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BioRegion Newsmakers: Jul 31, 2009

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Ex-Head of Pfizer's Washington Office to Lead DLGS Health and Tax Practice

Ken Bowler, former head of Pfizer's Washington, DC, office, and a former director of Democratic staff for the US House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee, has joined the law firm Dow Lohnes Government Strategies as the new head of its health and tax practice.

At Pfizer, Bowler oversaw Pfizer’s federal government affairs activities, including contacts with the House, the US Senate, and the executive branch, as vice president of federal government relations and a corporate officer from February 1989 to June 2005. Bowler left Pfizer to take his most recent position, as director of the office of public and international affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Washington.

Before joining Pfizer, Bowler served as staff director for Ways and Means, capping a more than decade-long career on the committee's Democratic staff.

In addition to his work responsibilities, Bowler currently chairs the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center Advisory Council and previously served on the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health Advisory Council and the Board of Directors of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. He is a member of the board of directors of the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington and the Faith and Politics Institute, and he serves on Southern Virginia University’s National Advisory Council.

“Ken Bowler has been involved with every major health reform bill since 1974, so we are excited to have him join our team as Congress works on President Obama’s sweeping health care reform proposal,” said Rick Kessler, president of DLGS.

Bowler joins a team that consists of Kessler as well as CEO Stephen Sayle, a former Republican counsel to the House Energy and Commerce committee; and vice president Jessica Lenard, a former legislative assistant to Senate assistant majority leader Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).


Velico Medical CEO Joins Board of Northeastern Mass. Tech Trade Group

Doug Clibourn, president and CEO of Velico Medical -- a Beverly, Mass., medical products company that changed its name earlier this year from ZymeQuest when it shifted focus to blood transfusion products – was one of five professionals that have been elected to new seats on the board of directors of the North Shore Technology Council, a nonprofit trade association created to advance the life sciences and other technology industries in northeastern Massachusetts.

Clibourn, a Boxford, Mass., resident, is joined on the board by Steve Carhart, president, chief investment officer and portfolio manager, Trust & Fiduciary Management Services; Andrew Lutts, CEO of Net Atlantic; Walter Manninen of CXO Media; and Jean Vangsness, industrial projects engineer at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Nanomanufacturing Center.


Mexicali's Silicon Border Names Five to New Advisory Board

Silicon Border, a science and technology park located in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, has formed an advisory board consisting of regional political and business leaders deemed sufficiently experienced in dealing with issues impacting the Mexico/California border. The 10,000-acre Silicon Border is designed to support biotech as well as semiconductor, solar, LCD, LED, and aerospace tenants.

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Members of Silicon Border’s advisory board are:

Malin Burnham, vice chairman of Cushman & Wakefield Real Estate, and a trustee of the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in San Diego. He will serve as the advisory board's chairman.

Eugenio Elorduy, former governor of Baja California, and lifetime national board member of Mexico's Partido Acción Nacional or National Action Party.

Ed Guiles, former chairman of the San Diego Gas & Electric Company and Southern California Gas Company.

Jodi Shelton, president and CEO of Shelton Group, a public relations firm whose clients include Silicon Border; and the co-founder and president of the Global Semiconductor Alliance.

Fernando Maiz, CEO of Maiz Edifications SA CV, a design/build construction company that specializes in utility scale power plants, water treatment plants, and roadways.


PhRMA Executive Names One of Three Co-Chairs for Healthcare Sector Coordinating Council

Erin Mullen, an assistant vice president with the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, has been named one of three co-chairs of the Healthcare Sector Coordinating Council.

The HSCC is one of 18 councils – each consisting of professionals in a given industry deemed critical to the nation's security -- created under a presidential directive to promote preparedness, response, and resilience among critical industries. The councils are intended to coordinate resources and disseminate information to businesses, while fostering business-government cooperation with emergency vigilance in mind.

At PhRMA, Mullen oversees and manages the Rx Response program, an information-sharing forum consisting of pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies, hospitals, disaster relief agencies, and state/federal government agencies. The forum is designed to be activated during a severe natural disaster, large-scale terrorist attack, or pandemic.

Also appointed as co-chairs with Mullen were David Morgan, owner of consulting firm Brooklawn Management Services, and assistant vice president at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford Springs, Conn; and Hal Muller, president of special markets for healthcare products and services provider Henry Schein.


E.H. Culpepper, Champion of Atlanta-to-Athens, Ga., University Parkway Corridor, Dies at 69

E.H. Culpepper, an advocate for the development of Georgia Highway 316, the 39-mile road linking metro Atlanta and Athens, Ga., into the University Parkway corridor for employers in the life sciences and other technologies, died July 20, at age 69.

Culpepper worked as development director for the Classic Center, a venue for arts events, conventions, and weddings and other catered events in Athens. But he was better known for his decades of involvement with a variety of local initiatives, from building the Classic Center, to advocating a commuter rail service between Athens and Atlanta, to developing University Parkway as a tech corridor, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.

"In a day when advocacy has come to mean little more than sending out a handful of e-mails and showing up at a couple of government hearings or chamber of commerce meetings, Culpepper's life stands as eloquent testimony to the lasting value of sheer hard work in seeking positive change," the newspaper wrote in an editorial. "Insofar as it is emulated by those working to make things better in Athens-Clarke County and elsewhere in Northeast Georgia, Culpepper's example will be his greatest legacy, and we all will be the better for having had him working among us."

Born in Cordele, Ga., Culpepper graduated from the University of Georgia, and later made Athens his home. Culpepper's years of civic advocacy earned him the 2006 Spirit of Athens award from the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce. “He is just one of our local heroes, and I’m going to miss him,” chamber President Doc Eldridge told the newspaper.


The Scan

Pfizer-BioNTech Seek Full Vaccine Approval

According to the New York Times, Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking full US Food and Drug Administration approval for their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Viral Integration Study Critiqued

Science writes that a paper reporting that SARS-CoV-2 can occasionally integrate into the host genome is drawing criticism.

Giraffe Species Debate

The Scientist reports that a new analysis aiming to end the discussion of how many giraffe species there are has only continued it.

Science Papers Examine Factors Shaping SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Give Insight Into Bacterial Evolution

In Science this week: genomic analysis points to role of human behavior in SARS-CoV-2 spread, and more.