CEO Letters

July 2023

Happy Summer, Virginia Bio!

It’s been a very busy summer here at Virginia Bio, and we know you have been busy as well!  We see you out there on social media and other communication vehicles,and we were thrilled to have seen many of you “live and in person” at events and socials across the state.  We salute your continued work to help bring life-saving and life-improving innovations to the world. Now, a quick update.

Summer interns are here!  Our current class of STEM2VA interns under Virginia Bio-Connect (funded by GO Virginia) started on June 5.  In partnership with Virginia Tech-Carillion and the Charlottesville BioHub, we are proud to facilitate 41 participating employers in hosting 55 interns for this 10-week program.  In addition to substantive experience with their employers, interns will attend social events and two workshops,  “Communicating Life Science” and “Life Science Leadership.” We aim to show our interns the myriad professional opportunities that exist right here in our Commonwealth, and we are encouraging them to be active voices in our broader life science community. Check out the latest stories about our interns, here. Thanks to all of our employers and congratulations to our interns!

Employers: Register for a Virtual Biotech & Life Science Job Fair, October 11!  Virginia Bio-Connect, in partnership with a consortium led by the University of Virginia, welcomes our life science companies to register for an upcoming virtual job fair.  Led by a coalition comprising UVA, Swathmore, the University of Pennsylvania and Brown and using the Handshake platform, this job fair has historically attracted more than 500 students (including undergraduate, masters, Ph.D., and postdoctoral) job seekers. Employers will be introduced to talent from across the Commonwealth, including from UVA, other Virginia colleges and universities and the additional consortium partners.   And if you are a Virginia Bio member and register by September 7, your registration will be free (a $250 value), courtesy of Virginia Bio-Connect!  To register, click here, and for more information please contact David Lapinski, UVa  Director of Employer Relations,, 434-924-4865.

Virginia Bio joined We Work for Health at their annual Capitol Hill Fly-In.  We were again happy to join representatives from the patient and provider communities in Washington, DC, on July 13 for a productive visit with members of Virginia’s congressional delegation.  I was delighted to join patient advocate Amy Yarcich of, Bruce Silverman, M.D., and members of McGuireWoods Consulting and the Alliance Group to meet with Senator Mark Warner, Representatives Ben Cline and Morgan Griffith, and the staffs of Representatives Jennifer McClellan and Rob Wittman.  Our purpose was to advocate for biotechnology innovation and the delivery of life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients.  Specifically, we continued to advocate for Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) reforms, relief from the Inflation Reduction Act’s artificial price setting for certain drugs under Medicare, vital changes to the Pandemic All Hazards Preparedness Act, and reform of the 340B drug discount program.  For Virginia’s continuing advocacy on these and other issues, please see the We Work For Health Virginia website.

Thank you for joining us at AgBio 2023!  On July 19, Virginia Bio, in partnership with NCBIO, convened more than 100 agricultural bioscience, technology and industry partners, farmers, policy makers, agribusiness stakeholders, universities and public health professionals at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) in Danville for an exceptional half-day conference that explored innovative bioscience and technology solutions for our regions’ farms!  Keynoted by Virginia Secretary of Agriculture Matthew Lohr, we had great conversations about biocontrols, biostimulants, funding ag tech companies and ag policy.  We would like to thank our sponsors DPR, VIPC, Avantor/VWR, AgroSpheres, CSC Leasing, VDACS, Hoffman & Baron LLP and Sciex. And a special thanks to Virginia Bio Board members Scott Lowman of IALR (our wonderful emcee!), Denise Toney (Director, Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services), and former Board member Carl Sahi (President, Engineered BioPharmaceuticals) for joining us.  We had a chance to hear from and meet several exciting young ag tech companies, and we look forward to continuing to support this vital part of our ecosystem!

Join us at Women Building Bio 2023, September 28, at George Mason University.  Registration is open!

Virginia Bio’s Women Building Bio Conference celebrates the contribution of women to the life sciences in the Commonwealth and beyond. Our 8th annual conference theme, Building Better, will prompt us to explore how life sciences contribute to building a better future and highlight the increasingly significant role of women in it.  Full agenda and speakers coming soon.  Please join us at the Hylton Center at George Mason for another fantastic gathering!  For sponsorship, please contact Frank Wilton at

Join us at the Ninth Annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum and 6th Annual Investor Conference, September 19-20, at US Pharmacopeia, Rockville, MD!   Registration for the Forum is open! (The investor conference is invitation only; please contact Frank Wilton for more info at   In the nine years since its inception, the BioHealth Capital Region Forum has grown from 600 registrants to over 900 in 2022. This year’s Forum carries the theme “Global Breakthroughs for a Healthier Future,” reflecting a shared vision for progress and collaboration within the BioHealth Capital Region.  The Forum will be attended by C-level government, university, and industry business leaders in the MD/DC/VA BioHealth Capital Region. The Forum provides an opportunity to celebrate the regional strength of research, product development, and commercialization and to highlight local innovators’ successes. In doing so, we will showcase companies located in the region, including several great Virginia companies, and explore and expand on the unique partnerships this region provides to advance our collective goals of providing global public health and strong economic results.  We hope to see you there!

Membership dues increase to support Virginia Bio’s support of the ecosystem.  We are thrilled to continue to bring a myriad of benefits and assets to bear for our members.  While we continue to be conveners and connectors for our ecosystem, we are also now delivering services across the state, not the least of which include those provided under Virginia Bio-Connect. Additionally, we are now happily back in a post-pandemic “live” events reality, and thus will be hiring an events and communications professional to fill a vacancy we’ve had since 2019.  In order to continue to serve you, and also in light of the realities of inflation, our Board of Directors approved a dues increase effective July 1, which has been noted in your most recent dues invoice. This increase will help support our operations, and coincidentally places our dues structure in line with peer states.  We appreciate your support on this issue.

The Virginia Bio team continues to be honored to serve such a vibrant and important community.  As always, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions.


More letters from our CEO


June 2024

Dear Members, Happy Summer! If you’ve been following Virginia Bio on social media, you know that Team Virginia Bio is having a busy summer, and we look forward to continuing to see many of you as we crisscross the state. And we are not averse to being invited to see you! Now, for a brief review of items


March 2024

Dear Members, Happy Spring! One of Virginia Bio’s fundamental mandates is to advocate on behalf of the industry for supportive policies, and against harmful ones, before federal and state policy makers. For instance, the Virginia R&D tax credit that is enjoyed by many of our members came about through Virginia Bio advocacy. The increases over the past decade


July 2023

Happy Summer, Virginia Bio! It’s been a very busy summer here at Virginia Bio, and we know you have been busy as well!  We see you out there on social media and other communication vehicles,and we were thrilled to have seen many of you “live and in person” at events and socials across the state.