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Shaughnessy Represents NIEHS at Biotech Conference

By Eddy Ball
November 2009

Health Science Administrator Dan Shaughnessy
Health Science Administrator Dan Shaughnessy (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

NIEHS Health Science Administrator Dan Shaughnessy, Ph.D., served as the NIEHS/NIH representative at the Eighth Annual Charlotte Biotechnology Conference, held October 8 at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC). Shaughnessy spoke as part of the federal panel on "Future Trends in Biotechnology Funding" at the conference's "University Opportunities Workshop," and along with several other participants, toured the new North Carolina Research Campus the following day.

Shaughnessy's talk was an opportunity to inform students and investigators about funding and employment opportunities at NIEHS and other NIH centers and institutes, as well as to lay the groundwork for possible future collaborations between scientists at the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC)( Exit NIEHS and investigators at NIEHS in the areas of genomics, proteomics and metabolomics. According to organizers, the conference brought together some of the most recognized biotechnology, business and research professionals from around the globe and highlighted regional opportunities and investment trends within the local biotechnology sector.

As Shaughnessy explained afterwards, nurturing a relationship between NIEHS and the NCRC could also be an investment in the future for people at NIEHS. "As more and more research comes online at the facility," he noted, "the campus may become a job placement option for fellows in training at NIEHS looking for opportunities to work in the area."

The NCRC was started with a $1.5 billion investment by David Murdock, owner of Dole Foods Company, Inc., and it now occupies its first three buildings in Kannapolis, NC( Exit NIEHS., When completed, the facility will offer more than a million square feet of state-of-the-art lab and office space, including the David H. Murdock Research Institute, which houses one of the largest and most advanced scientific equipment collections of its kind anywhere in the world, including state-of-the-art technology in genomics, proteomics and metabolomics.

Universities participating at the NCRC include Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina A&T State University and UNC Greensboro.

The 2009 Summers of Discovery students posed with their mentors and supporters for the traditional group photo.
According to its vision statement, the NCRC's goal is to become "the world's epicenter of nutrition and disease research."
(Photo courtesy of NCRC)

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