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OVALS conference nears

Cincinnati will be hosting some of the area's leading experts in life science research and entrepreneurship next month, with an eye toward boosting the Ohio Valley's profile in the field.

The ninth annual OVALS (Ohio Valley Affiliates of Life Sciences) conference will bring scientists and research executives from universities of Cincinnati, Kentucky and Louisville, Ohio University and Marshall University together with entrepreneurs and investors to highlight regional initiatives, its success stories and up-and-coming start-ups.

The two-day conference begins April 14 at Cincinnati's Kingsgate Mariott Hotel.

"The conference is a great opportunity to bring together the right mix of scientists and investors," says Dorothy Air, an OVALS chair, associate vice president for entrepreneurial affairs at the University of Cincinnati and vice president of operations with CincyTech. "Networking is a big part of it, but so is just conversation. Scientists and universities don't always know what's going on elsewhere, and how their work relates to others' work."

Speakers include a keynote address from University of Kentucky President Lee F. Todd Jr., a former engineering professor and entrepreneur, along with experts in regulatory issue, clinical trial issues and ushering ideas from the drawing board to the market.

Some of the group's success stories will also be highlighted. David Scholl, president and CEO of Athens-based Diagnostic Hybrids, will talk about those successes as a blueprint for others to follow.

The conference, OVALS' signature event, is expected to draw more than 100 attendees. Since the first conference  was held in 2002, the group has grown from a small network of research and medical universities to include the Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, CincyTech, the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership and Cleveland Clinic's Global Cardiovascular Innovation group. Affiliates work together, sharing information and resources and drawing more than $650 million annually in basic and applied research funding to the Ohio Valley.

Source: Dorothy Air, OVALS
Writer: Dave Malaska
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