Over 250 people attended the inaugural Nevada Biotech Awards Luncheon on February 18, 2008 honoring Senator Harry Reid and UNLV’s College of Sciences at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. Eight researchers from the College of Sciences had displays demonstrating some of the research that is taking place at UNLV. In addition, a number of biotech and life science companies had material at the luncheon. The luncheon was a sign that Las Vegas is becoming a center of biotechnology.
Senator Harry Reid arrived at noon and promptly introduced himself to the volunteers checking in the attendees. Later, John Laub, President of Nevada Biotechnology and Bioscience Consortium (NevBio) escorted Senator Reid around the room and introduced him to each table. Reid had enough time to meet roughly half of the attendees before he had to sit down for his lunch.
The luncheon honored Senator Harry Reid and UNLV’s College of Sciences for their contributions to biotechnology in Nevada. Senator Harry Reid has secured more than $100 million for Nevada Universities. He is arguably the State’s leading supporter of higher education. UNLV's College of Sciences was selected because they have become on par with any school in the country in biotechnology and life sciences. They have increased the number of research grants, published papers, programs, awards, laboratories and students in just a few short years.
John Laub, President of NevBio opened and chaired the meeting. He brought up Daniel Montano, Chairman of the Board of the Regenerative Medicine Organization, the joint sponsor of the luncheon. Glenn Christenson of Velstand Investments, LLC spoke on behalf of the Nevada Development Authority. Linda Rubinson, Board Member of NevBio, gave the reasons that the NevBio Board selected UNLV's College of Sciences for the award. Jennifer Von Tobel of the Von Tobel BioMedical Institute presented the award. Dr.David Ashley and Dr. Ron Yasbin of UNLV accepted the award. NevBio Board Member, Judith Rebholz gave the reasons the board selected Senator Harry Reid. Dr. Maurizio Trevisan presented the award to Senator Reid. Senator Reid thanked the organization for the award and promised to continue to work hard for Nevada and to fund medical research.
In attendance from education were Michael Wixom, Chairman of the University Board of Regents, Dr. Maurizio Trevisan, CEO of University of Nevada Health Sciences System, UNLV President Dr. David Ashley, UNLV Dean of the College of Sciences Dr. Ron Yasbin, Dr. Michael Richards, President of the College of Southern Nevada, Judi Steel, Public Education Foundation and Ms. Jhone M. Ebert, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Clark County School District.
In attendance from industry and institutes, Dr. Thomas Stegmann, Co-Founder of CardioVascular BioTherapeutics, Inc., Daniel Montano, Co-founder & President of CardioVascular BioTherapeuetics, Inc., Sandra Murdock, President and COO of the Nevada Cancer Institute, Dr. Nicholas Vogelzang, Executive Director of the Nevada Cancer Institute, Dr. David Ward, Deputy Director of the Nevada Cancer Institute and
Dr. Wilson Xu and Dr. Hui Zhang.
In attendance were several politicians, Jim Gibson, Mayor of Henderson, State Controller Kim Wallin and assemblyperson Valerie Weber.
In attendance from the community were Jennifer Von Tobel, Von Tobel Bio-Medical Institute; Dave Archer, Nevada’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology and Claudine Williams of the UNLV Foundation.
Also, in attendance were ten UNLV students.
The event was a tremendous success and a sign that Las Vegas has become a center for biotechnology and life sciences.