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Editor's note: As of 7-15-02, THRI's name changed to the Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center.

Bio Kentucky Mission Launched at World's Largest Biotech Event

Photo of Kentucky's booth at BIO 2000

For the first time Kentucky was an exhibitor at the world's largest biotech event, BIO 2000 International Biotechnology Meeting and Exhibition, held in Boston last March. The event drew a record 11,038 leading scientists, top government officials, and investment experts from 44 countries for 200 special symposia and presentations featuring more than 600 speakers.

BIO President Carl Feldbaum says, "Our annual conference has become a singular event, clearly the world's most popular gathering to explain and debate biotechnology's scientific and business progress, benefits and challenges." Genomics, gene therapy, bioethics, patient advocacy, technology transfer, government regulation, business development, business trends and visions of the future were just a few of the topics covered. More than 750 companies and organizations participated in the exhibit area.

Kentucky's booth was a joint effort between 12 faculty and administrators from the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, and two representatives from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

Kathy Stewart, executive director of UK's Coldstream Research Campus, says, "It was very exciting to see the enthusiasm of the Kentucky delegation, and to watch UK and U of L share ideas and information, and work together as a group to say that Kentucky can offer everything that other states have, and even more. We put out the message that Kentucky is the next place these biotech companies should look."

UK participants included Stewart, Maelor Davies, director of the Tobacco and Health Research Institute; Glenn Collins, Department of Agronomy; Bob Blouin, College of Pharmacy; Del Collins, vice chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies, Chandler Medical Center; and Joe Fink, assistant vice president for Research and Graduate Studies and director of ASTeCC, UK's Advanced Science and Technology Commercialization Center.

"This event allowed us to showcase the impressive array of cutting-edge biomedical and agricultural research taking place at UK," says Fitzgerald Bramwell, vice president for Research and Graduate Studies. Plans are already under way to increase Kentucky's participation in BIO 2001 to be held in San Diego at the end of June.

Deb Weis