Yale Biotechnology Student Interest Group Hosts Reception on the Commercialization of Biomedical Technologies

The second annual Yale and New Haven Biotechnology Reception, sponsored by the Yale Biotechnology Student Interest Group, a student organization interested in promoting local biotechnology development, will take place on September 20 beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the New Haven Lawn Club.

The conference, titled “Bridging the Gap between Academia and Industry,” will highlight recent accomplishments of local companies and also discuss nationwide trends in biotechnology and the drug development industry. The event also will explore issues related to the process by which new technologies are brought from the bench to the bedside. Keynote speakers include Dr. Stanley Crooke, founder, chairman and CEO of Isis Pharmaceuticals, widely regarded as a pioneer in the biotechnology industry, and Dr. Bill Rice, founder and CEO of Achillion Pharmaceuticals.

A panel discussion addressing the biotech start-up process with perspectives from biotech management, venture capital, intellectual property law and academia will follow the keynote addresseses. The complete agenda and registration information can be found at www.yalebiotech.org. The conference is free of charge but registration is required since attendance will be capped.

The Yale Biotechnology Student Interest Group (Biotech SIG), founded in 1998 by graduate students of Yale law, medicine, life sciences and business schools, is a multidisciplinary organization comprising over 500 Yale graduate and professional students. The main components of the Biotech SIG include an interdisciplinary biotechnology curriculum development initiative, a consulting group, an investment analysis group, a speaker series and a career fair.

The Biotech SIG has developed an interdisciplinary curriculum in life science business, which they hope to make available to Yale graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The curriculum includes three courses spanning a full academic year: in the fall term, students would learn about technologies, their applications and implications for drug discovery; the spring term would be broken into two shorter courses - one devoted to strategic business issues in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, and the other focusing on ethical and policy issues in life science business.

The curriculum development team includes students and faculty members from management and biological science graduate programs. The team will refine the curriculum proposed by student members and devise a plan for successful implementation.

The Biotech SIG consulting group draws on the skills of students from across the graduate and professional schools to provide consulting services to New Haven biopharmaceutical companies. The consulting group projects are an invaluable opportunity for students at all levels to gain understanding and experience with real-world strategic problems that companies face. The group’s consulting efforts promote the growing New Haven biotechnology industry and offer networking opportunities for Yale students and members of the New Haven biotechnology community.

The Biotech SIG also hosts an investment analysis group that provides students with an opportunity to analyze ongoing biotechnology concerns and start-ups from stock analysis and private equity perspectives. Interdisciplinary teams deliver reports reflecting diverse viewpoints and insights on the scientific, marketing, regulatory and financial issues that affect success and valuation for biotechnology companies. The group seeks mentors in the financial and investment industries.

The Biotech SIG brings speakers from the biopharmaceutical industry to the Yale campus each year as well. Notable guest speakers from the 2001-2002 school year included Dr. Lee Hood, founder and director of The Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, WA; and Robert Kirkman, VP for Business Development, Protein Design Labs, Fremont, CA.

For more information, contact Chau Khuong (chau.khuong@yale.edu) or Rishi Gupta (rishi.gupta@yale.edu). The complete agenda for the Second Annual Yale and New Haven Biotechnology Reception can be found at http://www.yale.edu/biotech/reception2002/agenda.html

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