I have been attending different scientific conferences, exhibits, and courses since the days of my Ph.D. training, well over 30 years ago. Some highlights include the Society for Neuroscience, the Microscopy Society, the Biophysical Society, and Photonics.

The Vermont Booth.

My background is in Cellular Biology and Fluorescence Imaging and my current position as Applications Scientist for Chroma Technology mostly involves training users with advanced microscopy equipment to use our optics for biomedical research and fluorescence, as well as diagnostic applications.

When the VBSA Board of Directors first started talking about the BIO International Convention, I did a little research and thought that the Convention looked interesting, but mostly it looked “marketing and sales”–oriented. However, I figured any meeting or conference with this many people attending had to have something to offer, right? I thought that I would wear my “Vermont Biosciences Hat” for the meeting and see.

A small corner of the BIO International Convention floor.

I must say that I was very pleasantly surprised! Having all these countries, states, and businesses represented was not only a treat for the eyes but much more interesting (at a variety of levels) than I could have imagined. There were actually several companies there that we, at Chroma, do business with around the world. And there were several people who knew researchers whom I have worked with over the years, especially from Core Facilities (mostly at Universities) that do fluorescence and imaging research. I ended up with several business cards and emails from folks interested in future work, and I have heard from several already about different projects that they think I might be able to help with.

In addition, the participants and attendees were curious, energetic, and truly pleasant to talk to.  I wish I could say that for all of the meetings mentioned above.

All-in-all the BIO International Convention was a great meeting/conference for me and Chroma. Now I must say that I don’t think I convinced anyone to move their company to Vermont, but I might have the names of several people that could be interested in working here in the future. More than worth the time and money, and I truly hope that we can arrange to go again next year.

– Michael Stanley, Senior Applications Scientist, Chroma Technology

BIO 2018 International Convention

by VBSA-admin on May 30, 2018

The world’s largest biotechnology exhibition will be in our backyard this summer at the BIO 2018 International Convention. The Biotechnology Innovation Organization, or BIO, will be hosting their annual convention in Boston on June 4-7 for its 25th anniversary.
BIO represents 1,100+ biotech companies, organizations, research institutions, and more across the US and internationally. Their membership covers the full range from entrepreneurs to multinational corporations, but the majority are small companies. While BIO is an active organization influencing policy and providing member support year-round, their annual convention is their most publicized event, drawing 16,000+ attendees from 74 countries. The goal of the convention is to support the growth of the global biotechnology industry and profits fund BIO’s on-going programs and initiatives.
The convention started small in 1993 with just 1,400 attendees and a handful of trade press. While it has grown greatly in participation, the convention has kept many familiar themes, including educational and networking opportunities around raising capital, negotiating federal regulation requirements, and understanding patent trends.
Today the BIO Exhibition showcases the latest trends, technology, and breakthroughs on the largest tradeshow floor in the biotechnology industry. At the exhibition, the convention has something for everyone with 1500+ educational sessions, networking events and locations, and their special partnering system.
BIO One-on-One Partnering assists companies in finding potential partners and investors through a profile system that allows participants to pre-schedule half-hour private meetings during the convention. Once at the convention, the partnering program provides access to the BIO Business Forum, with rooms and suites for pre-scheduled meetings, Company Presentations to raise participants’ visibility in the BIO community, an Academic Campus focused on the university and technology transfer sectors, and Exhibitor Booth Partnering during the exhibition.
The exhibition is organized into Product Focus Zones that allow exhibitors to strategically position themselves, highlighting their area of expertise and becoming more findable to attendees with specific interests. The Focus Zones support specialty networking within the areas of Bioprocessing, Contract Services, Digital Health, Discovery, and Innovation.
Recognizing the unique needs of start-ups, the exhibition hosts the Start-Up Stadium where emerging biotech companies can connect with investors, venture philanthropists, and industry advisors. Start-ups are invited to participate in an interactive pitch experience where they present 5- to 7-minute pitches to a panel of investors and receive live feedback.
The exhibition is also host to the Patient Advocacy Pavilion, aimed at connecting biopharmaceutical companies, patient advocacy organizations, and venture philanthropists with the goal of advancing therapy development. 40+ patient organizations participate in the Patient Advocacy Pavilion, all keen to further drug development by funding research and helping companies understand patient needs.
The 25th anniversary BIO 2018 International Convention promises to be another exciting event with presentation, education, and networking opportunities for everyone in the biosciences. Registration is open now and you can find more information at Can’t make it to the 2018 Convention but still want to learn more? You can check out their blog, BIOtechNOW at

The Vermont Biosciences Alliance (VBSA) is excited to announce the winner’s of their second annual undergraduate student research award through St. Michaels College.  VBSA is thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize exceptional students and their research in the field of biology.

Jessica Barnett was awarded for best poster.  Jessica is a Biology major from Essex, VT.  She graduated this year summa cum laude, Mentor is Professor Dagan Loisel, Biology Department.

Matthaus Ayres was awarded for best presentation. Matthaus is a Biology major from Yellow Springs, Ohio. He graduated this year magna cum laude, Mentor is Professor Doug Face, Biology Department.

The ” /SMC Undergraduate Student Research Award” is given to students in Recognition of Excellence in Research, Design, Implementation and Communication.