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A word from John Newby, CEO, Virginia Bio: This blog provides an update on upcoming events and important information that impacts our community, and spotlights industry leaders from state-of-the-art companies and research institutions driving the future of bioscience around the state, our region and our world.

 

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What A Conference!

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 27, 2019
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2019

Members and Friends,

The 4th Annual Women Building Bio conference was a fantastic gathering of leaders, innovators and motivators who exceeded all expectations for this fantastic event! It truly was a celebration, spotlighting the women building our industry and offering an incredible forum for collaboration, networking and community building.

The day started with a challenge by Sunita Dodani of Eastern Virginia Medical School, challenging us to think bigger, broader and unconventionally when seeking new collaborations. Julie Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H., the Chief Patient Officer of Merck & Co. continued the conversation by encouraging us to strengthen our industry and improving patient care by promoting diversity. The day continued with outstanding speakers and panels on health diagnosis; collaborations in the fight against metastatic breast cancer; innovations in neonatal healthcare; the STEM workforce; an engaging networking roundtable and personal views of the challenges and opportunities in building bioscience companies. The day concluded with a charge from Carilion Clinic CEO Nancy Howell Agee to positively affect the lives of patients, and an address on cultivating innovation by Michelle McMurry-Heath, Worldwide Vice President, Regulatory and Clinical Affairs at Johnson & Johnson, and Vice President, External Innovation, Regulatory Science, and Executive Director of Scientific Partnerships for JLABS@Washington, DC.

As you can see, the conference was action-packed! Check out a few pictures and highlights from our conference here. A hearty “Thank You” to all of our sponsors, and a special thanks to our partners at the Inova Center for Personalized Health in Fairfax for providing a wonderful venue for this most important event. We look forward to your continued support for this event in the future and for everything our industry is doing to support and elevate women in R&D, commercialization and leadership in our life sciences community.


Up Next - We look forward to seeing you at these events:

  • October 10: Virginia Bioscience Commercialization Luncheon in Richmond, feat. Former U.S. Navy Seal Dan Hathorn, Army Business Development Manager - Medical for Atlantic Diving Supply

  • January 12: Private Virginia Reception at the JP Morgan Healthcare Week in San Francisco

Our Virginia Reception on the eve of JP Morgan Healthcare week at the Velvet Room in the Clift Hotel is a rare opportunity to engage with Virginia industry leaders, emerging fast-growth companies and members of the investment community. This is a singularly unique opportunity for you to meet with scores of investors and potential collaborators, all in one place. Attendance is limited (and hotel rooms even more so!), so please be sure to mark your calendars, make your hotel reservations and start planning those private meetings!

Thank you for making Women Building Bio 2019 a success, and I look forward to seeing each of you at future events, and around our great community.

Kindest regards,


John

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Greeting from John Newby, new Viriginia Bio CEO

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 30, 2019
Updated: Monday, August 19, 2019

Members and Friends,

I bring you a hearty “Welcome!” from your Virginia Biotechnology Association! The welcome I have received from the Virginia Bio Board, our members and partners has been immensely enthusiastic, and the excitement around what we have accomplished and what we will do together is incredible. A special thanks to Alan Connor for his leadership of our Board, and also to immediate-past CEO Jeff Gallagher who remains engaged with our community and with me and the Association during this transition.


Perhaps the best way to look at life is through the eyes of a child. When I accepted the wonderful opportunity to lead Virginia Bio, my 10 year old daughter Jillian asked me “Dad, why Virginia Bio?” As is always the case with talking to the young (and young at heart) I had to answer in the most direct and simple way possible: “Because life science touches EVERYTHING!” From the care delivered by healthcare providers, to the medicines, pharmaceuticals and medical devices used to improve lives, to the food we eat, life science is of preeminent importance. Let’s continue to inform our neighbors of these truths, and attract youth and underrepresented groups into our life science community.

To this end, we look forward to you joining us at the 4th Annual Women Building Bio regional conference on Thursday, September 19th at the Inova Center for Personalized Health. The conference will spotlight women building our industry and create an enhanced opportunity for collaboration, networking and community building. The development of women in R&D and commercialization of bioscience is critical to all of our success. Patients are waiting, resources are limited, change is accelerating, and competition is global. We need to include, welcome and nurture all the talent we can to succeed as an industry and to best serve our patients and customers.

We are excited to have several national leaders in bioscience joining us, including:

Nancy Agee, CEO Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, currently Chair of the American Hospital Association and co-founder of the highly successful Virginia Tech Carilion public private partnership; and

Julie Gerberding, EVP Communications, Global Policy, and Population Health & Chief Patient Officer at Merck, Washington, DC. who last year was honored as the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association 2018 Woman of the Year;

Michelle McMurry-Heath, Worldwide Vice President for Regulatory, Preclinical, and Clinical Affairs and Global Head of Evidence Generation - Johnson & Johnson, and Vice President, External Innovation, Regulatory Science, and Executive Director Scientific Partnerships, JLABS@Washington DC at Johnson & Johnson.

You may find the agenda here. Register now, and contact Cassandra Isley to become a sponsor or exhibitor.

I look forward to seeing each of you at this and all future events, and around our great community. If I’m in your area, don’t be surprised to get a meeting request from me! And, as always, I am available to you at john.newby@vabio.org, 804.643.6360.

Yours in service,

 

John

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Women Building Bio 2019

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 25, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Dear Members and Friends,

We are thrilled to share news of the emerging agenda for the 4th Annual Women Building Bio regional conference on Thursday September 19 at Inova Center for Personalized Health. 

National leaders who call our region home will join with women leading bioscience commercialization and R&D from across Virginia, DC and Maryland to create this extraordinary event. 

Our three keynote presenters will be: 

Julie Gerberding, EVP Communications, Global Policy, and Population Health & Chief Patient Officer at Merck, Washington, DC. who last year was honored as the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association 2018 Woman of the Year.  Dr. Gerberding also has led BIO’s efforts to create and establish founding principles and operationalized its national Workplace Development, Diversity, and Inclusion initiative.

Nancy Agee, CEO Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, currently Chair of the American Hospital Association and co-founder of the highly successful Virginia Tech Carilion public private partnership, including the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and an increasingly large number of spinouts. 

Michelle McMurry-Heath, Worldwide Vice President for Regulatory, Preclinical, and Clinical Affairs and Global Head of Evidence Generation - Johnson & Johnson, and Vice President, External Innovation, Regulatory Science, and Executive Director Scientific Partnerships, JLABS@Washington DC at Johnson & Johnson - a leader of JLABS@Washington DC at Children’s National Research and Innovation Campus at the former Walter Reed Army Hospital site.

 

We will have panels of women from across Virginia and the region who are leading bioscience commercialization and research.  They will highlight their breakthrough technologies, products and services, highlight collaborative opportunities, and offer insights from their professional and personal journeys. 

Finally, a favorite part of the program is TIES structured networking.  In the beautiful atrium area of the conference center we’ll reserve a dozen tables (rounds of 10), and each table will be anchored by a host -  a woman who is doing great things in the field in the region whom audience members would like to meet.  We’ll schedule two half-hour periods back to back in which 9 attendees can select and sit at one of the tables of their choice and meet and talk with the host in a small group setting.  Hosts come from a very wide range of roles and expertise, insights and potential contacts  - regulatory specialist, investor, Community College Dean, military science program officer, NIH and NSF program officers, university tech transfer, patient engagement specialist, etc.  Great connections are always made.

The goal of the day is to identify and showcase women building the industry across the region and nation and create a setting where they and the attendees can create new relationships and seed collaborations, and year over year build an ever-bigger community of connection and support to build better individuals, firms and industry, to better help patients and the people we serve.

If you’ve not seen it, look at the impressive community of women and men who have presented in our first three years of Women Building Bio conferences.  This year’s group will make it even stronger – come meet them in person on September 19!  

Register now, and contact Cassandra Isley to help support this unique and important event by exhibiting or sponsorships.

Best,

Jeff Gallagher

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Special Guest; Andrew Krouse

Posted By Andrew Krouse, Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Updated: Monday, June 24, 2019
Dear Friends,

As I complete my tenure, I want to thank each and every one of you for making Virginia Bio one of the leading life sciences associations in the country and for making my turn as Chairman so meaningful. I especially want to thank our executive committee, our board, our members, our sponsors and, most importantly the terrific team that consistently puts on fantastic programs for us. I am saddened to see Sherri Halloran leaving us after eleven years of dedicated and terrific work. She certainly has been a cornerstone of the organization, she will be missed, and we wish her the very best. You can see Sherri’s blog about her transition elsewhere in this newsletter. With the retirement of our beloved CEO Jeff Gallagher, it has been a busy time overseeing of the selection of a new CEO.

As I look back on my two years as Chairman and nearly a decade of volunteer service to the Board, I think fondly of the many professional and personal friendships I have made through the association. Virginia Bio is a very special organization that has allowed me to flourish both professionally and personally. I hope you share in my enthusiasm for Virginia Bio and the friendships that can be made through the organization. Generosity of spirit is a particular strength of our group – we all simultaneously mentor and learn from each other. I am proud of our work in helping Virginia companies gain more access to capital. Capital is the lifeblood of healthy biotech ecosystems. The annual JP Morgan reception has put Virginia Bio on the map and allowed entrepreneurs to mingle with some of the country’s top venture capitalists and corporate development professionals – many of whom have a tie back to Virginia. I am most proud of the creation of the Jeffrey Gallagher STEM Fellows Program. These scholarships will leave a lasting, generational impact on the individual students – perhaps changing their life’s trajectory – as well as hopefully the creation of new medicines, innovative research, novel devices and better agricultural products.

It is an exciting time at Virginia Bio. We were blessed to have had Jeff at the helm these last seven years as the organization took a great leap forward. Jeff leaves a very strong Virginia Bio – an organization that is thriving and healthy. I am pleased to announce that Jeff has agreed to work as a consultant to help in the transition of the new CEO as well as provide support on strategic activities. As we look to the future, knowing that Jeff and the team built a solid foundation, I am excited to think about the possibilities of where Virginia Bio is headed under the leadership of our new CEO. I ask each of you to think of ways we can improve Virginia Bio – to help shape it for the next decade. We are going to need your commitment to continue to help build Virginia Bio through your volunteer service and financial support. The new CEO is going to depend on our Board, our members, and our sponsors. Together we will shape the future of Virginia Bio!

I have loved my time with Virginia Bio and look forward to continuing to support its efforts. Please join me in welcoming Alan Connor into his new role as Chairman effective July 1st. I could not have asked for a better Vice Chairman than Alan. He is extremely thoughtful and disciplined in his approach to all matters and brings a fresh perspective to the organization. He will provide a steady hand as he and the new CEO help to advance the association within the Commonwealth.

Cheers,


Andrew Krouse

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NEW Gallagher Scholarship Fund for bioSTEM

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 23, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Dear Members and Friends,

Thanks for helping us make THRiVE 2019 a huge success! It was great to connect with so many of you and enjoy a day filled with dozens of industry leading CEOs, ground breaking panels and hot topic discussions. I hope you enjoyed the topics and much as I did on; Virginia’s bioscience transformations in artificial intelligence & data science, exploring the medical device & med tech boom, opportunities in helping to meet the biomedical needs of military and veterans and the impact of innovation on the opioid and addiction crisis. To see photos from THRiVE, click here.

INTRODUCING A NEW SCHOLARSHIP FUND-WE NEED YOUR HELP

Our hard work in the Foundation launched a new and exciting initiative at THRiVE, as I had the honor and privilege of revealing the new Jeff Gallagher STEM Scholarship Fund. This scholarship will provide summer bioscience camp opportunities to students whose families do not have the financial resources to pay for their children’s attendance. The camps provide real opportunities for children who are smart, willing and eager to have a chance at becoming future colleagues in our exciting, life-saving industry and here’s our chance to help.

Virginia Bio seeded the fund with $10,000, and the Board issued a challenge to raise a matching
$10,000 from attendees and members. I made a $1,000 donation as did several of our Board colleagues. For those of you who have already donated, THANK YOU! If you haven’t done so yet, we’ve made it very quick and easy to donate; simply click on Jeff Gallagher STEM Scholarship. We know the kids are so grateful for your support.

In addition to our work in STEM and workforce, the Foundation is the link to student chapters on campuses across the state. We are delighted to share that we recently received a letter from JMU Bio Chapter President, Kyle Sperber, reporting on the recently completed school year. I think you’ll be impressed to read about the student’s accomplishments and inspired by their enthusiasm for learning and interacting with members of industry. Take a minute to read this heartfelt letter by clicking here.

Lastly, I look forward to keeping everyone informed about all the progress of the Foundation initiatives. Fellow board members involved are Mark Herzog, kaleo and Denise Toney, Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services, Commonwealth of Virginia, and colleagues with colleges, universities and companies from around the state. If you would like to become involved, please let us know!

Sincerely,


Jim Powers
Chairman, Virginia BIO Foundation
Chairman and CEO, HemoShear Therapeutiucs

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Don't miss THRiVE 2019

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 25, 2019

Dear members and friends,

Next Thursday, May 2, in Richmond a unique opportunity to hear from and meet 40 leaders of our industry in one place on one day.  It’s the biggest gathering of members of our industry in two years.

Make connections, learn actionable intelligence and get inspired by this intense power packed agenda and social gathering.   

You’ll get an in depth briefing on:

unprecedented efforts to make accessible the best-in-world data and AI capabilities in Ashburn to firms and researchers across the state and become home to the nation’s most ambitious and necessary bioinformatics projects;

new technological and collaborative tools Virginians are bringing to fight the complex addiction/opioid epidemic from the life science innovation industry. 

You’ll hear national level keynotes from:

Captain Joseph Cohen, who leads the Defense Health Agencies Defense Health Program Research and Development Portfolio - technologies sought and under development to meet the current and future health care needs of our military and their families;

Eric Major, a co-founder in 2004 of the NoVa startup K2M which designed, developed, and commercialized innovative complex spine and minimally invasive spine technologies, who led the company’ growth through the recent acquisition by Stryker for $1.4B, who now serves as President of Stryker’s Spine Division.  

Greg Crist, who leads national advocacy for AdvaMed, the med device / med tech industry’s leading advocate before policymakers in Washington, and our ally in Virginia.

You will get a first-time overview and in depth look at Virginia’s the med device / med tech industry, hear from a wide range of companies and researchers working across a range of technologies.

You’ll meet people behind exciting recent headlines of important new initiatives statewide, and award-winning lifetime achievements for outstanding contributions to the industry.

You’ll have the chance to network all day with connections from across the state.

Really, friends, it will be an extraordinary day.

So, check out the agenda in full, and register today.  See you there!

 

Best,

Jeff


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We need your help

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Members and Friends,

By now many of you have received the news that I will be transitioning out of my CEO role at Virginia Bio, and many of you have called or written me. Thanks for those well wishes. And thanks for the opportunity to serve the life science community and witness your commitment to making the world a better place.

It has been a wonderful 7 years for me and, I think, for the organization as together, with our great staff, we’ve truly helped our members succeed and our industry thrive.

The future looks bright for this wonderful organization and the industry in Virginia, due to the solid foundation built through the efforts and support of you our collaborators, members and leaders. We have put Virginia on the life science map and we have learned how to collaborate better, how to shape and put forward a shared vision, craft and pursue strategies, contribute to the public policy process, serve our companies and drive the life science industry - all to help the people we ultimately serve.

But science changes, business and politics change, the set of possibilities changes, and it’s time for a change for us, to a new CEO, who will be as dedicated to Virginia Bio’s mission as any of us has ever been, but with a personality, vision, and skill set of their own ready to race after the new opportunities that change offers and demands. And it’s time for me to listen for the next calling.

I will continue to lead the organization until our new CEO is in place. I’ll stay on as a special assistant to the CEO to help get her or him up to speed and meet our members and stakeholders, then I’ll continue part-time to continue Virginia Bio’s involvement on several initiatives with statewide significance.

Your help is critical. Help us find the next CEO. Please forward news of the opening to outstanding candidates you may know. It is likely (we’ve been counseled) that the successful candidate will emerge from a connection with one of our members or stakeholders. Here is the link.

Moving ahead strongly as we search.
Staff has worked overtime to assure that we are all set to have a robust schedule of programs and services for the year ahead during the search and onboarding of the new CEO. Please use and enjoy them.

THRiVE 2019
Virginia Bio’s biannual statewide flagship conference, will be held in Richmond on May 2. There’s an extraordinary agenda planned, and terrific networking opportunities to connect you with colleagues across the state and open opportunities for you.

Also, the annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum, which we are co-sponsoring with colleagues in Maryland and DC in Gaithersburg, MD on April 8-9; Women Building Bio: all day regional conference is set for September 19 at Inova Center for Personalized Health; and we have the signed contract in hand for the Virginia Reception and meeting rooms at the Clift Hotel during JPMorgan in San Francisco next January. In addition, we are busy scheduling the next year’s luncheons and networking events in NoVa, Charlottesville, Hampton Roads, Roanoke/Blacksburg and Richmond, webinars and our STEM and workforce efforts through the Foundation.

My sincere thanks for your support of Virginia Bio. I consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to work on your behalf and get to know so many of you. I look forward to watching each of you and this irreplaceable organization thrive in the years to come.

Best regards,

 

 

Jeff Gallagher

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Creating Environments to Connect and Innovate

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Members and Friends,

 

If you look at history, innovation doesn't come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect.

-Steven Johnson, Author, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

 

At Virginia Bio, our goal is to help you, our members succeed and our industry thrive, extending the benefits of life science to Virginia and the world. A strong component is creating environments and events where you can share your innovative projects and learn about others, connect with new opportunities and find solutions to your needs. Check these out.

March Luncheon-A Dynamic Duo Lights the Way to Cell Discovery-March 14, 2019

Introducing Renee Hart: President & Chief Business Officer & Sean Heart: Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer from Lumacyte. LumaCyte, is a rapidly growing advanced research and bioanalytics instrumentation company headquartered in Charlottesville, VA and we are thrilled to introduce this husband and wife team who are passionate about helping humankind better understand disease and accelerate therapies and cures.

 

AgBio 2019-Transforming the Agricultural Industry-March 27, 2019

This conference is right around the corner at The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, VA. If you’re interested in connecting with national and state leaders of innovation in Agriculture from Virginia and North Carolina, then this full-day conference is for you. These two states are uniting to bring innovative bioscience and technology to the farms! We’ll be providing a toolkit of essential tools and proactive solutions to increase efficiency and yields - creating healthier plant crops, animals and bringing full circle to the health of the human.  Register now.

 

Bio Health Capital Region Forum-April 8-9, 2019

We produce this forum with our colleagues in Maryland and DC to make the connections and create a sense of region that will strengthen and empower all our companies and researchers.  This Forum will highlight the accomplishments of today and chart our opportunities of tomorrow. This two-day event, hosted at Medimmune in Gaithersburg, MD, is invitation-only and free for executive level biotech leaders.

 

THRiVE 2019 Conference-Creating the Future of Bioscience in Virginia-May 2, 2019,  Richmond.

Registration is now open!  Every two years we gather the life science industry in Virginia to connect, celebrate, learn and drive the development of life science R&D and commercialization in Virginia. Connect with leaders of bioscience companies big and small, research universities, policy makers, innovative health care systems, patient groups, CROs and specialized professionals.  This is the big one.  Check out the website for the terrific agenda – great keynotes, a spotlight on medical device and med tech, innovations in treatment of addiction, applying Virginia’s huge data and AI resources to biomedical challenges, and more.  And note these special touches:

Virginia Bio Innovation Showcase 2019New this year! Learn about new technologies under development in  companies and universities across the state in this continuous video display and meet-up area, and uncover opportunities to develop, collaborate and invest. Submit your innovation on line – it’s easy.  Attendees will vote on the top innovations, we’ll announce winners on site, provide a cash prize and give further exposure in Virginia Bio’s marketing campaign.

 

Choose Your Own Adventure.  At your option, take a tour of some of the extraordinary bioscience organizations in  Richmond -  the McGuire VA Medical Center Innovation Center,  the Medicines for All Institute at VCU College of Engineering, the laboratories of the state’s Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services and Pfizer’s Center for Global Research and Development, Consumer HealthCare Products.

 

Award Nominations!  As is our tradition, during the Conference we will recognize two individuals, companies, organizations, events, discoveries or collaborations in the biosciences exemplifying the excellence, variety and dynamism of the Virginia biosciences community.   Please help us by submitting one or more nominations.  The two awardees will be selected by a panel comprised of past Board Chairs of Virginia Bio.

 

 

VA Drug Discovery RX at Hotel Roanoke-May 21-22, 2019

Every year the university researchers and companies working in drug discovery across Virginia meet to share discoveries and progress, form collaborations, learn new approaches and develop opportunities.   Join us in Roanoke this year!  

 

Best regards,

 

Jeff

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Recapping JPMorgan Healthcare Conference-Guest writer

Posted By Warren Martin, Wednesday, January 16, 2019

By now we are all back to our “day jobs” after a very successful week at JPM.   I wish to thank our Board of Directors, Jeff Gallagher, Cassandra Isley, Sherri Halloran and Caron Trumbo for their commitment to plan and host such a successful evening to showcase our VABIO life science community.  I also want to thank our sponsors of the reception.  We raised a record amount of funds to host our reception.  Our sponsors clearly recognize the importance of supporting an evening of conversation and collaboration.  Finally,  I also want to highlight what’s now becoming a tradition and challenge of getting to the reception in spite of San Francisco’s rain.   For those of us luckily enough to have arrived the day before or morning of….great planning.  For those of us that were delayed into SFO or from SFO to downtown, plan on rain next year and here’s part of what you missed:

  • We had over two hundred attendees representing, science, academia, sources of capital, serial VIP life science executives and SME professionals.
  • This group traveled from all over the country and internationally as well.
  • Every conversation included at a minimum, next stage trials, research, FDA and capital.
  • VABIO was extremely well represented by our “home grown” attendance and leading prominence in our industry.
  • We highlighted a number of our VABIO members for their 2018 achievements, milestones and successes.
  • There is an incredible wave of life science innovation and disruption occurring in our industry and within VABIO.
  • The room was filled with an excitement and enthusiasm that left everyone energized for the upcoming week at and around JPM.

Thank you again for your commitment to VABIO and our life science industry.  It’s now back to creating value and building meaningful businesses.

 

Best regards,

Warren Martin
Executive Transaction Advisor | Life Sciences & Technology, Falls River Group
Virginia Bio Board of Directors, Member

 

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Reflect on your mission and work this holiday season

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Dear Members and Friends,

Pause with me, will you, in the light of the holiday season, and let’s reflect on your mission and work.

Sharing gifts, as tokens of love and friendship and as acts of charitable commitment to the common good is a hallmark of the holidays. So, it’s hard not to acknowledge the extraordinary gift of $50 Million made by the Fralin family to Virginia Tech to accelerate the recruitment and retention of world leading researchers to undertake breakthrough basic and translational biomedical research. These resources for the newly and aptly named Fralin Biomedical Research Institute will complement the recent investment by the state and Virginia Tech in new facilities – facilities under construction which will double the size and technical capabilities of that prodigious young institution. And days later Virginia Tech Foundation and Carilion Clinic announced creation of a new $7 million VTC Seed Fund to provide the smaller investments at an earlier and riskier stage than the existing VTC Innovation Fund and other available sources of capital, which are needed for the commercialization ecosystem to thrive.

The twinkling of stars and wonders of the winter sky create more holiday ambiance. Last week you helped put one more star in the sky. NASA announced the successful launch of a rocket carrying supplies and scientific experiments to the Space Station. One experiment was created by the young Virginia company, Tympanogen. Hearing the news, memories of some of the transcendent moments of early flights to space came to mind - earthlings experiencing the first sight of an “Earthrise” over the moon’s horizon, astronauts so moved by their celestial point of view they recited “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All” one Christmas flight.

Just as sure as there will be love and kindness and wonder this Holiday Season, there will be illness and pain. Contagion takes no holiday. New medicines and devices help us gain ground, but lack of access to care vexes us still. And just as sure, many of you will skimp on your vacation, sneak into the lab, answer emails before the kids get up, set up appointments for JPM during TV timeouts, track legislation while shopping at the mall, and drive the order your customer desperately need to the shipper yourself to make sure it goes out. Because you’ve seen the Earthrise. Because you know people are hurting and you know people are waiting for the breakthroughs you hope to make. What you all do in your work, taking the mysteries of life science and the challenges and wonders of the human body, of animals and plants, and finding new ways to keep us healthy, heal our illnesses, feed us and help provide our energy and environmental needs – these are your daily gifts to your families and ours, and families across the world, and to future generations. You take wonders beyond our ken and work and work and work them toward reality, sometimes against obstacles few can really appreciate. Sometimes you succeed; frequently you fail and learn and go back in the next morning and begin again. You lasso the moon for us.

So, whether you are celebrating the winter holidays with joy and mirth or celebrating the holy days of your faith, we wish you and your loved ones respite, renewal and refreshment for your journey.

We feel so fortunate to know each of you, and to have a chance to help you.

Best wishes from Caron, Cassandra, Sherri and Jeff

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