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Northwestern Hosts Public Forum On Future Of Biotechnology

Will genetic screening be used by doctors to treat disease -- or by insurers to limit coverage? Can cancer be cured in the next decade? Is genetically engineered food safe? Will government regulation strangle the biotechnology industry? These questions concern not just business people and scientists, but the public as well -- as patients, taxpayers and investors.

A four day "institute" in Chicago will bring these groups together to question an international panel of experts about the future of biotechnology. "Genetic Information: Tailoring Our Future Well-Being," will be held July 26 to July 29 at the Hotel Inter-Continental, 505 N. Michigan Ave.

On Sunday, six panelists, including author and ethicist Dorothy Nelkin of New York University Law School, public opinion expert Jon Miller of the International Center for the Advancement of Scientific Literacy and entrepreneur Dr. Kari Stefansson, president and CEO of deCODE Genetics, will envision biotechnology in the year 2020 in a discussion moderated by award-winning television news anchor and commentator Mary Laney. Monday's speakers include gene therapy pioneer Dr. R. Michael Blaese of the National Institutes of Health. In all, 30 industry leaders, including innovators from large pharmaceutical companies and small startups, academic researchers and legal experts will participate in the four-day institute.

With more than 1,000 attendees last year, the Summer Biotechnology Institute, hosted by the Northwestern University Center for Biotechnology, is the Midwest's largest community outreach program devoted to biotechnology. The symposium is free and open to the public. Discussions are aimed at the interested general public as well as biotech and business professionals.

The Northwestern University Center for Biotechnology teaches the science and business of biotechnology and is the only center in the U.S. that offers degree and non-degree programs, including executive development programs designed to meet
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Contact: Bill Burton
b-burton@nwu.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University
9-Jul-1998


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