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Forum to spotlight personalized medicine on Aug. 17

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Patricia Favreau
Phone: 617-253-3492
MIT Sloan School of Management

Vaccine development and personalized medicine are on the agenda for representatives from industry, academia and government who will be attending an MIT forum on Aug. 17.

Collaborative Innovation in Action, a free, two-part biomedical innovation forum held at the Stata Center, will address a range of public policy, value chain, investment and research issues.

The afternoon program on personalized medicine will focus on emerging research relating to the central nervous system. Scott Gottlieb, deputy commissioner of medical and scientific affairs at the Food and Drug Administration, will address perspectives on central nervous system drug discovery and development from 1:20-1:40pm.

In addition, talks will offer perspectives on FDA regulation; the role of a standardized brain database in personalized medicine; and the clinical practice of personalized neurology and psychiatry.

The morning program on vaccines will offer in-depth case studies with important implications for society's ability to respond to potential global pandemics such as avian flu and HIV, as well as bioterrorist attacks.

Hosted by the MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation, the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology, and in collaboration with the Personalized Medicine Coalition and the New England Healthcare Institute, the forum will allow diverse biopharmaceutical players from industry, academia and government to share their individual perspectives and concerns along with case studies presented by noted researchers and practitioners.

Slated presenters in addition to Gottlieb include Dr. Frank Douglas, executive director of the MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation; Una Ryan, CEO of Avant Immunotherapeutics; and John Pena, president of Ancora Pharmaceuticals. Also participating will be William Egan, who, until his retirement last year, spent 28 years as acting director of the FDA's Office of Vaccines Research and Review.

The daylong forum will be followed by the fifth annual Celebration of Biotechnology in Kendall Square, an event that honors the strong academic/business relationships between MIT and the biotech community.

This "bio bash" will provide an opportunity for the region's biotechnology community to meet, network and celebrate accomplishments. Refreshments and hot hors d'oeuvres will be served starting at 6 p.m. at the Broad Institute, 7 Cambridge Center.

The event will include the unveiling of the 2006 map of the Great Kendall Square biotechnology cluster. The cluster map charts the growth and concentration of biotechnology enterprises in the MIT/Kendall Square area.

"This year we celebrate biotechnology by focusing on vaccines and personalized medicine, which epitomize the scientific and public policy challenges in healthcare," said Douglas. "The good news is that collaboration amongst the experts in academia, industry and government, not only in the Cambridge/Boston area, but globally, will realize the promise of the science we celebrate today."

There is no cost to attend either event, but online reservations are required. Forum attendees will automatically be able to take part in the evening Celebration of Biotechnology. For more information, a complete agenda and to register, visit

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