USD President to speak at South Dakota Biotech Summit

VERMILLION, S.D. -- James W. Abbott, president of The University of South Dakota, will address the fourth annual South Dakota Biotechnology Summit and Annual Meeting on Thursday, Sept. 17 in Sioux Falls.

Abbott is one of five distinguished speakers during the "Investing in Biotechnology for Life, Food and Energy" event, which is presented by the South Dakota Biotech Association at the Ramkota Hotel, Rushmore Room in Sioux Falls, SD. Brian Mathers, director of research development at USD's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, is a panelist for the summit while Laura Jenski, Ph.D., vice president of research at USD, will serve as a panelist moderator.

James C. Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) in Washington, D.C., is the keynote speaker.  BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. A former Congressman, Greenwood represented Pennsylvania's Eighth District in the U.S. House of Representatives from January 1993 through January 2005. A senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, he was widely viewed as a leader on health care and the environment.

Additional featured speakers include Dr. David Fischhoff, vice president, Technology Strategy & Development, and chief of staff for the technology division at Monsanto Company.  Fischhoff invented and developed insect resistant transgenic crops.  Recently appointed Broin Chair for The Sanford Project, Dr. Paul Burn, a native of Switzerland, will also speak at the Summit.  Burn's goal is to build a diabetes center that can compete with the best in the world. Capping off the morning session will be Elsie Meeks who was named State Director of USDA Rural Development in South Dakota by the Obama Administration on July 27, 2009.  In this capacity, she coordinates the efforts of 72 employees to work with others to ensure use of resources and more than 40 programs are serving rural South Dakota residents.  Meeks has several years of experience working to promote economic and community development and will address Summit attendees during the noon luncheon. 

Other conference highlights include a main panel discussion and five breakout sessions featuring expert panelists in the areas of IP/Tech Transfer, Human Health, Animal Science, Renewable Energy and Plant Science.  Exhibitor booths will be on display throughout the day including a research poster session highlighting research projects by University Graduate students and faculty.  The Summit begins at 9:30 a.m. and concludes at 6 p.m.  For more information, visit www.sdbio.org/events.php for a schedule of events and registration information.