Montana Bioscience Alliance Names New Executive Board Officers

The Montana Bioscience Alliance ( today announced that Robert Bargatze, Ph.D., of Ligocyte Pharmaceuticals has been appointed as President for the state’s growing biotech industry alliance.

In addition, David Crum of McLaughlin Research Institute will serve as the secretary and Carol Beam of St. Vincent’s Healthcare will continue as treasurer. The fundamental goals of the Montana Bioscience Alliance are to promote research, help generate high-quality jobs, open commercial pathways for new technologies and create economic opportunities throughout the state.

A founder and the chief scientific officer for Bozeman-based LigoCyte, Dr. Bargatze manages research programs with a focus on product development. He has 30 years of experience in leading immunological research projects. Dr. Bargatze was a key member of the team at Stanford University that pioneered leukocyte recruitment research. Dr. Bargatze will succeed President, John O’Donnell of TechRanch. Both men were founding board members for the organization in 2004.

“Montana Bioscience has had a banner year with outreach in communities throughout Montana and I look forward to working with the board to plan events which will encourage dialog between both companies and scientists in Montana and the northwest region,” said Bargatze. “Montana has a vibrant biotech community fueled by our world-class university programs, our corporate partners and more than 50 active members.”

“We are extremely fortunate to have the caliber of Dr. Bargatze to serve as President, given his extensive biomedical experience as well as his management background,” noted John O’Donnell, who has served as President of the board since its inception, and is the Executive Director of TechRanch.

David Crum, assistant director for development and operations at McLaughlin Research Institute for Biomedical Sciences in Great Falls, will take over as secretary for the organization bringing his long years of experience in developing and implementing fund raising strategies to bear, while Carol Beam, Senior Director of Market Research and Strategic Business Development for St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings will continue to act as treasurer.

The Montana Bioscience Alliance was formed in March, 2004 as a result of industry sector research commissioned by the Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity in 2002/2003. Intended to “supercharge” the biotechnology industry, Montana Bioscience Alliance connects professionals and fosters innovation and collaboration between biotechnology companies, entrepreneurs, laboratories, hospitals, clinics, universities service providers and economic development groups. Events open to members for 2007 include Invest Northwest CEO & Investor Forum ( March 20-22, in Seattle, Wash., BIO International Convention ( May 6-9 in Boston, Mass. and the Montana BioScience Alliance annual meeting in Missoula tentatively set for June 14-15, 2007.

Other board members include; Evan Barrett, Governor’s Office of Economic Development; Richard Bridges, Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience,University of Montana; Cathy Conover, Montana University System; David Forbes, Dean, College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences,University of Montana; Mark Jutila, Montana State University; Dick King, Missoula Area Economic Development Corporation; David Garloff, Montana State University-Billings; Gary Christianson, GSKBio; Howard Knapp, Billings Clinic Research Center; David Gibson, QWEST, John O’Donnell, TechRanch; Deborah Peters, Northwest Research and Education Institute; Ron Zook, Swan Valley Medical. Sharon Peterson is the Executive Director.

About the Montana Bioscience Alliance

The Montana Bioscience Alliance serves as a hub for Montana’s biotechnology companies, entrepreneurs, laboratories, hospitals, clinics, and universities to commercialize, grow and sustain globally competitive bioscience companies. The organization focuses on promoting research, building and supporting professional networks, extending education and training in bioscience disciplines, and creating pathways for biotechnology commercialization. For more information, please bookmark:

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