Member Log In

News from our community

  • 1 Nov 2019 8:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Alabama is recognized as a growing hub for biotechnology, drug discovery, medical devices, agriculture and chemicals, and other life sciences. To demystify the biotech startup process, BIO Alabama has organized a morning of informational presentations with highly experienced speakers who offer insight to facilitate successful startup ventures.

    Events Details:

    Date: Tuesday, November 19, 2019

    Time: 8:30 a.m. - Noon

    Location: The Fuse Factory 200 Government St 4th Floor, Mobile, AL 36602 

    Cost: $10 / FREE for students

    Register online

    Speaker Line-Up:

    "Federal funding is available — how to win it"

    Andrew  Byrd, MBA, PhD
    Director, University of South Alabama Office of Commercialization and Industry Collaboration (OCIC) 

    Dr. Byrd joined the OCIC after receiving his PhD in Basic Medical Sciences from USA College of Medicine. A native of Mobile, AL, Dr. Byrd has been affiliated with USA for almost two decades. Dr. Byrd’s involvement in USA technology transfer is pervasive, from technology scouting, invention disclosure and due diligence assessment, through patent strategy and licensing negotiations, including those for the USA Foundation for Research and Commercialization. Dr. Byrd is also an inventor on two patent pending technologies.

    "Your ideas have value - how to protect them"

    Nick Landau PhD, Partner & Registered Patent Attorney, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings

    Nick Landau works with individuals, universities, startups, growing businesses, and publicly traded companies to procure, protect and litigate all forms of intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. He combines his research background in microbiology with his training in law to strategically serve life science companies.

    “Startup accounting & finance - why the numbers matter”

    Phillip Rivers, CPA, Warren Averett

    Phillip leads the Warren Averett Mobile office and has more than 18 years of accounting experience in a wide range of industries including real estate, healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, and transportation. He is a Member of the Firm, and Joined Warren Averett in July 2012 after previously spending over 11 years with a Big 4 firm. Phillip specializes in handling complex accounting and auditing matters for his clients. Services he provides include internal control reviews, due diligence, debt issuances as well as assistance with mergers and acquisitions and spinoffs. Phillip resides in Spanish Fort with his wife and three children.

    "Investors are out there - how to find the right ones"

    Kenneth Dale Speetjens , Co-Founder & CEO of Shipshape Urban Farms

    Dale began his career by serving in the United States Armed Forces.  After leaving the military he began his studies at Auburn University. After graduation, Dale joined Mobile's Bloomberg Innovation Team. Now, Dale is the Co-Founder and CEO of Shipshape Urban Farms, an agritech company focused on the design, manufacturing, and operation of hydroponic farms built inside up-cycled shipping containers.  

    “Tapping into local resources for startups, trade, and contracting”

    Melvin Washington, Regional Director of the Small Business Development Center at the University of South Alabama

    Mel Washington provides one on one confidential counseling to entrepreneurs and small businesses in six counties in South Alabama. He is the former Executive Director & CEO of Project Enterprise, a micro-lending organization supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses in under-resourced communities in New York City. Mel has held executive level positions in Finance, Operations, and Strategy and Planning in the financial services and telecommunications sectors.  His career includes successful stints at top tier firms including AT&T, Salomon Brothers, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, and Citibank.

  • 6 Oct 2019 9:12 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BIO Alabama Board Approves New Chair and Eight New Board Members 

    Just weeks after announcing the hire of their first executive director, BIO Alabama announces it’s new board chair and eight new board members. The BIO Alabama board voted and approved Blair King, Manager of Economic Development and Existing Industry for Alabama Power, as its Board Chair. In addition to King, eight industry leaders from around the state joined the organization’s board of directors.  

    Blair King, BIO Alabama Board Chair
    Peggy Sammon, BIO Alabama Immediate Past Chair
    “2019 has been an impactful year for the Alabama bioscience industry,” said Blair King. “Our board, led by Peggy Sammon, CEO of GeneCapture, successfully advocated and supported our members, sponsors, and state in a number of ways,” King adds. 

    BIO Alabama supported several initiatives including the passage of SB78, the Alabama Innovation Act, which provides an R&D grant program for qualified research expenses in Alabama. They also supported the introduction of BACE (Biotechnician Assistant Credentialing Exam) to prepare lab certification to high school and college students seeking biotech lab employment and the statewide introduction of MGMWERX, an innovation and acceleration center in Montgomery to support innovation in Air Force applications.

    “It was a privilege to serve and represent our industry as the board chair,” said Peggy Sammon. “Blair is an excellent choice as chair. His background in economic development coupled with his passion for growth within the bioscience industry will serve BIO Alabama well.” 

    This past year, members of BIO Alabama participated in the State’s International Trade Delegation for Life Sciences to Ireland and the UK. They co-hosted the National Security Innovation Summit that brought Department of Defense tech scouts to meet Alabama technology innovation companies. In September, they participated in Senator Doug Jones’ Health Conversations and International Trade discussions to continue to develop a climate for growth and trade import/export for Life Sciences. They also hosted a Life Sciences Boot Camp for startup companies addressing corporate structure, IP, investment and available Small Business services. Lastly, they supported several State and National bills to protect life sciences IP and pricing structure in the medical device legislation.

    BIO Alabama’s board is made up of industry representatives, service organizations, and industry thought leaders. Collectively, the mission of the organization is to promote bioscience innovation by creating a favorable scientific, business, and legislative environment that will facilitate the growth of emerging and existing companies, attract new bioscience opportunities to Alabama, and to increase public awareness regarding the potential impact on quality-of-life and the state’s economy.

    “BIO Alabama is positioned to provide direction and support to grow the bioscience industry in Alabama,” King said. “With our collective expertise represented on our board and within our membership, we plan to do that by creating a statewide economic development roadmap to grow our industries throughout Alabama and by promoting collaboration through our initiatives.”

    More about the new BIO Alabama board chair and industry leaders who recently joined the board:

    Blair King, Manager of Economic Development and Existing Industry, Alabama Power

    Mr. King joined Alabama Power Company in 2009 as a project manager and economic development representative. In this role, he helped bring some of the biggest companies to the state including Shipt, Yorozu, Gerhardi and Golden State Foods. He currently leads Alabama Power’s economic development Existing Industry and Expansion team, which is dedicated to helping current industrial customers expand their business in the state. He is also responsible for working with new prospective companies considering Alabama for a new location. Prior to joining Alabama Power, King served as a Financial Incentives Specialist for Operation New Birmingham (now REV Birmingham), a downtown redevelopment organization focused on the revitalization and growth of downtown Birmingham. A Birmingham native, Blair grew up in Vestavia, AL and graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Management.

    Molly LaBorde, COO & Interim CEO, Innovation Depot

    Mrs. LaBorde is currently the Chief Operating Officer and the Interim Chief Executive Officer for the Innovation Depot. Prior to joining the Innovation Depot in September 2013, she managed the data analytics, operational reporting, and annual budget for HealthSpring of Alabama. She serves on the Birmingham Southern College Entrepreneurship Program's Advisory Board and is a PARCA Roundtable member. She completed the Leadership UAB program in 2015 and won Birmingham Business Journal's Top 40 under 40 in 2016. She has a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Bachelors Degree in Mathematics from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa.

    Dennis Leonard, Innovation Consultant, EDPA

    Mr. Leonard consults with the EDPA to envision and build a technology based economy in Alabama and advantage the vertical assets we have in; AG-Tech, Automotive, Aerospace, Advanced (3-D) Manufacturing, Chemical Production, Life Sciences, and Logistics. Additionally, he supports the growth of EDPA's Alabama Launchpad and imerge2019.

    Russell Mumper, Ph.D., Vice President for Research & Economic Development, The University of Alabama

    After spending nearly a decade working in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, Dr. Russell Mumper began his academic career in 1999 at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. In 2007 he joined the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the John A. McNeill Distinguished Professor and Founding Director of the Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery. Dr. Mumper has received nearly $30million in research grants, has published more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and abstracts, and is an inventor on 60 patents or patent families, many of which have been licensed to companies. He has led or founded four different interdisciplinary centers/institutes on two campuses, and has also founded five startup companies. He now serves as the Vice President for Research & Economic Development at The University of Alabama.

    Erik Schwiebert, Ph.D. , CEO and Chief Scientific Officer, Discovery BioMed

    As Founder, CEO, and Chief Scientific Officer of Discovery BioMed, Dr. Schwiebert focuses on overall leadership and management of the company’s research and development. He brings several years of experience as a researcher in cell physiology and pathophysiology. He currently focuses his scientific efforts as an applied discovery scientist, applying his cell physiology and pathophysiology training to DBM programs. He was previously an Associate Professor with tenure at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Prior to that, Dr. Schwiebert was a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His education includes a Ph.D. in Physiology from Dartmouth College and a B.A. in Biology from Grinnell College. He is originally from Princeton, NJ. 

    Jared Sharp, CPA, Warren Averett

    Mr. Sharp is a Member of the Warren Averett Firm and serves as the Service Area Leader of the Tax Division in the Huntsville, AL Office. He has been practicing public accounting since 2005. Shapr has experience serving clients in industries such as technology, biotechnology, healthcare, government contracting, manufacturing and distribution. He focuses his practice on large multi-state corporations. Sharp also has experience with the research and development tax credit, accounting for income taxes under ASC Topic 740, FIN 48 and state and local tax issues. He resides in Madison, AL with his wife, son and three daughters.

    Kacee Sims, Ph.D., Director of Marketing & Technical Support, Avanti Polar Lipids

    Dr. Sims is responsible for the planning, development and implementation of Avanti’s brand strategy to new and existing products and services, and she drives the development and delivery of high-quality scientific publications (abstracts, company presentations, website/digital content, and marketing materials) in support of Avanti’s products and services with a primary focus on creating brand familiarity. She completed her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2011. Dr. Sims now resides in Birmingham with her husband and their two dogs, Chase and TJ.

    Del Smith, Ph.D., Dean, College of Business & Public Affairs, Alabama A&M University and Founder & CEO, Acclinate Genetics

    Dr. Smith has extensive management and leadership experience in healthcare, IT, higher education, and government. Since 2015, he has served as dean of the College of Business & Public Affairs at Alabama A&M University. In 2018, his role at the university expanded to include executive director for economic development. Dr. Smith launched and sold his first tech start-up at the age of 25. His newest venture, Acclinate Genetics, located on the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, was founded with a mission of helping clinical research organizations achieve the most representative research sample by expanding their genomic studies and clinical trials to include diverse ethnic groups. Dr. Smith earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Faulkner University, Master of Science in Management from Troy University, and Ph.D. in Management from the University of Alabama.

    Carolyn Turner, Assistant Director, Research and Training; International Trade Specialist, The Alabama International Trade Center 

    Mrs. Turner assists small and medium sized companies in Alabama with international trade, expanding company’s sales via international opportunities, problem solve wide ranging international topics such as ITAR and EAR, classification, regulations, contracts, finance options, risk mitigation, and more. She also conducts country/market analyses for international market research, provides international business training and educational industry seminars. She has training on these topics: Incoterms, International Distributor Agreements, How to Prepare for an Import & Export Audit, ITAR and EAR, NAFTA, and other FTA’s, Developing an Import/Export Compliance Program, Import and Export Documentation, Customs Brokers License Training Course with Logistics Training Systems, Hazardous Materials, SBA and EXIM Trade Financing, Trade Promotion Coordination Committee (TPCC) Training, SBIR Grants, International Intellectual Property Rights, and global e-commerce.

  • 30 Sep 2019 3:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Southeast BIO Investor & Partnering Forum is honored to be able to present a panel of distinguished corporate venture capitalists on its opening day, Wednesday, November 6, in Coral Gables, Florida at the Biltmore Hotel. These panelists will provide insight into how to work with corporations, the largest source of capital for biopharma companies. Our panelists will be John Gustofson of AbbVie Ventures, who will double as moderator, Gladys Nunez of Amgen, Diana Bernstein of MRL Ventures Fund and Akhil Saklecha of Cleveland Clinic Ventures. Read more.

  • 4 Sep 2019 6:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sonia Robinson to lead the state-wide organization 

    BIO Alabama, the statewide bioscience association has announced its first full-time executive director, Sonia Robinson.  Robinson will lead the organization to assist its members and the state in growing jobs, increasing research investment, and expanding international trade.

    The Biosciences industry in Alabama contributes $7.3 Billion in economic impact. 

    “The entire life sciences ecosystem is active in Alabama from research to institutional tech transfer; from startups and corporate innovation to global manufacturing,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of Commerce, Alabama Department of Commerce. “With this milestone, BIO Alabama is positioned to foster continued growth and development within the bioscience industry.”

    The industry segments represented in Alabama include medical devices and materials, pharmaceuticals, research and development, information technology, genetics,  genomics and personalized medicine. BIO Alabama is the state partner of the international life sciences trade organization Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

    BIO Alabama’s mission is to cultivate a thriving bioscience ecosystem in Alabama through collaboration and investment, both in industry and research.  Board Chair Peggy Sammon said, “Alabama is home to cutting edge research and innovation; we want to be recognized as such and to help our bioscience industry grow. It’s time to devote full time resources to this goal and we’re confident that Sonia Robinson will bring the leadership and strategic thinking to this effort.”   

    Robinson’s career in healthcare marketing and public relations and her experience with startups are very relevant to the issues BIO Alabama will be addressing. Robinson has held positions in marketing, business development, customer service, human resources, and back-office operations. In 2017, Robinson was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Her personal investigation into treatment options gave her deep respect for the efforts of researchers and especially the role of personalized medicine. Robinson is now active as a survivor and advocate.  

    “As an Alabama native, I am so proud of our rich history in agriculture, automobiles, tech, rockets, and aviation. Bioscience joined the state narrative years ago, but it is time to share that news of those successes and impact more broadly,” said Sonia Robinson. “Communities and companies in Alabama are already experiencing how bioscience is an economic force for our future,” Robinson adds. 

    BIO Alabama members join an exceptional network of innovative companies and industry thought leaders. Members gain access to opportunities for collaboration, trade, exposure, professional development, networking, and growth within the bioscience industry. 

    “We have an active board ready to support our new executive director with strategic initiatives designed to cultivate relationships and expand networks for the many bioscience companies in our state,” said Blair King, Board Chair-Elect. “BIO Alabama enhances state-wide economic development initiatives by supporting new, emerging, and existing bioscience organizations through collaboration, advocacy, and support.” 

    BIO Alabama is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Satellite offices are located throughout the state.  

  • 12 Aug 2019 2:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Acclinate Genetics wants to ensure clinical research is truly as diverse as the world we live in 

    Huntsville, Ala. – Did you know? A person’s genetic ethnicity impacts their propensity for certain diseases. For example, hypertension, and kidney disease are more common among African Americans. The effectiveness and potential side effects of medicines can also vary depending on someone’s genetic ethnicity. However, there is significant underrepresentation of ethnically diverse people in genomic research and clinical trials, leading to greater health disparity and inequality.

    Acclinate Genetics is working to change that.

    "As our country becomes more diverse, the time is now to address the underrepresentation of minorities and people of color in genomic research and clinical trials,” said Acclinate founder and president, Delmonize “Del” Smith, PhD.

    Located on the campus of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Acclinate was founded with a mission of helping clinical research organizations achieve the most representative research sample by expanding their genomic research and clinical trials to include diverse ethnic groups.

    Disparities have dire implications for precision medicine as we approach 2060 when non-Caucasians outnumber Caucasians in the U.S. Racial and ethnic minorities make up 40% of U.S. population but are only 2%-16% of clinical studies. As a result, actionable insights for people of color and minority populations are not readily available. This has a direct impact on ethical, scientific, and financial measures of success. 

    “When it comes to genomic research and clinical trials, we represent the underrepresented,” said Smith. “Our mission is to achieve health equity and personalized healthcare for all.”

    Smith is a serial entrepreneur with extensive management and leadership experience in healthcare, IT, education and government. In addition to being founder and CEO of Acclinate, Smith serves as dean of the business school at Alabama A&M University. His involvement in Huntsville’s business community connected him to HudsonAlpha and the opportunities for startups on the biotech campus.

    “HudsonAlpha provides opportunities for not only research and education institutions, but also entrepreneurs,” said Smith. “It’s great to know that there’s a place in our own backyard setup to attract companies and help them grow.”

    Acclinate understands the barriers that lie ahead on its journey to diversifying genomic research and clinical trials – such as overcoming the historical context resulting from events such as the Tuskegee syphilis experiment – and is taking steps toward increasing patient awareness about the value of participating in such programs.

    In doing so, the company established the Enhanced Diversity & Inclusion in Clinical Trials, or e-DICT Program, which combines a unique participant management system to identify barriers to diverse subgroup participation, specifically racial and ethnic minorities, in U.S.-based clinical trials and employ strategies to achieve greater participation and retention.

    To learn more about how Acclinate’s services can benefit your company, visit


    About Acclinate Genetics: Acclinate Genetics was founded with a mission of helping clinical research organizations achieve the most representative research sample by expanding their genomic studies and clinical trials to include diverse ethnic groups. We believe diversifying genomic research and clinical trials to include more people of color increases knowledge about health issues and makes a difference in personalized healthcare for all.

  • 9 Aug 2019 12:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Alabama is recognized as a growing hub for biotechnology, drug discovery, medical devices, and other life sciences. To demystify the biotech startup process, Bradley and BIO Alabama have organized a morning of informational meetings with highly experienced speakers who offer insight to facilitate successful startup ventures.

    Events Details:

    Date: Monday, August 19, 2019

    Time: 8:30 a.m. - Noon

    Location: Bradley 1819 5th Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203

    Cost: $10 / FREE for students

    Register Life Sciences Bootcamp now.

    Speaker Line-Up:

    "How you form your company really matters - how to do it right"

    James Childs JD, Maynard Cooper and Gale

    8:30 - 9:05 AM

    James is a member of Maynard Cooper’s Corporate, Securities and Tax practice group and serves as chair of the firm’s Venture Capital and Emerging Growth practices. His clients range from high-tech starts-ups to large, mature manufacturing businesses. Voted “2018 Lawyer of the Year” for Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law, James draws on his vast experience to offer insightful tips on life science company formation. 

    "Federal funding is available — how to win it"

    Erik Schwiebert PhD, Discovery BioMed

    9:05 - 9:40 AM

    Erik is founder and director of DiscoveryBioMed, Inc., where he focuses on overall leadership matters, serves as the principal science consultant in client work, and manages the company’s research and development efforts.

    "Your ideas have value - how to protect them"

    Nick Landau PhD, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings

    9:40 - 10:15 AM

    Nick Landau works with individuals, universities, startups, growing businesses, and publicly traded companies to procure, protect and litigate all forms of intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. He combines his research background in microbiology with his training in law to strategically serve life science companies.

    "Investors are out there - how to find the right ones"

    Mike Mullen, CirculoGene

    10:15 - 10:50 AM

    Mike offers insight from 25 years of experience in executive and financial leadership positions. Currently the chairman and CEO of Circulogene, he previously served as president and CEO of Atherotech, Inc. and received the Entrepreneur of the Year award from Ernst and Young in 2014.

    "Capital networks offer guidance and funding - how to use them"

    Miller Girvin, Alabama Capital Network

    10:50 - 11:25 AM

    Miller is CEO of the Alabama Capital Network, which was founded to facilitate the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Alabama. She connects Alabama-based companies with the resources they need to grow, including mentorship and access to capital. 

    “Tapping into no-cost local resources for startups, trade, and contracting”

    Carolyn Turner, Alabama International Trade Center

    11:25 - 12:00 PM

    Carolyn is a Licensed Customs Broker and Nasbite Certified Global Business professional. She began working with the Trade Center in 2008, where she uses her import/export experience to counsel Alabama companies.

    Tickets can be purchased for $10 (including service fee) through Eventbrite and FREE for students.

    (If the link above does not work, please copy and paste into your brower to access the Eventbrite page.)

  • 9 May 2019 10:05 AM | Anonymous

    Business leaders and trade specialists from across Alabama are getting an up-close look at the bioscience sector in Ireland and the United Kingdom during a trade mission that seeks to spark new opportunities for nearly a dozen Alabama firms... Read Full Article Here.

  • 16 Apr 2019 7:29 AM | Anonymous

    "Alabama is well represented in this newest field of medical research. Perhaps more promising than the genome is the new frontier of the microbiome — your gut microbes and “all of the bugs that are living in symbiotic relationship with us.”  Read Full Article Here.

  • 15 Apr 2019 8:18 AM | Anonymous

    "In a little more than a generation, Alabama has emerged as a powerhouse in automotive manufacturing. The state is home to assembly plants operated by Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Hyundai, as well as a Toyota engine plant..."  Read Full Article Here

  • 27 Mar 2019 7:31 AM | Anonymous

    "By any measure, it is remarkable growth.  In the past five years, the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine has climbed 10 places on the National Institutes of Healthresearch funding rankings, from 31 in the nation to 21. Total NIH funding during that period rose from $133,264,288 in 2013 to $234,390,799 in 2018. The story of how Alabama’s flagship medical school came to be standing on the doorstep of the 20 top-funded schools in the nation is one of commitment, vision and hard work"

    Read Full Article Here

Connecting the Bioscience Ecosystem in Alabama

BIO Alabama
Post Office Box 13906
Birmingham, AL 35202

© BIO Alabama

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software