San Diego Biotech Leaders on the Future of Stem Cells, MicroRNA, & Cancer Biology

12/1/09Follow @xconomy

San Diego has some of the most intriguing biotech companies in the world, and one of the things I’ve noticed is that they aren’t all packed in one neighborhood where everyone can mingle. So we at Xconomy are thrilled that we are about two weeks away from bringing together some of the brightest biotech minds in the region to share some of their collective wisdom at our December 14 on San Diego’s leadership in biotech innovation.

This event will feature appearances from a pair of national biotech leaders who have strong connections to San Diego. John Maraganore, the CEO of Cambridge, MA-based Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (and a director of Carlsbad, CA-based Regulus Therapeutics) will be there to kick things off with a keynote talk, while Nobel Laureate David Baltimore of Caltech will share some of his insights into the big opportunities in biology during a closing keynote chat moderated by Drew Senyei of Enterprise Partners Venture Capital.

We will also hear 15-minute presentations from the CEOs of three venture-backed startups in San Diego with the potential to change the way people think about their respective fields of medicine. The speakers will include Fate Therapeutics’ Paul Grayson on stem cells, Regulus Therapeutics’ Kleanthis Xanthopoulos on microRNA therapies, and Intellikine’s Troy Wilson, who will talk about how his company is pursuing one of the hot targets of the day in cancer biology.

The other major piece of the event will be a panel discussion featuring a few of the brightest young scientific entrepreneurs at San Diego’s research centers. They are Sheng Ding, a professor of chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute; Trey Ideker, the chief of genetics at the UCSD School of Medicine; and Peter Kuhn, an associate professor of cell biology at Scripps. This panel will be moderated by a well-known veteran entrepreneur in the San Diego biotech community—David Kabakoff, executive-in-residence at Sofinnova Ventures.

The event will take place from 2 pm-6:30 pm on December 14 at Calit2′s Atkinson Hall, on the UC San Diego campus. You can find more information about how to register by clicking here, and the detailed agenda by clicking here. There will be time for networking before, during, and after—and based on my experience at similar Xconomy events in Boston and Seattle, this networking will be one of the highlights of the day. Our events tend to draw a mix of investors, entrepreneurs, business development professionals, and local service providers, so this will be an outstanding networking opportunity. We also love to bring in students who aspire to have careers in industry—particularly business school students and life sciences grad students and postdocs in this case—which is why we’ve set aside a limited number of tickets at the deeply discounted rate of $10.

The time for super-saver discounts has passed, but the early-bird ticket rate of just $75 is still available through Monday December 7. Tickets will climb to $95 in the final week, and $125 at the door, so it’s best to act early.

As many of you know, I’m based in Seattle and cover biotech nationally. This is one of the very best events I’ve had the privilege to help organize during my time with Xconomy and I’m personally flying in to be a part of it, along with our editor-in-chief Bob Buderi. I’m going to have a few questions of my own ready for this stellar group of innovators, and as the emcee, I’ll be working my way through the crowd to find some good questions from the audience. I look forward to seeing many of you there and hearing your stories.

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