BIO International Convention Recap

Editor’s Note: The Biotechnology Industry Organization’s 2012 International Convention in June in Boston gave the New Jersey biotechnology community an opportunity to shine before thousands of visitors from around the United States and the world.
Here are some of the highlights.

NJ Governor Chris Christie Recognized as BIO 2012 Governor of the Year

BOSTON — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was honored as the BIO 2012 Governor of the Year. The BIO Governor of the Year Award honors a governor who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in support of the biotechnology industry.

Please see below a video in which Governor Christie made his acceptance speech following a presentation of the award by BIO Board Member and Celgene Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Perry A. Karsen and BioNJ President Debbie Hart.

Please click here to read a press release from BIO.

NJ Lt. Governor and BioNJ Honor NJ Student for Top Honors at International Biology Olympiad during BIO International Convention

BOSTON — A New Jersey teen, who as a high school senior earned top honors at the 2011 International Biology Olympiad, was honored on June 20 by New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and BioNJ President Debbie Hart at a special ceremony during the world’s largest annual biotechnology conference.

Rebecca Shi, a 2011 graduate of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, is the first U.S. female team member to take top honors in the world in individual scores at the long-running Olympiad, where 58 other nations sent teams to compete. Team USA 2011, comprising Rebecca and three other high school seniors from around the United States, also placed first in the team competition and collected four gold medals in practical assessments and theory.

Debbie Hart, Rebecca Shi and Kim Guadagno

BioNJ President Debbie Hart, left, and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, right, congratulate Rebecca Shi for her outstanding achievements at the 2011 International Biology Olympiad.

“It’s such a great honor to be recognized by such accomplished professionals in the industry,” Ms. Shi said in an interview last week from Purdue University, where she was helping high school seniors from around the country prepare for this year’s Olympiad.

Rebecca, who goes by “Becky,” was presented with a BioNJ Special Achievement Award by New Jersey Lt. Governor Guadagno and BioNJ President Debbie Hart at the New Jersey Pavilion during Biotechnology Industry Organization’s International Convention in Boston.

“Congratulations to Becky for her significant accomplishments at the Biology Olympiad and the inspiration she provides our state and our nation’s future scholars and scientists through her hard work, educational achievement, and dedication to helping others,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “It is the depth of quality and committed talent from our young scholars like Becky to a host of globally renowned bio scientists that make New Jersey the innovation state and ideal place to locate and grow biotech companies.”

BioNJ President Debbie Hart offered her congratulations to Rebecca and said she takes particular pride that a state known for its biocluster also produced the world’s top high school senior in biology last year.

“It’s terrific to see one of our own students excelling in this exciting and still-emerging field,” said Hart. “Biotech offers so many people so much through the promise of new medicines and other advances, and it’s heartening to see such very bright young people like Becky coming up who will continue to move our industry forward.”

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BioNJ Joins Effort to Bring Life Science Education, Workforce Training, and Entrepreneurship to the National Stage

BOSTON — BioNJ, the trade association for New Jersey’s thriving biotechnology industry, announced on June 20 that it was joining 40 other state bioscience organizations in a nationally coordinated effort to ensure that the United States will continue its global leadership in bioscience innovation by developing and delivering industry-led life science education, workforce development, and entrepreneurship programs across the county.

BioNJ has signed on to be a member of this newly established group — the Coalition of Bioscience Institutes (CSBI). The formation of CSBI was announced at the 2012 BIO International Convention, the industry’s global event for biotechnology that is hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).

“As an advocate for the biotechnology industry in New Jersey, BioNJ is dedicated to contributing to an environment that will help our current companies grow and encourage new companies to come to New Jersey,” said Debbie Hart, President of BioNJ. “BioNJ’s affiliation with the CSBI will assure that New Jersey is linked to innovative industry training programs developed around the United States. This is great news for our State, and great news for America.”

Hart noted that workforce development will be a key focus of this new initiative, dovetailing nicely with the work that BioNJ is already doing through its Life Sciences Talent Network (LSTN).

BioNJ’s LSTN is an initiative funded by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development that enables BioNJ to provide an array of valuable services to industry employers and professionals looking to connect, as well as resources to students considering a career in the sciences. LSTN connects New Jersey’s professionals with careers in biotech, pharma, medical device, medical diagnostics, and clinical operations. The LSTN supports employers with talent acquisition and recruitment, talent pipeline development, employee transition services, and educational resources.

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