Archived Seminars


 "Biotechnology and Global Health: The view from Europe”

Miomir Knežević, PhD
Assistant Professor and Head of Unit for the Collection and Processing of Haematopoietic Stem Cells
Blood Transfusion Centre of Slovenia

Thursday, April 29, 2010
4:00 pm
Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park
Seminar Room (1002)

Abstract: Since its inception in the 1970’s the field of biotechnology has grown at an ever-increasing pace and health-related biotechnologies now provide the majority of promising therapies, vaccines, and diagnostic tools for the fight against deadly diseases affecting millions worldwide.  Biotechnologies now directly affect the lives of people in virtually every country and at all income levels.  Although these trends have important implications for the emerging area of global health, little attention has been given to the use of biotechnologies to effect greater impact in areas defined by the field of global health.

This lecture will address key areas at the intersection of biotechnology and global health, doing so through the lens of European experiences.  A range of global health issues from a European perspective will be discussed, offering a rare opportunity to scrutinize global health trends using a European Union cooperative model to sustain and advance global health through biotechnology.  Important areas and initiatives including the EU’s HEALTH research funding (€2.5 billon from 2003-2006 and €6 billion from 2007-2013) will be presented.  The European Research Framework Programme (FP), being the largest cooperative research programme in the world, facilitates knowledge transfer between individual countries within and outside Europe leading to important healthcare innovations.  In the context of global health, new and recombined partnerships are formed such as the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), early-stage collaborations between academia and biotechnology companies from a regional and cluster perspective throughout Europe, are examples of European entrepreneurship helping to solve important global health issues.  The drive for internationalisation of both technology and attitude is now equal to the technology itself and clusters are now working together across Europe to present a critical mass of technological and business excellence to the world market.

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