Vermont Biosciences Alliance Summer Newsletter

Summer Newsletter 
VBSA was created to foster recognition of medicine and bioscience as a leading industry in the Vermont region and promote economic and human well-being by strengthening sector attention, research resources, and venture growth. To the businesses and organizations who are currently members, thank you for supporting the bioscience industry in Vermont.

SAVE THE DATE! The VBSA is adding a fall Bio-only Beer on September 20th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Queen City Brewery! The new BioBeer event will feature a short talk by Dr. Grant Henderson, formerly a Chemical Engineer with Lonza.

Our traditional winter 2018 Bio & Tech Beer will be held on December 5th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Queen City Brewery, 703B Pine Street, Burlington. 

The Vermont Chamber of Commerce's showcase of the Vermont manufacturing sector will be held on September 27, 2018 at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction. 
Industry News
Considering adding or improving an employee training program at your company? The Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center has a recent and detailed post on the value of workforce development and how to implement training programs to maximize the benefit to your own business. The VMEC outlines five common mistakes when setting up a workforce development program and explains useful strategies to avoid these pitfalls.
BIO disagrees with the picture of the biopharmaceutical industry presented in a recent report by the Minority Staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, noting it fails to acknowledge that many biotech companies are small businesses. The report analyzes the current complex reality of drug cost and availability in the U.S. and is critical of the impact on patients, but fails to give a complete picture of the biopharmaceutical industry by focusing on the activities of big businesses.
BIO commentary can be read here:  BIO Blog  
And the full report can be read here: Finance Committee Report 
Education News
A recent study by a UVM Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy highlights the importance of teacher science experience to inquiry-based science education and may explain why U.S. middle school students lag behind their global peers in the sciences. Inquiry-based STEM curricula are recognized nationally as best practice for science literacy. The new study shows that teachers with science experience, in addition to their education training, are more likely to use inquiry-based teaching techniques, yet nationally only half of science teachers have science credentials.

ACPHS was recognized by an Albany-based humanitarian organization for their nonprofit community pharmacies staffed by students. Over the past two years ACPHS has started two community pharmacies near the Albany campus and plans to open a "Collaboratory" with Trinity Alliance to help Medicaid-eligible residents with access to preventative care, while also educating students about public health.

Vermont is a member of the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program that seeks to broaden the geographic distribution of NIH funding for biomedical research. The  IDeA-state en trepreneurship program (I-Trep) is a new NIH-supported education program based in Vermont. Continuing with our mission to provide training and education in biomedical entrepreneurship, the  I-Trep program is offering paid specialized  internships for 2018-2019. The internships aim to provide career development for faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and  graduate students from any Vermont-based academic institution and foster business-research collaborations within Vermont.   

Eligible hosts include any bioscience-based business or other businesses such as law offices or consultant firms that support the bioscience community. Terms of the internship are meant to be flexible to accommodate the desired career skill development or business-research partnership goals. The intern will be paid through the I-Trep grant and internships will be a maximum of 8 weeks in duration.

If your organization would like to participate, please contact Tina Thornton (, coordinator for the I-Trep program, for more information.
BIO Debrief from Michael Stanley of Chroma Technology
Boston, June 4-7, 2018

I have been attending different scientific conferences, exhibits, and courses since the days of  my Ph.D. training, well over 30 years ago. Some highlights include the Society for Neuroscience, the Microscopy Society, the Biophysical Society, and Photonics.

My  background is in Cellular Biology and Fluorescence Imaging
 and my current position as Applications Scientist for C h roma Technology mostly involves training users with advanced microscopy equipment to use our optics for biomedical research and fluo rescence, as well as diagnostic applications.
When the VBSA Board of Directors first started talking about the BIO International Convention, I did a little research and thought that the Convention looked interesting, but mostly it looked "marketing and sales"-oriented. However, I figured any meeting or conference with this many people attending had to have something to offer, right? I thought that I would wear my "Vermont Biosciences Hat" for the meeting and see.
I must say that I was very pleasantly surprised! Having all these countries, states, and businesses represented was not only a treat for the eyes but much 
more interesting (at a variety of levels) than I could have imagined. There were actually several companies there that we, at Chroma, do business with around the world. And there were several people who knew researchers whom I have worked with over the years, especially from Core Facilities (mostly at Universities) that do fluorescence and imaging research. I ended up with several business cards and emails from folks interested in future work, and I have heard from several already about different projects that they think I might be able to help with.
In addition, the participants and attendees were curious, energetic, and truly pleasant to talk to. I wish I could say that for all of the meetings mentioned above.
All-in-all the BIO International Convention was a great meeting/conference for me and Chroma. Now I must say that I don't think I convinced anyone to move their company to Vermont, but I might have the names of several people that could be interested in working here in the future. More than worth the time and money, and I truly hope that we can arrange to go again next year. 

- Michael Stanley, Senior Applications Scientist, Chroma Technology, July 25, 2018
Haemtech is Hiring!: HTI is seeking an experienced lab technician. Check out the full post here:
Membership: Thank you to all our members for their support over the past year! If you haven't renewed your membership yet, you can click here to renew online through the sign-up form.

Have friends at other businesses that are interested in bioscience and entrepreneurship in Vermont? Invite them to join the VBSA! Joining the VBSA sends a message of support for Vermont bioscience companies and organizations.   Click here   for more on the benefits of joining the VBSA and to sign up.
News: If your business has announcements, milestones, or projects they would like to share with the VBSA community, please get in touch with us! You can email your news and information to
Call for Seminars: The VBSA is always interested in hosting new workshops and seminars! You can suggest seminar ideas to Rachel Marie Sargent at
Twitter:  Connect with VBSA on Twitter at
Member Benefit
VWR International
Laboratory Supplies, Equipment & Chemicals

BIO Business Solutions uses the buying power of the entire industry to deliver to every member - as a FREE benefit through your membership with VBSA your business qualifies for this discount.  The BIO-VWR program includes special pricing agreements with major manufacturers, plus many other member-only benefits.  

Click here for more information