January 2013 Newsletter

Life Sciences South Florida featured at the 2012 Annual BioFlorida Conference

October 7-9, 2012

This past October, BioFlorida celebrated its 15th Annual Conference. The conference focused on two tracks: investment and business, and combined product and technology presentations with interactive expert-led panel sessions. The event was exciting and dynamic; 500 attendees had the opportunity to network and communicate about their life sciences research and initiatives over the course of three days. Social networking was facilitated by the exhibition of over 100 products and technologies featured in the conference’s online meeting system.

President Mark Rosenberg, President Donna Shalala, and President Frank Nero were featured as keynote speakers moderated by Vice President Irma Becerra-Fernandez on the third day of the conference. The panel discussed the future of cancer research, regenerative medicine, and medical devices. The issue of national healthcare accessibility, specifically within South Florida, was also a point of conversation. There was consensus that healthcare accessibility can only be attained through increased efficiency to reduce cost, while maintaining quality and effectiveness.  In addition, the importance of appropriate training and innovative educational programs that prepare young adults for the current workforce were discussed.

Our leaders in education and workforce development agree that training is key to growing high-pay and high-technology jobs across the region. Looking forward, the 2013 BioFlorida Conference is to be held in Tampa Bay. Life Sciences South Florida has committed to Silver Sponsorship for the event.

For more information on the upcoming 2013 conference, please visit: http://bioflorida.com/

Life Sciences Industry Cluster Analytics Group

Gathering with Industry Leaders at Reagan House

Twelve CEOs and C-level Executives of Life Sciences industries convened on October 26 at FIU's Ronald Reagan House to discuss their workforce and training needs. This meeting was co-sponsored by the Banner Center at Palm Beach State College and the Haas Center at University of West Florida.

The meeting focused on what type of training local pharmaceutical, medical devices and biotechnology companies are looking for in their potential new hires.

Because of the opportunity for conversation among life science industry leaders, participants learned that there is an abundance of electrical engineers applying for jobs, but not enough computer engineers. This indicated that perhaps an effective way to better meet local companies' workforce needs is to offer electrical and biomedical engineers (both in abundance in the region) more opportunities to take classes in computer engineering so they can also be marketable for jobs that require those skill sets. FIU was happy to partner with The Banner Center and Haas Center to communicate with local life sciences industries and align educational efforts with training needs.

STEM K-20 & Workforce Development in South Florida

Life Sciences South Florida STEM Research Symposium

One of LSSF’s major initiatives is the Life Sciences South Florida STEM Research Symposium to be held on March 16 at Miami Dade College, North Campus. Students from Florida International University, Miami Dade College, Broward College, Indian River State College, Nova Southeastern University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Palm Beach State College, University of Miami, Barry University, St. Thomas University, and Florida Memorial University will all come together in one location to showcase some of the best undergraduate level research in our region. Undergraduates interested in attending the conference will submit their research abstracts for review and those selected will have the opportunity for either poster or oral presentation of their work.

The primary goal of the symposium is to encourage undergraduate students’ interests in STEM and to help them envision their future careers. At the symposium, students will interact with life sciences industry professionals and graduate students, helping undergraduates gain a better understanding for what a future in the life sciences can offer. In addition, there will be an internships booth, which will facilitate students’ search for internships during peak season. LSSF, through donor participation, will present prizes to students with the best oral and poster presentations.

To get involved with the Life Sciences South Florida STEM Research Symposium, please contact Jenesis Ramirez at jenramir@fiu.edu.

January Webinar 1.15.12

Webinar Title: Novel Techniques for Structure Elucidation of Blockbuster Drugs: A Close Look at Biologics and Chirality 

Presenter: Dr. Rina Dukor, President of BioTools, Inc.

February Webinar 2.19.13 @ 12:30pm 

Webinar Title: The Emergence of Flow Cytometry as a Routine Diagnostic Testing Technology – Right Here in Our Own Back Yard!

Presenter: Dr. Mike Reed, Director of Global Assay and Applications Development for Beckman Coulter, Inc.

Webinars will proceed through July 16, 2013

Upcoming webinar dates and presenters:

  • March 19: Thomas Ross, President of Florida Biosciences, LLC
  • April 16: Meridith Rentz, President & CEO of MedShare
  • May 21: Rose Satz, CEO of Bio-Nucleonics, Inc.

Research Resources Portal

LSSF is working on a Research Resources Portal which will be utilized to share technological equipment and laboratory services among member institutions. The portal is to be launched in the first quarter of 2013.

One of the projected goals is to tap into “unused capacity” to maximize overall research productivity by sharing research infrastructure, resources, and facilities in a cost-effective manner.

This project is being led by Florida International University together with Nova Southeastern University, Florida Atlantic University, University of Miami, and Max Planck Florida Institute. The intense level of collaboration that has been evident among leaders from different institutions to ensure the development of this initiative is a reflection of the foundation of LSSF – working together to share resources and contribute to an increasingly advanced and prosperous region. The portal will be shared among all LSSF members to enable streamlined equipment use. Ultimately, the long term goal is to make the portal available to local businesses in the community and state agencies.

Next Steps for Life Sciences South Florida

Asset Map and Cluster Analysis: Andrew Duffell, President of Research Park at Florida Atlantic University, is requesting quotes from various external companies.