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Release: Sept. 11, 2000

UI hosts Iowa Biotechnology Association conference Sept. 20

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Leading researchers will speak about the future implications and applications of genetic research as part of a statewide biotechnology annual conference, which will be held Sept. 20 at the University of Iowa.

The theme of this year's Iowa Biotechnology Association conference at the Iowa Memorial Union on the UI campus is "Growing Biotechnology Companies in Iowa: Opportunities, Strategies, and Partnerships for Biotechnology Businesses."

Delivering keynote messages on genetic research in the morning session will be Dr. Charles Edward, head of Human Genome Research at the Genetics Institute, Cambridge, Mass.; Dr. Susan Harlander, CEO of BIOrational, Minneapolis, Minn., a leading specialist in the food industry and consumer issues; and Dr. Val Sheffield, a UI professor of pediatrics and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute associate investigator, addressing the ethical implications of genetic research.

"The goal of this conference is to address issues important to Iowa's growing biotechnology industry," said Doug Getter, executive director of the Iowa Biotechnology Association (IBA). "The conference will also focus on some key issues in genetic research, such as potential growth in human and agricultural applications, consumer attitudes and ethics, genetic research in Iowa, and the future for the life sciences."

Following the keynote session, attendees will learn about genetic research underway at several Iowa companies and research organizations. Keynoting the luncheon will be J. Erik Fyrwald, president of DuPont Nutrition and Health in Wilmington, Del., giving his view of biotechnology applications in the coming years. Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, co-chair of the National Governor's Association Governors' Council on Biotechnology will speak in the final afternoon session. Three high school students recognized by the Association at the 2000 Iowa State Science Fair will also be honored.

During the afternoon workshops, Dr. Vincent Covello, Director of the Center for Risk Communication in New York City, will help participants communicate about biotechnology issues. A special panel will give approaches for transferring technology from federal laboratories and state universities. The third workshop will focus on launching a biotechnology entrepreneurial business.

The IBA was formed in 1994 to advance opportunities in Iowa for the improvement of the human environmental and economic wellbeing through the development and application of value-added technologies in the life sciences.

The registration fee is $150 for association members and $175 for nonmembers. Registration fee includes conference materials, lunch and breaks. Display space is also available.

The IBA Board is offering a limited number of qualified student scholarships that allows them to attend the conference for only $20. An application form is available at All scholarship applications must be received by noon, Friday, Sept. 15. Students will be notified by return e-mail if a scholarship has been approved.

For more information, contact the IBA at (515) 327-9156 or see the Association's website: