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George Vlahakis
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Kelli Conder
Center for the Business of Life Sciences

Lexie Hosier
Office of the Indiana Lieutenant Governor

Last modified: Monday, August 19, 2013

Lt. Gov. Ellspermann among speakers at conference on the future of Indiana as a life sciences hub

Aug. 19, 2013

EDITORS: A complete program schedule, links to the participants' biographies and directions are available at the Center for the Business of Life Sciences website.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann will keynote the first event in the 2013-14 Indiana Life Sciences Collaboration Conference Series on Sept. 6 at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis.

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann

Print-Quality Photo

Ellspermann's appearance at the conference was rescheduled from May, and is part of a daylong program with the theme, "Indiana as a Life Sciences Hub in 2023 - What Will It Take?"

In addition to Ellspermann, several industry executives, economic developers and political leaders will weigh in with their opinions on the topic. They will include Dr. Timothy Brown, a medical doctor who represents District 41 in the Indiana House of Representatives. Brown (R-Crawfordsville) is chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

"Indiana is considered one of the top five life sciences hubs in the country and there are a number of other locations aspiring to join that select group," said George Telthorst, director of the Center for the Business of Life Sciences in Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

"Several factors will determine whether the life sciences industry in Indiana will remain strong, such as having the proper combination of talent, infrastructure, investment and government policies," Telthorst added. "We are thrilled Lt. Gov. Ellspermann, who had intended to share her insights with us in May, has agreed to return to discuss the opportunities and pitfalls that will challenge life science innovation over the next decade."

Ellspermann, who will be the opening keynote speaker, manages five state agencies: the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, the Office of Defense Development, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and the Office of Tourism Development.

A graduate of Purdue University, Ellspermann began her career in engineering and management at Michelin and Frito-Lay before she founded a consulting business, Ellspermann and Associates Inc., in Evansville, Ind. Clients included Kimball International, Pepsi and Microsoft.

Her company provided problem-solving and strategic planning facilitation and training. She was the first colleague of Min Basadur, founder of Basadur Applied Creativity and internationally renowned for his work in applied creative problem-solving research, training and facilitation.

In 1996, Ellspermann completed a master's degree and doctorate in industrial engineering at the University of Louisville. In 2006, she became the founding director of the University of Southern Indiana's Center for Applied Research and Economic Development, which has completed more than 200 projects statewide.

She was instrumental in developing the USI-Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Partnership that includes a focus on technology commercialization. Last year, she joined Transformation Team Inc. as its director of strategic engagement. In 2010, Ellspermann was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives and was sworn in as Indiana's 50th lieutenant governor earlier this year.

The McKinney School of Law is located at 530 W. New York St., on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The registration fee is $150 for the Sept. 6 event or $450 for the entire, four-conference series.

Other events in the series include the Nov. 22 conference in Indianapolis, "Implications of the Rise in Global Obesity;" the Feb. 21 conference in Bloomington, "Overview of the Chinese Healthcare and Medical Products Industry;" and the May 9 program in Indianapolis, "Informatics/'Big Data' Uses and Challenges in the Life Sciences."

Students at accredited Indiana institutions of higher education may qualify for a discounted rate. 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, its Center for the Business of Life Sciences, BioCrossroads and Covance.

Following registration and networking from 8 to 9 a.m., Dr. Anantha Shekhar, director of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, will introduce Ellspermann.

After a break, Gretchen Bowker, chief operating officer of Pearl Pathways LLC, will moderate a panel that will discuss the resources needed for Indiana's continued prominence as a life sciences hub. Panel members will be Mark Reiff, managing partner of Reiff Search Solutions; Dr. Reza Zadno, venture partner at Interwest Partners; Greg Ottinger, president of Greenwood Medical; and Richard DiMarchi, the Standiford H. Cox Professor of Chemistry and the Linda and Jack Gill Chair in Biomedical Sciences at IU.

During lunch, Simon Tripp, senior director of the technology partnership practice of Battelle Memorial Institute, will speak on what other life sciences hubs in the top tier are planning in order to remain competitive.

A second panel discussion led by Darren Carroll, vice president for corporate business development at Eli Lilly & Co., will focus on policy issues. Joining him will be Brown, Mark Janis, the Robert A. Lucas Chair of Law and director of the Center for Intellectual Property at the IU Maurer School of Law; Brian Stemme, project director at BioCrossroads; and David Lewis, vice president, corporate tax at Eli Lilly.

Telthorst will wrap up the day's discussion at 3:15 p.m.

The Sept. 6 conference is sponsored by Biomet, Duke Energy, Eli Lilly & Co., Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute; IU School of Medicine; Pearl Pathways; Purdue University and the IU McKinney School of Law.

Other financial sponsors are AIT Laboratories; Cook Medical; Hill-Rom; Humana; Faegre Baker & Daniels LLP; Ice Miller LLP; Indianapolis Business Journal; the Indiana Economic Development Corp.; Inside Indiana Business; MedVenture; Oleen Pinnacle Healthcare Consulting; Omnicare; Purdue University; Roche Diagnostics; Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP; VMS BioMarketing and Zimmer.

Brochure sponsors are Cabello Associates; and Miles Printing on Plastics.

Marketing sponsors are Aptalis Pharma; Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership; Commissioning Agents, Inc.; Harlan Laboratories; Iotron Industries; IU College of Arts and Sciences; IU Kelley Business of Medicine Programs; IU Kelley Evening MBA Program; IU Kelley School of Business Alumni Association; IU Office for the Vice President for Engagement; IU Research & Technology Corp.; IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law; IU School of Informatics and Computing; Mid-America Science Park; Novus Biologicals; and Performance Validation, LLC.