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Pittsburgh…We Have Liftoff!

The culminating breakfast panel on May 17th at Life Sciences Week (left to right): David Finegold, DPhil, president of Chatham University; Vera Krekanova, PhD, chief research officer at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development; Betty Woo, vice president of scientific collaborations and strategy at Thermo Fischer Scientific; Nicole Oshurak, director of strategic partnerships at Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation; and Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD, president and CEO at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation.

Liftoff PGH 2020 is both an event and ongoing process that will bring together key stakeholders to move our region to a new space and position itself strategically as a frontier for healthcare innovation and adaptive to the descriptive forces of innovation. Liftoff PGH 2020 will be held September 15-16 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

JHF President and CEO Karen Feinstein, PhD, announced Liftoff PGH 2020 during Pittsburgh Life Sciences Week held in May and sponsored in part by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. Dr. Feinstein served on a panel with David Finegold, DPhil, president of Chatham University; Nicole Oshurak, director of strategic partnerships at Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation; Betty Woo, vice president of scientific collaborations and strategy at Thermo Fischer Scientific; and Vera Krekanova, PhD, chief research officer at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. 

The panel, moderated by InnovatePGH Executive Director, Sean Luther, included an active discussion around the steps necessary to position Pittsburgh for life science industry cluster development, a recommendation from the 2017 Brookings Institute report "Capturing the next generation economy: Pittsburgh's rise as a global innovation city." The panelists also discussed exploring existing efforts, gaps, opportunities, and recommendations for building and implementing a strategic life science cluster development that will highlight Pittsburgh as a global life science hub.

Currently, Pittsburgh's economy is dominated by a health sector with many dimensions: for example, health professions education, care delivery, medical research, architecture and engineering, communications, and technology invention. Despite these assets, including respected academic institutions, medical systems, industry and start-ups, Pittsburgh is not structured with intentionality – the formal collaborations with bold ambitions – that other regions have assembled to maintain a competitive edge.

Visit www.liftoffpgh.org to watch the promotional video and sign up to receive email updates. Save the dates of September 15-16 and get ready for Liftoff PGH 2020. Stay tuned!

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