Wednesday, April 30, 2008

NevBio President is Health Care Headliner

By Danielle Birkin, Contributing writer In-Business

John Laub believes the transition from the information age to the biotech age is afoot, and as executive director of the Nevada Biotechnology & Bioscience Consortium (NevBio) — a volunteer, nonprofit organization comprised of companies, institutes, academia, researchers, scientists and individuals interested in biotech and life sciences — Laub is poised to disseminate information, encourage business development and promote scientific investigation and education. Laub is a native Nevadan who has a background in accounting finance and is also executive director of the Regenerative Medicine Organization. He said NevBio was founded a year ago when he and a group of colleagues attended the Regenerative Medicine Conference. Impressed with new research and opportunities, they decided to create an organization to bring a focus and create a synergy to the advancements made in life sciences. “The mission of the group is awareness,
education and partnership,” said Laub, one of the four co-founders. “We need to make Nevadans aware that we are entering the biotech century,” he said, adding that our kids need to learn and understand biology because it will be as important to the younger generation as knowing computers and the Internet was to the previous generation. “And
it takes education and business to work together. … This will help Nevada by providing
economic development, new treatments and an increased number of clinical trials for Nevadans and better health care as doctors in Nevada are exposed to new treatments and more resources.” “In one short year, we’ve had a tremendous impact because Las Vegas and Nevada are ready for this,” Laub said.

“The advances that are occurring in science and medicine are exciting and I feel like I have a front-row seat to some of the greatest discoveries that are going to change mankind. Craig Venter, who helped bring about the making of the first synthetic bacterial genome, said that the science is important, but getting the word out about the science is just as important, so we all have a role.”

Laub said science and math education are strongly emphasized in Southern Nevada
— thanks, in part, to a push from parents, teachers and the Clark County School District — which will help prepare young people for the biotechnology revolution.

“But we need to make people aware of what’s going on in biotechnology so we can start attracting developing companies and encouraging research,” he said. “Right now, we have students graduating from the college of sciences at UNLV who can’t find jobs here and we want to change that. We’d like to keep them here … because this is our best and our brightest. We can become more than a tourist destination. We can become a center for biotechnology and I think we will because people in Las Vegas think out of the box and they are risk-takers, and that’s what’s going to make a difference in becoming a biotech center.”

Health Care Headliners

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