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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, State of Florida, will discuss the business climate of Florida and the importance of venture capital to the continued growth of new, Florida-based companies. CFO Atwater was elected as the Chief Financial Officer of Florida in November 2010 following a successful tenure in the Florida Senate where he last served as President of the Florida Senate.

Congresswoman Kathy Castor (FL-14) will lead a panel discussion on how insurers, government, the FDA and company innovators need to collaborate to assure healthcare is safe, effective, affordable and accessible for patients. Kathy Castor is Tampa Bay’s voice in the U.S. Congress. She is serving her fourth term representing Florida’s 14th Congressional district, which includes Tampa, St. Petersburg and parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

Randal J. Kirk is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Intrexon, a leading synthetic biology technology company. At the BioFlorida Conference, Mr. Kirk will discuss how the rapid accession of biological knowledge and demonstrated power of new technologies, systems and computational and synthetic biology are allowing us to engineer, rather than discover our new products.

W.P. Andrew Lee, MD is the Inaugural Chairman of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins. He has led the surgical teams at the University of Pittsburgh and Johns Hopkins that performed 10 hands/arms transplants in 6 patients, including the first bilateral hand transplants (2009) and the first above-elbow transplant (2010) in the US. He will describe the evolution of this exciting field, including the research in his laboratory that led to the immune modulation protocol that renders favorable the risk-benefit balance for such procedures.

Stephen B. Liggett, MD, Vice Dean for Research, and Vice Dean for Personalized Medicine and Genomics, at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine will present “Resurrecting Failed Drugs Using Genomics: The Case of Bucindolol”. This session covers how in many late-phase drug trials for complex diseases, substantial inter-individual variability in the response becomes apparent and the “average” response fails to reach predefined statistical significance.

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