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George Telthorst
Center for the Business of Life Sciences

George Vlahakis
University Communications

Kelli Conder
Center for the Business of Life Sciences

Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nov. 19 conference will address Indiana's life sciences industry, its changing human resource needs

Presenters will include Tony Bennett, Indiana superintendent of public instruction, and business and education leaders

Oct. 28, 2010

EDITORS: A complete program schedule, links to the participants' biographies and directions are available at Media registration is required. Contact George Vlahakis of IU's Office of University Communications at 812-855-0846 or

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- While Indiana's life sciences enterprises have strongly contributed to the state's overall economic health, concerns about their future competitiveness are closely aligned with educational goals.

Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett, Indiana superintendent for public instruction, will be one of the conference presenters.

A distinguished roster of education, government and business leaders will discuss how Indiana is currently positioned and prepared to meet future market needs at the next event in the Indiana Life Sciences Collaboration Conference Series. The event will take place on Friday, Nov. 19, at Cook Medical World Headquarters in Bloomington.

The day-long conference, "Life Sciences Human Capital," will examine how Indiana's workforce can respond and adapt to growing and changing human resource demands of its life sciences industry.

Among the presenters will be Tony Bennett, Indiana superintendent of public instruction; Karen Hanson, Indiana University Bloomington provost and executive vice president; and E. Mitchell Roob, Indiana secretary of commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

The conference will take place 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., at Cook headquarters, 750 Daniels Way, in Bloomington.

At a time when job creation is especially crucial, Indiana's life science industry may be better suited to stimulate employment growth than many of the state's other traditional economic drivers, said George Telthorst, director of the Center for the Business of Life Sciences in IU's Kelley School of Business.

"There's continued demand for medical products, and especially with the passage of the health care reform act, it looks like now even more people are going to be insured," Telthorst said. "Because of Indiana's past experiences as a strong medical devices producer, its pharmaceutical companies and the headquarters for leading health insurers, there are strong companies here needing to solve that puzzle and to take advantage of opportunities. They're going to need people to be able to work on this.

Cook Medical

The Nov. 19 program will take place at Cook Medical World Headquarters.

Print-Quality Photo

"The demand is there. The question is how can we as a state compete? Having the best trained, best suited people to do this in our backyard is a big part of this," he added. "We're not starting from ground zero. We've been at this a long time in one form or another, whether it's in Warsaw or Indy or down here in Bloomington."

The Nov. 19 event is the second in a series of four conferences. The cost is $90. Other events in the series will take place Feb. 25 in Indianapolis at Barnes & Thornburg LLP, and May 13 also in Indianapolis at the IU School of Medicine.

K-12 educators are eligible to receive continuing education professional growth points (PGP) from the state of Indiana by attending this conference. Certificates will be mailed after the conference. Registration and additional information is available online at or by contacting Kelli Conder at the Kelley School at 812-856-0915 or

The conference series is presented by the IU Kelley School of Business and its Center for the Business of Life Sciences, BioCrossroads and Duke Energy. Primary sponsors of the Nov. 19 conference also include AIT Laboratories, Cook Medical, Purdue University and Taft Stettinus & Hollister LLP and supporting sponsor Commissioning Agents.

Following registration and networking from 8-9 a.m., Kem Hawkins, president of Cook Group Inc. will offer introductory comments. Ron Thieme, vice president and information officer at AIT Laboratories, will introduce the opening keynote speaker, Walter H. Plosila, senior advisor, technology practice at Battelle, who will speak on the topic, "Assessing Indiana's Position in the Biosciences: 2010."

Battelle recently co-released a report indicating that Indiana is one of only five states with specialized bioscience employment in three of four subsectors: agricultural feedstock and chemicals, drugs and pharmaceuticals and medical devices and equipment.

Plosila will be followed by the first panel, which will look at the demand for skilled life science employees in Indiana. The panel, moderated by Roob, will consist of Larry Gigerich, managing director of Ginovus LLC; Kay Kuenker, vice president , new business platforms, Dow AgroSciences LLC; Vicki Neddenriep, vice president, human resources, Covance Central Laboratory Services Inc.; and Brad Bishop, executive director of OrthoWorx.

At lunch, Bennett will offer the presentation "Stem Education: Preparing Indiana's Next Generation Workforce." He will be introduced by Neal R. Roach, a partner in Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP.

After lunch, a second panel discussion will look at how the state's educational institutions intend to meet the human capital needs of the state's life sciences firms.

Panelists will include Hanson, John R. Whikehart, chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington; Andrew O. Brightman, assistant head of the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University; and William A. Kline, interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Steven E. Bryant, executive director of the Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech-Bloomington, will moderate.

"Students at IU Bloomington are developing skills and knowledge that will enable them to contribute in many ways to the vital life-sciences sector," Hanson said. "This is true not only for students in business, the sciences and the health professions, but also for those in the humanities and social sciences. This is certainly another crucial arena in which Indiana University is helping to build the state's economic future."

Financial sponsors for the entire series include AIT Laboratories; Aledo Consulting; Anson Group; Baker & Daniels LLP; Barnes & Thornburg LLP; Beckman Coulter, Inc.; BSA Life Structures; Clarian Health Ventures; Cook Medical; Commissioning Agents Inc.; Eli Lilly and Co.; Indiana Health Information Exchange; Ice Miller LLP; the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute; the IU School of Medicine; Mead Johnson Nutrition; Meyer Najem;' Purdue University; Symmetry Medical; Taft Stettinius and Zimmer.

Brochure sponsors are Cabello Associates, Inc.; and Miles Printing on Plastics. Marketing sponsors are BioConvergence LLC; Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership; Covidien; Deloitte Center for Health Solutions; Harlan Laboratories; Indiana Healthcare Businesswoman's Association; Indiana Health Industry Forum; IU College of Arts and Sciences; IU Research and Technology Corp.; the Kelley School's Evening MBA Program; the Kelley School of Business Alumni Association; IU Maurer School of Law; IU Office for the Vice President for Engagement; IU School of Informatics; OrthoWorx; Purdue University Regulatory & Quality Compliance Graduate Program; and the University of Notre Dame.

More information about the Center for the Business of Life Sciences is available online at