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Media Contacts

Lawrence Davidson
Kelley School of Business

Anne Auer
Kelley School of Business

George Vlahakis
University Communications

Meghan Freeman
Cook Group Inc.
812-339-2235, x 5167

Last modified: Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Conference looks at how differences in sex, ethnicity, race affect approaches to fighting disease

Oct. 31, 2007

Editors: Biographical information about all the participants, directions to the conference and parking information is available at Media interested in attending need to contact Anne Auer at the Kelley School of Business at 812-855-6998 or

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Cook Group Inc. will host the next event in a workshop series designed by Indiana University's Kelley School of Business to assist Indiana's healthcare and life science companies in finding new ways to collaborate.

The program, "Biological and Physiological Differences Across the Population: Implications for Research and Development Along the Life Sciences Value Chain," will take place Friday, Nov. 16, at Cook's corporate headquarters in Bloomington.

"It is becoming increasingly apparent that biological and physiological differences among all of us are important factors in determining disease incidence. Sex, age, ethnicity and race determine both the onset and the solutions to many diseases," said Lawrence Davidson, professor of business economics and public policy, and the Kelley School's liaison to its Health Care and Life Sciences Initiative.

"The event at Cook will look at the implications of these differences for life sciences businesses. Life sciences organizations from our research universities, our pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech companies all must take these variations into account in research and development in order to optimize diagnostic and therapeutic solutions," Davidson said.

D. Craig Brater, M.D., IU vice president for life sciences and dean of medicine, added, "The ramifications of contemporary medical research have great potential for our society. It is important to have public dialogue such as this among people who represent the views of businesses, communities and individuals who will be affected by its outcomes."

This will be the second program in the Kelley School's 2007-08 Indiana Life Sciences Collaboration Conference Series. Other conferences in the series will be "Leading the Way in Biotech Services," on Feb.1 in Indianapolis, and "Life Sciences is a Capital Idea," May 16, also in Indianapolis.

Registration is available online at or by contacting Roxie Glaze at the Kelley School at 812-855-9210 or The registation fee for the program is $40. Students at institutions of higher learning must register but may attend free. To learn more about how to register, students need to contact Glaze.

The Nov. 16 program will begin with remarks from Kem Hawkins, president of Cook Group Inc.; Neal R. Roach, partner and member of the health and life sciences, intellectual property and business practice groups at Sommer Barnard PC; and William B. Stephan, IU vice president for engagement.

Saralyn Mark, M.D., senior scientific policy adviser at Cook Group Inc. and senior medical adviser to the National Aeronautic and Space Administration, will present the keynote address, "It Is More Than Sex: Heart Health in Women." Dan Peterson, Cook Group vice president of industry and government affairs, will introduce her.

Mark will be followed by a panel discussion, "Diverse Populations - Challenges in Diagnosis and Treatment of Disease." The panel will be moderated by Robert Becker, IU professor of economics and executive associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Other panelists will be Sheryl L. Conley, group president, Americas and global marketing, and chief marketing officer of Zimmer; and Paris Roach, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine in the Department of Endocrinology at the IU School of Medicine.

Eric M. Meslin, director of the IU Center for Bioethics, associate dean for bioethics and professor of medicine and molecular genetics at the IU School of Medicine, will speak at lunch on the topic, "Biobanks as Tools for Personalized Medicine: Can Good Ethics and Good Business Cohabitate?"

A second panel discussion, "The Economics of Specialized/Personalized Medicine," will follow lunch. It will feature David Flockhart, M.D., chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and principal investigator of NIH Pharmacogenetics Research Network at the IU School of Medicine; Jennifer Girod, a member of Sommer Barnard PC's health & life sciences and business law practice groups and a core faculty member of the IU Center for Bioethics; and Keith Gregg, president and chief executive officer of JRG Ventures LLC. John Emanuele, an associate at Sommer Barnard PC and member of the firm's Intellectual Property & Technology Group, will moderate.

The conference is expected to conclude at about 3 p.m.

In addition to organizing the workshop series, the Kelley School operates a Web site at that includes research studies by Kelley faculty, MBA students and industry professionals about various segments of life science industries and the challenges they face.

Other partners in the Initiative include Baker and Daniels LLP; Barnes and Thornburg LLP; BioCrossroads; Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership; Cook Medical; Ice Miller LLP; Indiana Economic Development Corp.; Indiana Health Industry Forum; Indy Partnership; Indiana Biotech Entrepreneurship Network; IU Center for International Business Education and Research; IU College of Arts and Sciences; IU School of Informatics; IU School of Medicine; IU Research and Technology Corp.; Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Kelley-Indianapolis' Evening MBA Program, Methodist Medical Center of Illinois; Northeast Indiana Innovation Center; and Sommer Barnard PC.