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News & Press: University News

UVA Darden, Virginia Bio Collaborate in San Francisco

Friday, January 29, 2016  
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Virginia’s burgeoning biotechnology sector was on full display in San Francisco as a broad cross section of industry leaders descended on the Bay Area J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, the annual gathering that has become a must-stop for innovators, executives and dealmakers in the sector.

In an effort to bring together the various Virginia interests at the sprawling conference, Darden Executive Education and biosciences advocacy group, Virginia Biotechnology Association, hosted a reception for roughly 200 Darden alumni and industry leaders on the sidelines of the conference.

Organizers anticipated strong interest in the gathering, as Darden alumni represent well in leadership positions in businesses and investment firms in the biotech and health care industry, and scores attend the J.P. Morgan conference each year.Darden alumni attending the event represented a host of industries and companies, including Goldman Sachs, Diffusion Pharmaceuticals and Bain & Co., among many others.

“The fact that both Virginia Bio and Darden have recognized the importance of participating and advancing relationships highlights our mutual commitment to excellence and leadership,” said Jeff Conroy, chairman of Virginia Bio.  “This is the beginning of a long and productive relationship to strengthen the life-science industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Darden has strong and longstanding ties to the health care and biotech industry. In addition to an active recruiting pipeline via the Career Development Center, the Darden Healthcare Club remains a popular and active student organization, and Executive Education offers a Leadership Partners in Healthcare Management course with the UVA School of Nursing, among other offerings.

Dr. Rick Shannon, executive vice president for health affairs at UVA and a member of the Darden Board of Trustees, spoke at the reception about the UVA Health System’s plans to collaborate with the biotech sector by helping determine the viability of medical discoveries at no charge.

“Showing how serious we are, we will co-invest. We will create a venture fund with a portion of our own endowment to invest in UVA technologies and Virginia companies and UVA grads,” Shannon said. Speaking after the event, Donna Edmonds, CEO and president of Virginia Life Sciences Investments, said the networking opportunities provided by the Darden event were already bearing fruit, particularly as growing companies look to find new talent in an on-demand industry.“The environment created by the partnership has really enabled access to opportunities that have come to see what Virginia is all about,” said Edmonds.

Click here to view the full article UVA Darden, Virginia Bio Foster Healthy Collaboration in San Francisco.

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