URI Providence to dedicate new biotechnology center during regional biotechnology symposium

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Biotech instrument-maker Sartorius donated $150,000 in lab equipment

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – May 4, 2007 – The University of Rhode Island will dedicate an expanded biotechnology laboratory and announce a new partnership with Sartorius Biotech Inc., a scientific instrument manufacturer and biotechnology processing supplier, at a ceremony during the third annual Northeast Regional Biotechnology Symposium on May 15.

The symposium begins at 1:30, and the lab dedication ceremony is at 4:15 p.m. Both events will take place at URI’s Feinstein Providence Campus, 80 Washington St., Providence.

Based in Edgewood, N.Y., Sartorius donated several important laboratory instruments to equip an expansion of URI’s biotechnology manufacturing lab, including bioreactors, tangential flow filtration units, and a membrane filter integrity tester. The value of the equipment is approximately $150,000.

“We’re so pleased that Sartorius has partnered with us to provide our students and biotech professionals in the area with access to the most modern equipment available,” said Greg Paquette, director of biotechnology programs at URI and a professor of cell and molecular biology. “We appreciate their generosity and look forward to a long working relationship.”

“We have long supported academic institutions with training and equipment to provide the future biotechnologist with the latest innovations in the biomanufacturing processes, from upstream bioreactors to downstream separations and purification to final sterile filling,” said Maik Jornitz, group vice president for product management at Sartorius Biotech Inc.

In addition to donating the equipment, Sartorius will offer a number of biomanufacturing workshops at the lab, which URI faculty, staff and students may attend at no cost. The workshops will be open to biotechnology industry personnel for a fee as part of the company’s industry training program.

The Northeast Regional Biotechnology Symposium will feature presentations on a wide range of topics of interest to biotechnology industry personnel, including such topics as disposable biopharmaceutical processing, vaccine development, biofuels, and the state of the life sciences industry in Rhode Island.

Speakers include URI Molecular Biology Professor Albert Kausch, EpiVax CEO Annie DeGroot, Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. Director Saul Kaplan, and Jornitz of Sartorius Biotech.

“This symposium will bring together the biotechnology community — industry, academia, and government — to discuss the latest developments in the region,” said Paquette. “It will also allow for the showcasing of the undergraduate biotechnology manufacturing and graduate biotechnology programs at the URI Providence Campus, as well as our Biotechnology Training Initiative and K-12 Biosciences Initiative. These programs have become a major supplier of life sciences technicians and scientists for the rapidly evolving industry in the region.”

The symposium is free and open to the public, and free parking is available. For more information or to register, contact Mary Pinch at 401-277-5056 or pinch@uri.edu.