The Forward BIO Institute 2021 Annual Meeting will be held on September 22 as a virtual event. This year's meeting emphasizes the critical role collaborative efforts such as public-private partnerships play in transitioning advanced technologies into the marketplace. The meeting will also highlight the Institute’s successes in promoting biomanufacturing research, entrepreneurship, and workforce development over its first three years. The meeting will have pre-recorded content, live presentations, and opportunities to network.

We look forward to celebrating the Institute’s success with you! 
Institute Receives 2021 Novel Methods Pilot Award
The Forward BIO Institute recently received a Novel Methods Pilot Award from the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR). The Institute’s proposal entitled “A Systems Approach to Expediting Preclinical Therapeutic Development” was one of the four Novel Methods projects selected for funding during the 2021 round of competition. The proposal seeks to develop a robust, innovative process that supports navigation of the regulatory landscape for academic innovators working on therapies in early-to-mid-stage development. This project aligns with the Institute’s Catapult Program goals.

For 2021, fourteen projects totaling $1.02 million were funded, with projects encompassing community engaged and health services research, novel methods, and collaborations with partners at Marshfield Clinic. ICTR is funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, through a Clinical and Translational Science Award. Pilot awards supporting community-engaged research are also supported via a strategic grant to ICTR from the Wisconsin Partnership Program. A full list of 2021 Pilot Awards can be found here.
Forward BIO Institute Receives an Award from the Promoting Industry Collaboration Initiative
The Institute’s proposal entitled “Advanced Topics in Biotechnology Innovation and Translation” was one of seven projects selected in the initial funding round of the new Promoting Industry Collaboration Initiative (PICI). The Institute’s proposal leverages its close relationship with the biopharma industry ecosystem to deliver problem-based learning modules centered on student-industry engagement. The aim of the course is provide graduate students with the multidisciplinary training required to succeed and lead in the rapidly growing biopharma industry in partnership with our Consortium members including Promega, 3M, Catalent, Versiti, University Research Park, and Venture Investors. The $1.3M initiative is funded by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. As described by Cynthia Czajkowski, associate vice chancellor for research in the biological sciences, PICI supports projects that establish mutually beneficial partnerships to “…produce groundbreaking research and innovation that solve complex problems, drive economic growth and create a more skilled workforce”. A full list of funded projects can be found here.
Forward BIO Institute's Catapult Program to be Presented at the Military Health System Research Symposium

The Institute’s abstract entitled “Catapult: A Targeted Technology Maturation Pipeline to Expedite Commercialization of Transformative Technologies into Healthcare Solutions", was selected for an Oral Presentation at the Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS) during the Biomedical Manufacturing For Warfighter Treatment Needs breakout session.

The MHSRS is the Department of Defense’s foremost scientific meeting. This annual conference enables a collaborative exchange of information between military providers, research and academic scientists, industry, and international partners on research and health care initiatives focusing on the unique medical needs of the Warfighter. This annual four-day educational symposium that draws approximately 3,500 attendees.
Emma Brandt, PhD
Senior Scientist in Target Biology
Dr. Brandt joined Empirico's Target Biology team here in Madison, WI to improve the success rate of pharmaceutical discovery and development. Her work will focus on developing assays to tease out functional therapeutic targets from genetic variations in human disease. Dr. Brant is excited to join Empirico's inclusive and welcoming culture, and enjoys that her new role allows for greater scientific creativity across diverse areas of human disease and biology.

Having been with the Institute since 2020, Dr. Brandt credits the Innovators in Training program with helping her more precisely define her areas of interest and network more efficiently to achieve her career goals and transition smoothly from academia to the biomanufacturing industry.
Dr. Klemm has joined Elevatebio's Regenerative Medicine team in Waltham, MA to help establish a robust gene editing platform for iPSC-based cell therapies; the primary focus is to develop a universal iPSC source. Dr. Klemm is excited by Elevatebio's experienced leadership and seasoned team members, and the unique "umbrella" operational model Elevatebio employs with centralized resources to support portfolio companies developing novel cell and gene therapies.

Dr. Klemm joined the Innovators in Training in 2020, and cites how program's workforce development programs improved his awareness of industry concepts and vocabulary, which he mentions aided in his both his professional networking and interviewing experiences.
Lucas Klemm, PhD
Scientist, iPSC Editing
Dan Pham
Intern, Platform Development
Dan Pham is currently an intern for Novatris' Gene Therapy platform development team in San Diego, CA. Dan will be working with her team to develop new generation of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors for safe and effective gene therapy delivery. Dan has been interested in cell and gene therapies throughout her graduate research, and hopes her time at Novartis will illuminate how multidisciplinary teams coordinate to bring new innovations to patients.

Dan feels her participation in the Innovators in Training program since 2019 has helped her strengthen her interest in industry technology development as a post-graduate career, and attributes success in navigate the interview process to the Institute elevating her understanding of the biomanufacturing industry; she appreciates the help the Institute provided in helping her develop her application to the program.
Sophie Mancha is currently an intern for Promega as part of the global marketing team here in Madison, WI, and one of the Institute's Industry Consortium members. Working independently, and in collaboration with other marketing interns, Sophie creates content for the Promega Student Resource Center, an on-line resource to help young scientists broaden their technical expertise. Sophie is particularly excited by how this opportunity will allow her to exercise her scientific communication skills, and gain a unique opportunity to learn and network throughout Promega's diverse teams.

Having joined the Innovators in Training program in 2019, Sophie appreciates how the program provided unique networking opportunities for trainees to meet a broad community of industry leaders to expand her professional network and be better prepared to launch a successful career immediately after completing her doctoral training.
Sophie Mancha
Intern, Global Marketing
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