Inc. In the not-for-profit sector, Dr. Papadopoulos
is a co-founder and Chairman of Fondation Santé. He is also
a member of the board of BioVentures for Global Health and the board
of Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences.
Richard J. Roberts, Ph.D., was awarded the 1993 Nobel Laureate for
his work in gene splicing. In addition to serving as research director
at New England Biolabs, Roberts is a fellow of both the Society
of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology.
Dr. Roberts received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University
of Sheffield, England, in 1968. After postdoctoral research at Harvard
University, he took a post at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New
York in 1972.
In 1977 Roberts and a team including Thomas Broker, Louise Chow
and Richard Gelinas established that the genes of the adenovirus—one
of the viruses that cause the common cold—are discontinuous.
The segments of DNA that code for proteins are interrupted by lengthy
stretches of DNA that do not contain genetic information. A team
from MIT headed by Phillip A. Sharp reported parallel findings the
Based on studies of bacterial DNA, biologists had previously believed
that genes consisted of unbroken stretches of DNA, all of which
encoded protein structure. It has since been established that the
discontinuous gene structure discovered by Roberts and Sharp is
the most common structure found in higher organisms (eukaryotes).
In addition to having important implications for the study of genetic
diseases, this structure is believed to drive evolution by allowing
information from different parts of the gene to be brought together
in new combinations.
For this work, Drs. Roberts and Sharp were jointly awarded the Nobel
Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Dr. Robert Steinbrook, M.D., is a national correspondent for the
New England Journal of Medicine, and has written many perspective
articles, editorials and health policy reports for the journal.
From 1993 to 2001, he was a deputy editor of the New England Journal.
From 1985 to 1992, he was a medical writer for the Los Angeles Times.
He is a graduate of Amherst College and the University of Pennsylvania
School of Medicine. He is a general internist; he trained in internal
medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and is a
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Boston University School
Dr. Thibodeau is currently the Director of the Electronic Records
Archives (ERA) at the National Archives and Records Administration
(NARA). He has 29 years experience in archives and records management
and is an internationally recognized expert in electronic records.
Dr. Thibodeau taught at the University of Notre Dame and was Chief
of the Records Management Branch of the NIH before coming to NARA
in 1988. In 1996, he served as the Director of the Department of
Defense Records Management Task Force. He studied at Fordham University
in New York and the University of Strasbourg, France. He earned
a Ph.D. in the history of sociology of science from the University
of Pennsylvania. A Fellow of the Society of American Archivists,
he has published over 30 papers and spoken at more than 140 conferences
around the world.
Em.Prof. Marc Van Montagu is President of the European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB) and
of the Public Research Responsibility Initiative (PRRI). Together with Jozef Schell in 1982, he founded the
biotech company Plant Genetic Systems Inc. of which he was Scientific Director and member of the Board of
Directors. He also helped found the biotech company CropDesign, and served as a Board member from 1998 to 2004.
He was Professor and Director of the Laboratory of Genetics at the faculty of Sciences at
Ghent University in Belgium and Scientific Director of the Genetics Department at Flanders Interuniversity Institute
for Biotechnology (VIB). He has received numerous outstanding awards for his pioneering work in plant genetics,
including the prestigious Japan Prize. He has been a Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of
Sciences since 1986, the Agricultural Academy of Russia and France, the Academy of Engineering of Sweden and the
Italian Academy of Sciences dei XL. He holds
6 Doctor Honoris Causa Degrees.
Dr. Charles Weissmann is currently the head of the Department of
Infectology at the Scripps Research Institute in Palm Beach County,
Florida, USA. Weissmann was director of the Institute for Molecular
Biology in Zurich, President of the Roche Research Foundation and
co-founder and Member of the Scientific Council of Biogen. Weissmann
won several awards and is a member of the American Society of Biological
Chemistry and the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina.
He also became a Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy
of Sciences, the Royal Society (UK) and the Orden Pour le Merite
(Germany). In 1978, he was a cofounder of Biogen, the first European
biotechnology company and has served on several corporate boards.
Professor Weissmann has been internationally recognized for his
work, including memberships in the Royal Society (United Kingdom)
and National Academy of Science (USA). Professor Weissmann has been
awarded six honorary
Julie Xing, Ph.D. currently Vice President, Asia Pacific, brings
more than 10 years of experience in research, clinical- and business
management to Panomics. Prior to joining Panomics, Julie was the
founding General Manager of Illumina China. At Illumina, Julie lead
a team including sales, marketing, technical support and operations
making significant contributions to the rapid growth of Illumina
business in the Greater China territory. Previously, she served
as clinical project manager at US AIDS Resource center in Palo Alto,
California managing multiple infectious disease-related drug- and
device trials. Julie's leadership experience also includes the position
as CSO of Hong Kong DNA Chips Ltd., where she was responsible for
product development of diagnostic kits. Julie did post-doctoral
research at both Harvard University and Stanford Medical School
and holds a doctorate in Biology from The Hong Kong University of
Science and Technology.