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Last modified: Monday, May 4, 2009

Bill Cook, innovator in state's life sciences industry, to speak at IU conference in Indianapolis

May 4, 2009

EDITORS: The media is invited to attend this event. A complete program schedule and parking information is available at

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Bill Cook, founder of Cook Group Inc. and an early innovator in Indiana's life sciences industry, will be the keynote speaker at the fourth and final event in the 2008-09 Indiana Life Sciences Collaboration Conference Series.

Cook will be joined by other key collaborators in academia and business, including Dr. Richard DiMarchi, the Linda and Jack Gill Chair in Biomedical Sciences at Indiana University and co-founder of Ambrx and Marcadia Biotech.

The seminar, "Strategic Collaborations," will take place from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, at University Place and Conference Center, 850 W. Michigan St., on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The conference will focus on how collaboration between and among individuals, universities and businesses and the sharing of information, ideas and effort translates into product and service development, the raising of resources and capital, commercialization activities and a robust life sciences industry.

The conference is sponsored by Ice Miller LLP, BioCrossroads, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC), the IU School of Medicine and The Center for the Business of Life Sciences (CBLS) in IU's Kelley School of Business and Purdue.

Registration is available online at or by contacting Roxie Glaze at the Kelley School at 812-855-9210 or Registration is $50.

In a presentation that will begin at 9:15 a.m., Cook will discuss his Bloomington, Ind.-based group of companies and how its use of translational sciences and strategic collaborations have led to success over the past 46 years, as well as his projections for future success.

The story of Cook Group Inc. began in 1963 with the founding of its flagship company, Cook Inc. Using a spare bedroom of Bill and Gayle Cook's Bloomington apartment as its first "factory" to build wire guides, needles and catheters, the business grew quickly. Cook Inc. soon expanded into other fields of medicine, its success fueled by its commitment to providing the highest quality products and the best possible working relations with the physicians using Cook products.

Cook Group evolved as the company developed new enterprises in medicine, overseas medical product manufacturing and distribution, real estate, retail management and transportation and travel services. Often, these new entities emerged because the company needed a product or service that wasn't available or knew it could provide goods and business functions faster or more efficiently than existing vendors.

Today, Cook is among the world's best-known and most respected names in medical devices and supplies. Closely allied with top medical research facilities, teaching hospitals and leading specialists around the world, the Cook Group continues to provide innovative, physician-conceived, custom-crafted medical devices to health care providers.

A panel will respond to Cook's presentation and discuss opportunities for Indiana created by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, a medical research initiative at IU and Purdue that is underwritten in part by a $25 million award from the National Institutes of Health.

David Johnson, president and CEO of BioCrossroads, will moderate a panel consisting of Dan Evans, president and CEO of Clarian Health Partners; Richard Kuhn, director of the Bindley Bioscience Center at Purdue; Charles McIntosh, vice president and chief medical science and technology at Cook Group Inc.; and Anantha Shekar, associate dean for translational research, the Raymond E. Hauk Professor of psychiatry and neurobiology at the IU School of Medicine.

Following lunch, DiMarchi also will give a keynote address, "Emergence of Chemical Biotechnology: A R&D Journey in Academia, Biotech and Pharma," from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m.

A second panel, moderated by John Thornburgh, a partner at Ice Miller LLP, will follow and discuss DiMarchi's presentation and the importance of collaborations among research, business and government.

Panelists will be DiMarchi, Darren Carroll, senior managing director at Lilly Ventures; Mayland Chang, assistant director of Walther Cancer Research Center and professional specialist in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame; Linda Malkas, Vera Bradley Chair for Oncology in the IU School of Medicine and founder of CS-Keys Inc.; and Joe Mark, CTO and a board member of NICO Corp.

In addition to organizing the workshop series, the center operates a Web site ( that includes research studies by Kelley faculty, MBA students and industry professionals about various segments of life science industries and the challenges presented. It also provides more information about the Center for the Business of Life Sciences and its new study options for executive education and for IU students studying business, science, informatics, law and other academic disciplines.