Letter from the Executive Director Bioscience Leader Spotlight Upcoming Events State News National News
April 2017 | Member Newsletter
A Celebration of Progress on Many Fronts I hope to see everyone at the Annual Celebration set for Thursday at the SAC Museum in Ashland. Part of our mission at Bio Nebraska is to build a strong life science ecosystem and we encourage everyone to come take time to network with fellow professionals. I’m pleased to report on a successful collaboration on a Bio Networking Event with Dr. Dele Davies, vice chancellor for academic affairs, and Terri Vadovski, director of graduate studies at UNMC. The event was engaging for graduate students and biotech companies, providing an interactive format for members and students to connect. Thanks to the following Bio Nebraska members: Kyle Nixon, Novozymes; Ben Pejsar, Neogen GeneSeek; Chris Connelly, Streck; Doc Chaves, LI-COR; Erika Pfaunmiller, Celerion; and Gary Madsen, ProTransit Nanotherapy.
Pfaunmiller, Celerion; and Gary Madsen, ProTransit Nanotherapy. Earlier this month, Josh Johnson, Benchmark Biolabs, Kyle Nixon, Novozymes, Kate Kulesher, Novartis, and Joshua Sestak, Orion Biosciences, joined me in Washington, D.C. We met with Sen. Deb Fischer and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry and staff members for Reps. Adrian Smith and Don Bacon and Sen. Ben Sasse. We discussed issues impacting our industry, such as the proposed funding cuts to NIH. We urged their continued support of the EPA’s renewable fuel standard and opposition to changes to the point of obligation mandate. We also asked them to monitor the USDA and FDA’s proposed regulatory changes for developers of plant and animal biotechnology products.
"I’m delighted to provide an update on Senator Morfeld’s LB 641. The good news is that the bill passed on final reading with 31 votes and now goes to the Governor’s office for his signature." In the Nebraska Legislature, the calendar is winding down and there is a lot of progress to report on initiatives that Bio Nebraska has been pushing on behalf of members. I’m delighted to provide an update on Senator Morfeld’s LB 641. The good news is that the bill passed on final reading with 31 votes and now goes to the Governor’s office for his signature. The bill is designed to create a bioscience program under the Nebraska Business Innovation Act. LB 481, Senator Kuehn’s Nebraska's Bio Similars legislation that provides pharmacist substitution of Interchangeable Biological Products. Current Nebraska law has no clear pathway for the substitution of these biologic products and this impact patients’ ability to access the care that they require. LB 481 passed the 2nd round in the legislature with no debate and a motion to advance. Congratulations to Todd Sneller and his team on the Nebraska Ethanol Board for a very successful Ethanol: Emerging Issues Forum. Bio Nebraska members Jim Stark of Green Plains and Amy Davis from Novozymes participated in the panel discussion. There are many takeaways from the forum but a few are that the United States is the ethanol export leader and Nebraska is the number two ethanol-producing state. Another positive bit of news is that ethanol exports are up 66% year-todate. Congrats to this key industry for our state! As always, please send me company news and updates so we can share your accomplishments. See you Thursday in Ashland!
Back To Top
Bio Nebraska Annual Celebration April 27 5 to 8pm SAC Aerospace Museum Ashland, NE Process Controls Essentials Short Course
Process Controls Essentials Short Course May 8-9 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Life Sciences on the Links June 8 Iron Horse Golf Club, Ashland BIO International June 19-22 San Diego, CA Back To Top
RECENT EVENT NEWS
Our recent Bio Networking Event with UNMC was a good success bringing together UNMC scholars and area biotechnology and business executives
With us today in the spotlight today is Tim Bielecki, a cancer researcher who along with his business partner Ben Jones has founded a unique firm in Omaha called Lab Rat Design. Q: Tim, what was the genesis of this idea? A: For journal or grant reviewers, graphics are the first impression of a scientist's research. Unfortunately, scientists are not typically trained in graphic design. One evening hanging out with friends, I was describing this issue to Ben. He told me about his training and career as a graphic designer and offered to help me with the graphics of a paper I was working on. We worked really well together and quickly realized this service was largely absent in scientific research. Even more importantly, we realized that this service could help scientists better explain their research to the public. Q: As you look at the volume of medical research and papers being published, is there enough work in your niche? A: The volume of medical research and papers from UNMC alone is enormous. According to Scopus, UNMC personnel author or co-author over 1,000 publications a year. That's more than enough work for us. Moreover, we also offer graphical services for posters and presentations, which are even more frequent at UNMC. Q: Are there particular topical areas that you focus on? A: We are focused on providing our services as best we can to all scientific fields. Although my expertise is mainly in the field of cancer and cell biology, we have experts from a variety of disciplines to ensure that we represent our clients' project in the format most appropriate for
disciplines to ensure that we represent our clients' project in the format most appropriate for their research field. Q: How do you approach a project … how do you get your clients to help you visualize ideas or processes that are often invisible? A: Our approach to a project is fairly straightforward. Once contacted by a potential client, we set up a cloud storage folder (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox) and ask the client to upload a storyboard. The storyboard can be a sketch or even a collage of pre-existing images and graphics from other articles and websites or sample graphics for style to emulate. Essentially, it's the first step towards visualization of their project. Next, we meet in person or via video chat to provide suggestions and ask any lingering questions about the project. With each iteration, shared via the cloud, the client can simply print out the graphic, mark it up with edits and upload a photo of it back to the folder for us to see. This allows client direction in production of the graphics and helps things move along. Q: What has been most successful in your offering thus far? A: Graphical abstracts and models. Those are the most difficult for the average scientist to create since they require the most artistic skill. Just learning how to use industry standard software like Photoshop and Illustrator takes time. We have the software, experience and artistic knowledge and skill (mostly from Ben and partly myself) to professional graphics. In fact, one of our graphical models was recently published in a book. Q: The name of your company is fun and unique. On the other hand, scientists often are stereotyped as being excessively analytical. What made you go in that direction with your company name? A: We must have toyed with the idea of our names combined in different combinations a million times over: JB Designs, Bielecki-Jones, TB Design (obviously not appropriate) but we didn't want the company to seem like a typical design firm. So, we opted for a quirky and memorable title that still appropriately reflects our focus as a design firm for science and research. Q: How do you find the time to do research and run a startup design firm? A: We spent a lot of initial time and effort into streamlining our design and revision processes. It not only saves us time but also keeps our prices low which we know is the primary concern for our potential clientele. Still, I often find myself sleeping overnight in lab. Q: While we are on the subject, please tell us about your cancer research projects and goals? A: I just successfully defended my thesis on April 21st, which means I'll be graduating this May. It's been a long ride but I developed a great appreciation for science while in Omaha. I'm planning to continue my career in the field of cancer clinical trial research. Q: Where are you going next with Lab Rat Design? A: This year, we are planning to release a couple free tools on our website: One is a searchable database of scientific publications so researchers can easily sort through journals by impact factor and topical area. Second, we plan to release a free densitometry tool for western blotting. Researchers can go to our site, upload their blot, measure the band intensity will generate beautiful graph. In 2018, we plan to offer animation services for presentations and publications. We believe that as journals continue to move to the digital space, article elements like animated GIFs will become more prevalent because they can provide more information than a static graphic. Q: How do people get in touch with you and find out about your services? A: Visit our website at Labratdesign.com. They can also reach me at [email protected]
A: Visit our website at Labratdesign.com. They can also reach me at [email protected]
Back To Top
Evolva to Invest $60M in Blair Production Hub Swiss ingredients firm Evolva will invest $60 million over three years to construct a fermentation and bioprocessing facility in Blair, creating international hub for production of specialty products. Evolva said it plans to locate its facility in Nebraska because of its proximity to farm inputs of corn, and proximity to Cargill’s infrastructure, and the area’s skilled workforce.
The Facebook campus in Papillion will include two buildings totaling 970,000 sq. ft.
Omaha Chamber Celebrates Facebook Campus in Sarpy County The Greater Omaha Chamber touted the how the community came together in landing social media firm Facebook, which will build a data center in Sarpy County. “We continue to be amazed at the level of positive engagement from a multitude of governmental jurisdictions across Sarpy County and Omaha. This has been a superb team effort, and we cannot wait to see construction get started,” said Andrew Rainbolt, executive director, Sarpy County Economic Development Corporation. The Omaha World-Herald describes the six-year effort. UNO Gets Grant for More Science Teachers Nebraska has a pressing need for more science teachers. Thanks to a $1.2 million NSF grant, UNO has a five-year fund for scholarships, research and internships for UNO students planning to teach high-school science. Nebraska Diplomats Holding Five Regional Strategy Sessions The Nebraska Diplomats will sponsor five regional events in September so they and DED officials can hear from each region, update business leaders on statewide strategies, discuss regional opportunities, see area industries and tour workforce training facilities. Novozymes, Boehringer Ingelheim to create and sell poultry probiotics Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health and Novozymes will work together to develop and market
poultry probiotics for hatcheries, where eggs are hatched before the chickens move to grow-out farms. BI also will market and distribute Novozymes’ FloraMax® probiotic product. Streck Sets Up International Distributors Streck, Inc. and Dow Biomedica of Korea, GenomePrecision Technology of China and RUWAG Diagnostics of Switzerland have signed deals to distribute Streck’s cell stabilization, molecular and flow cytometry products. Global trade–a threat or an opportunity? What’s going on with global trade? Is it going through a crisis of form, or is it about to enter a lengthy quiet phase or even a regression? The Evonik Magazine examines opportunities and challenges in world trade. Startup Will Develop Blood Test Coronary Artery Disease A startup accelerator, Academic Technology Ventures, is building a new biomedical startup, HealthCheck, a company based on a UNMC discovery of biomarkers that could more accurately diagnose coronary artery diseases. Nebraska Economy Mending According to UNL’s latest leading economic indicator, a composite of economic factors that predict economic growth six months into the future, the state economy is improving. The indicator rose by 1 percent in March after increasing by more than 1.75 percent during both January and February. "Three consecutive increases provide a very positive sign for Nebraska economic growth," said economist Eric Thompson, director of the UNL Bureau of Business Research.
Micro-particles may enable oral vaccines and gene therapies in pill form.
Particle Offers Promise for Vaccines in Pill Form A UNL multi-disciplinary research team has shown that nano- and micro-particles of a corn protein and derivatives of shrimp shells may protect engineered genes or virus-derived DNA against the stomach and ensure safe passage to the intestine for absorption into the body. The study included: Deb Brown, Nebraska Center for Virology; Angela Pannier, Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience; Amanda Ramer-Tait, Nebraska Food for Health Center; and doctoral student Eric Farris
A plane carrying simulated patients at Eppley Airfield.
Med Center, NSRI Play Role in Training Exercise Nebraska’s biocontainment unit was one of five treatment centers that received patients during Operation Tranquil Shift, a drill organized by the U.S. State Department. The exercise involved Americans simulating disease exposure who were flown from Africa to the U.S. "This was the next logical step in planning and preparing to transport a large number of patients with a highly infectious disease," said Shelly Schwedhelm of Nebraska Medicine. The National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at NU facilitates these exercises. NSRI is one of 13 DoD-authorized University Affiliated Research Centers in the nation.
Arthur Gen "A.G." Kawamura
Kawamura: 'Successful Agriculture Sustains Civilization' A.G. Kawamura, former California ag secretary, said it's time to recognize that the clock is ticking
A.G. Kawamura, former California ag secretary, said it's time to recognize that the clock is ticking and that people need to become more resilient when it comes to water and food security. "When you live in a state of abundance, consumers tend to think food is a right," he said. "Food is not a right; food is a privilege," Kawamura said the Heuermann Lecture at Nebraska Innovation Campus. Back To Top
ADM, Agribusinesses Join to Address Famine in East Africa In a first-ever collaboration on hunger relief, leading global food companies ADM, Cargill, Bunge and Louis Dreyfus are partnering to give $525,000 to World Food Programme efforts in East Africa, where famines due to conflict and drought have left millions in hunger. Zoetis Buying Nexvet To Grow Pet Product Line Zoetis is buying Nexvet, an innovator in monoclonal antibody therapies for companion animals, to strengthen its solutions for chronic pain management in dogs and cats, an area of high-need in companion-animal health.
San Francisco panel discusses gene editing of food products.
Will Consumers Accept Gene-Edited Foods? Louisa Burwood-Taylor from Ag Funder News provides an update on how gene editing is of concern and an opportunity among crop and food leaders. Check out the panel discussion at World AgriTech Innovation Summit in San Francisco. Benson Hill Raises $25m, Reveals CRISPR 2.0 Benson Hill Biosystems (BHB), a plant biology, big data analytics and cloud computing startup, has raised $25 million in an oversubscribed Series B round, and is rolling out CRISPR 2.0. Seedless Tomatoes Developed Through CRISPR Scientists from Japan used CRISPR to introduce a gene mutation in tomatoes that increases auxin hormone levels so the tomatoes develop before seeds form. The tomatoes also do not need pollination. Plant Breeder Grows 45-Foot-High Corn Stalks A plant breeder from New York has grown a Chiapas 234 corn variety to a record-breaking height of 45 feet by breeding corn plants with the LEAFY mutation. The giant corn stalks are being grown in
45 feet by breeding corn plants with the LEAFY mutation. The giant corn stalks are being grown in special greenhouses in Costa Rica. Study: Advanced Biofuels to Become $44.6B Industry The global market for advanced biofuels is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of nearly 44% and reach $44.6 billion by 2021, according to a Technavio report. Governments are driving market growth through incentives for renewable energy sources. ADM Begins Second Carbon Storage Project ADM has begun operations of its second carbon capture project, which will store more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. The project captures CO2 from ADM’s Decatur corn processing facility and stores it in sandstone a mile and a half underground. Pfizer Partners with Hitgen On Small-Molecule Discovery HitGen will use its technology to synthesize, design and screen proprietary DNA-encoded libraries to discover small-molecule leads for Pfizer under a multiyear licensing deal and research partnership. Pfizer will fund research involving screening of more than 20 billion of HitGen's druglike compounds against Pfizer's therapeutic targets and will get exclusive licenses to further develop lead compounds identified through the collaboration. Psoriatic Arthritis Drug from Novartis Gains NICE Backing A final appraisal determination has been issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommending the use of Novartis' Cosentyx, or secukinumab, as a psoriatic arthritis treatment for adults. Novartis Signs Deal with Parvus For Diabetes Drug Research Parvus Therapeutics has granted the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research an exclusive license to use its platform for type 1 diabetes treatment research. DuPont Partners with Sorghum Checkoff To Improve Crop DuPont Pioneer and the Sorghum Checkoff agreed to work together to breed sorghum resistant to herbicide, drought and pests. Researchers identified two sorghum inducer lines that will accelerate the breeding process and make it easier to add traits. Biochemist Shares Views on Synthetic Biology Enzymes "are at the center of synthetic biology" because of their ability to help make new products, said Frances Arnold, a biochemist/engineer at the California Institute of Technology. She cites barriers to the advancement of synthetic biology, including its trial-and-error nature and the lack of a better understanding of its possible functions. Back To Top
This message was sent to [email protected]
from: Phil Kozera | [email protected]
| Bio Nebraska Life Sciences Association | PO Box 24802 | Omaha, NE 68124
Email Marketing by