Conference Wrap-up: The BIO 2016 International Convention

What an amazing week!!! The BIO International Convention (BIO) took place from June 6-9, 2016 in San Francisco and attracted over 15,000 biotechnology and pharma leaders. The event covered a wide spectrum of life science and application areas including drug discovery, biomanufacturing, genomics, nanotechnology, cell therapy and more.

KAUST Delegation (from left to right): Charlotte Hauser , Salim Al-Babili; Loay Alfi; Darin Oelkers; Jason Schrum; Craig Kapfer; Rebekah Kapfer; Vlad Bajic; Pierre Magistretti; Dillion Fritz; Mark Crowell; Arnab Pain

KAUST Delegation (from left to right): Charlotte Hauser, Salim Al-Babili, Loay Alfi, Darin Oelkers, Jason Schrum, Craig Kapfer, Rebekah Kapfer, Vlad Bajic, Pierre Magistretti, Dillion Fritz, Mark Crowell, and Arnab Pain.

KAUST’s Participation

A large delegation from KAUST attended and participated in the BIO One-on-One Partnering™ track. The event provided not only an excellent networking opportunity but also the chance to discover new promising partnerships for collaborative research and potential technology licensing opportunities. We met with multiple sectors including private companies, foundations, non-profits and quasi-governmental entities.

In fact, KAUST had the largest delegation from any of the Universities in attendance and included participation from the following faculty members:

  1. Prof. Pierre Magistretti
    Research Focus: BioNEST; Brain metabolism; neuroscience
    Speaking Slot:  Dean Magistretti participated on a panel discussion on June 7 – The Middle East and North Africa is Not Just for Manufacturing- Shifting Towards a Knowledge Based Economy
  1. Prof. Charlotte Hauser
    Research Focus: Nanomedicine; peptide therapeutics; pharmaceutical applications
  2. Prof. Vlad Bajic
    Research Focus: Bioinformatics; epigenetic biomarkers; drug re-purposing
  3. Prof. Arnab Pain
    Research Focus: Functional genomics of pathogens impacting human health
  4. Prof. Salim Al-Babili
    Research Focus: Genetic engineering in crops; natural growth-promoting compounds

In addition, KAUST’s Vice President for Innovation, Mark Crowell, presented at the BIO Global Innovation Hub on June 8 to discuss investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia.  He talked about KAUST’s commitment to innovation, economic development, partnering with industry and Saudi’s high-tech startup scene.  Check out his pre-event promo video about partnering with KAUST here:

Shout-out to the Organizers

In conclusion, I want to give a shout-out to the BIO staff for orchestrating such an amazing event!  I have been to a lot of conferences in my career and this one far exceeded my expectations.  From the online partnering tool, which made it a breeze to pre-schedule partnering meetings, to the incredible expo pavilion (160,000+ square foot exhibition featured more than 1,800 exhibitors!), to the on-site support we received from the academic pavilion organizers and international affairs team–every step of the way was on point.  Great job to the BIO team…hope to see you all again next year!

Connect with KAUST

If you missed the chance to connect at BIO2016 but are still interested in speaking with any of our faculty or our VP of Innovation, please email me and I can arrange for a meeting.  In the meantime, if I can provide any additional information please let me know!

Thank you,
Rebekah Kapfer, Marketing & Outreach Manager
KAUST Innovation & Economic Development