Discovery Starts with Iovance’s Iyana Pearson

Lifelong Philadelphian Iyana Pearson loves cheering on Philadelphia’s sports teams, exploring the region’s nationally recognized food scene, and helping others through her work. Whether as a dialysis tech or a home health aide, being able to make a difference in people’s lives is a part of Pearson’s moral code. What she didn’t know was that she would end up taking this ambition to Iovance to work with cutting-edge cell therapies.

Pearson is a graduate of the first cohort of the Biomedical Technician Training Program (BTT) program, […]

PA Governor’s Economic Development Strategy Emphasizes Life Sciences Growth

Governor Josh Shapiro’s 10-year state Economic Development Strategy, which he unveiled on January 30, 2024, followed by his 2024-25 Budget Proposal, emphasizes the leading role the life sciences sector will continue to play in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s future and includes investments in economic development, job creation, and innovation.

Created with the Commonwealth’s Department of Community and Economic Development, the strategy, which is available to read in full at www.PAGetsItDone.com, capitalizes on the state’s strengths. The plan specifically emphasizes five defined high-growth, high-value sectors where Pennsylvania already holds a profound competitive advantage and can expect […]

Award-Winning Biotech Training Program to Begin Recruitment with New Employer Partner in Life Sciences

The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative and The Wistar Institute are collaborating once again with support from the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia to bring their award-winning expansion of Wistar’s Biomedical Technician Training Program to a new partner, VintaBio, Inc. This workforce development training will support the talent needs of the rapidly growing cell and gene therapy manufacturing organization.

In the spring of 2023, VintaBio emerged from stealth with its newly appointed CEO, Dr. David Radspinner, $64 million in funding, and a purpose-built gene therapy manufacturing facility in The Navy Yard. Building on this success, […]

Discovery Starts with Roquette’s Morrison Boateng, Jr.

For Morrison Boateng, Jr., a Pharmaceutical Application Scientist at Roquette, a Chamber member company, the search for a family-friendly community and a region well-equipped to advance his career led him to Greater Philadelphia.

“I grew up in Ghana, West Africa, until I was 16,” said Boateng. “Then my family and I moved to the Bronx, and I finished high school and earned my undergraduate and graduate degrees in New York. After 17 years in New York, it was time to figure out where […]

Award-Winning Biotech Training Program Partners Announce VintaBio for Third Cohort

In an effort to bolster the life sciences talent pool and provide Philadelphians with equitable access to meaningful career opportunities, the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) and The Wistar Institute are collaborating once again with support from the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia (the Chamber) to bring their award-winning expansion of Wistar’s Biomedical Technician Training Program to a new partner, VintaBio, Inc.

The collaborators launched the pilot Biomedical Technician Training Program cohort in the summer of 2022 with […]

Discovery Starts with SAPA-GP and Amicus Therapeutics’ Haichen Yang, MD, MA, MBA

Freshly graduated from medical school, Dr. Haichen Yang embarked on her journey to the U.S. With 30 years of experience developing new medicine under her belt, her relentless desire to learn and stay at the forefront of the biopharmaceutical sector all comes down to helping people.

Throughout her endeavor, Dr. Yang, Vice President of Clinical Research at Amicus Therapeutics, developed a specific interest in neuroscience and rare diseases and used her skills to bring new drugs to market. Dr. Yang […]

The Chamber’s Annual Meeting Emphasizes Strategic Priorities for the Region

More than 1,200 attendees gathered at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on October 31, 2023, for the Chamber’s 223rd Annual Meeting, one of the region’s largest gatherings of executives, elected officials, business owners, and civic leaders. The message from the Chamber’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Chellie Cameron, was clear, “The Chamber intends to make a bigger impact than ever before.”

Together with Chamber Board Members Gregory Deavens, President and Chief Executive Officer, Independence Health Group, parent company of the event’s Title Sponsor, Independence Blue Cross, and Mike Innocenzo, President […]

Messenger RNA (mRNA) Discovery Earns Penn Pioneers the Nobel Prize

Discovery Starts Here! On October 2, 2023, The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly to Katalin Karikó, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of Neurosurgery at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, and Drew Weissman, MD, Ph.D., the Roberts Family Professor of Vaccine Research at the Perelman School of Medicine, recognizing their discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. You can read the official announcement here.

In its announcement, Chamber member Penn Medicine […]

Airport Improvements Support Region’s Life Sciences Ecosystem

Improvements at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and the Northeast Philadelphia Airport (PNE), including Bristol Group, Inc.’s new PHL Cool Port cargo facility, and other innovations, support the region’s life sciences ecosystem and cell and gene therapy hub. The projects were the subject of a recent Chamber event, “State of Aviation: Developments and Opportunities,” which gathered business executives on October 10, 2023, at the Philadelphia offices of CYTO | PHL, a life sciences community space in The Cira Centre, for a discussion with aviation leaders.

The program amplified the […]

Discovery Starts with WuXi Advanced Therapies’ Keith Runes

When Dubai native Keith Runes was 18 years old, he moved to the United States from the United Arab Emirates to study bioengineering at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, and he hasn’t left the East Coast since.

Runes always knew that he wanted to enter the medical field, and his time at Lehigh allowed him to see what different paths his career could take. 

“I went to school for my bachelor’s in bioengineering, specifically mechanical engineering,” said Runes. “So think along the lines of making prosthetics for patients – I was interested in that aspect of […]

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