More than 80 West Virginia University researchers will meet with health-related private sector companies for what will be the largest bioscience/biomedical technology showcase ever held in West Virginia.

The event, set for Tuesday (Feb. 21) at WVU’s Erickson Alumni Center, will serve as a platform where University researchers and private industry experts can explore specific possibilities for collaboration and cooperation.

WVU bioscience and biomedical researchers will informally present thoughts and ideas for new projects, products and services at the event. More than two dozen biotechnology company and pharmaceutical representatives, looking for the next generation of breakthroughs in health care technology, will attend.

The effort is spearheaded by WVU’s Linking Innovation Industry and Commercialization (LIINC), funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and operated by the Office of Economic Development. LIINC is designed to accelerate the commercialization of WVU research results and strengthen the University’s regional economic impact by creating new and improving traditional ties to the private sector.

“Interaction and collaboration are what we are looking for in this effort,” said Russ Lorince, WVU’s director of economic development. “Our study of best practices indicated that we could forge some relationships that just might lead to the next big biomedical development. What we got was a response that shows us that there is a tremendous interest in the work of our WVU researchers and a real interest in seeing if that work can lead to new products that can make peoples’ lives better.”

Nineteen of the WVU researchers are set to display their work in poster presentations to industry representatives whose interests run across the spectrum of biomedical and bioscience technology.

Earlier this month, graduate student researchers from WVU’s Health Sciences Center had their turn to impress representatives from ten private companies at a similar LIINC event. Representatives from companies like Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies; Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, a biotechnology non-profit organization that works to encourage entrepreneurial life sciences research and patient care; and Protea Biosciences, a West Virginia company that is a world leader in the emerging field of bioanalytics attended that event and are expected to make a return visit to Morgantown for the faculty research version.

As with the student research event, the Feb. 21 opportunity will cover a range of research topics from cancer cell biology, cellular and integrative physiology, exercise physiology, and neuroscience to pharmaceutical and pharmacological sciences, and biomedical sciences.

Bruce Sparks, director of technology transfer at WVU, said it became clear during earlier LIINC events that much of the private sector is surprised at the level and quality of research under way at WVU in so many fields.

Last fall, LIINC sponsored a similar event for graduate students from the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. The next interactive LIINC event focusing on student research will highlight graduate students from the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and will be held later this spring. The next faculty-specific research reception event will be held this fall with a focus on energy and the environment.



CONTACT: Lindsay Emery, WVU Research Corp.

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