Event Reports

Building Biotech 2015

Sophia Peng - Monday, September 28, 2015

Cody Lo, Sept 28, 2015.

On September 22nd the Student Biotechnology Network (SBN) held its first event of the year, Building Biotech 2015, in partnership with the Discovery Parks Foundation. After having not seen many of our members and mentors since our Networking Soiree at the Petley Jones Art Gallery in June, it was great to catch up with members of the SBN community at the start of the academic year. As always, this event was completely sold out with many of our last minute registrants coming for the networking reception with hopes of securing a vacant spot at the dinner as well. We were very grateful to have a diverse group of mentors attend the event, over 20 local biotechnology companies were represented ranging from small tech start ups to international corporations. With an approximate mentor to mentee ratio of 1:3, all of students had the opportunity to engage with meaningful conversations and make connections amongst our mentors.

After a wonderful networking session, all of our attendees took their seats. It was great to see many of the tables introducing themselves and delving into thoughtful discussions ranging from the mentor’s professional background to current events happening around the globe. Many of our attendees expressed that the dinner portion of Building Biotech really gives students an opportunity to forge deeper connections with both the mentors and the fellow students. Following a delicious dinner courtesy of the staff at Coast Coal Harbour, the panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities in the new global bioeconomy took place. Our panel speakers offered a wealth of diversity in terms of their backgrounds and gave their thoughts on the future of biotechnology. Interestingly, a topic that came up multiple times throughout the discussion was the future of personalized medicine. This topic sparked interesting conversation about everyone’s right to their genomic information as well as considerations regarding the privacy of one’s genomic information. Our panelists were also asked about recent current events in the biotech industry, such as the price gorging of a HIV drug by over 5000% overnight by a former hedge fund manager. When asked about advice for upcoming biotech professionals, our panelist agreed on the importance that multidisciplinary fields such as bioinformatics and regenerative medicine will have on the future of biotech.

In conclusion, Building Biotech 2015 was an immense success and an excellent start to the academic year for the SBN. We would like to thank all of our mentors and members who attended the event. We encourage you to keep an eye out for the SBN’s upcoming Venture Ready workshop series which will be taking place every Thursday starting October 29th. Hope to see you at an upcoming event!

[ SBN would not be possible without its generous sponsors ]