Biotechnology experts from across the region will participate in a conference to be held at Southwestern University July 29.

The Southwestern Regional Life-Sciences and Biotechnology Conference will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the ballrooms located on the second floor of the McCombs Campus Center.

The conference is sponsored by the Texas Life-Sciences Collaboration Center (TLCC), a proposed 501(c)(3) organization that was founded in Georgetown last year to help take companies that have commercially viable biotechnology products to the next level. Southwestern University is one of the founding partners of the TLCC, along with the City of Georgetown and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce. The center recently signed a an agreement that will enable it to take a lead role in commercializing technology that will spin out of the health-science components of the Texas A&M System, including a new medical school that will be opening soon in Williamson County.

Healthcare professionals as well as those interested in bio and nanotechnology are encouraged to attend the July 29 conference at Southwestern. The conference will include a presentation on the new A&M medical school by Dr. Nancy W. Dickey, president of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health affairs for the Texas A&M System; an update on the Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute (THBI) by Tom Kowalski, president of THBI; and a preview of the 81st Texas Legislative Session that begins in January 2009 from Rep. Dan Gattis, Texas HD-20.

Pike Powers, a well-known technology attorney from Austin, and Dr. Brett Giroir, a physician-scientist trained at UT-Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and most recently director of the Defense Sciences Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., will present the luncheon keynote addresses. Their talks will focus on the Governor’s Texas Technology Initiative and a proposed Texas Center for Convergent Technologies that would include participation by research universities and organizations throughout the state, including Texas A&M, The University of Texas and the TLCC. Dr. Giroir recently joined the Texas A&M System as vice chancellor of research.

Dr. John X.J. Zhang, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, will also give a talk at the conference titled “Integrated Photonic Microsystems, Semiconductor Chips and Nanotechnologies for Imaging, Sensing and Regulating Cellular Processes.” The UT Department of Biomedical Engineering is a joint venture of three state research-component institutions − The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Cost for individual registration at the conference is $50 (including lunch), but the fee will be waived for full-time college and graduate students. Pre-registration is encouraged as conference seating is limited. Student poster paper presentations related to the conference are being solicited and will be available to the public beginning at 9 a.m. on July 29. For more information or to pre-register, call the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce at 512-930-3535 or write

For additional sponsorship opportunities at the conference or to submit student paper abstracts, contact TLCC Executive Director Russ Peterman at 512-864-1891 or The conference is being made possible through grants from the Rural Capital Area Workforce Development Board and the Texas State Technical College System. Many other local and regional organizations and companies are assisting with sponsorships, including St. David’s HealthCare, Georgetown Community Health Foundation, and Scott & White Hospital at University Medical Center in Round Rock.

This is the second conference Southwestern has hosted for TLCC. It also hosted a conference marking the official opening of the center in November 2007. That conference featured speakers from the first three companies in the center as well as a variety of public officials.

For more information on TLCC, visit


Related News & Events