Two Winners Announced from Nine Startups and Ten Research Innovators at Oregon Bioscience Showcase 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 21, 2017

Young researcher and entrepreneurial medical device company take top honors

 CONTACT: Dianne Danowski Smith, Board member, (503) 201-7019, @OregonBio

 (Portland, Ore.) – With just three minutes each, ten high school and academic researchers had three minutes to ‘fast pitch’ their projects to the 300+ bioscience professionals in the audience at the Oct. 30, 2017 Oregon Bioscience Showcase. It was their unique opportunity to discuss their emerging research and its impact in the local and global bioscience ecosystem.

In a true homage to the next generation of emerging great minds, Camas, Washington high school student, 11th grader Monica Chang, won the overall Research Fast Pitch with her project entitled, “A Closer Look at Memory: The Effect of Diurnal Rhythms on Perineuronal Nets.” Chang competed against three other high schoolers, one company founder and five academic researchers.

“Our Research Fast Pitch event was a phenomenal; it allowed our research community to not only convey their cutting-edge research findings, it offered them an opportunity to tell their stories. Each participant crafted a story arc that brought together not only research, but the impact and importance of their work in a way that highlighted our innovative ecosystem,” said the Fast Pitch organizer, Jackie Wirz, Ph.D., Assistant Dean and Graduate Student Affairs Director of the Career and Professional Development Center at Oregon Health & Science University. “The depth of our young talent is exceptionally deep, and this event really highlighted some of our newest up and coming researchers.

Leading the day of the annual Oregon Bio event, was the Company Pitch Showcase where nine emerging companies had ten minutes each to present their company profile, highlighting the companies’ viability, funding strength and predicators of present and future success. Hemex Health, a startup company at the Oregon Bioscience Incubator dedicated to bringing innovation to global health discoveries, won the company competition with its presentation about its point-of-care medical device designed for under-served regions. The device easily and inexpensively diagnoses malaria in one minute and hemoglobin disorders in about eight minutes.

“We were honored to be part of the showcase and pleased that the judges recognized the opportunities for significant benefit and growth in the emerging market healthcare sector.  We also appreciate the support of the sponsors in helping us bring this exciting technology to the developing world.”

Oregon Bio worked closely with the State of Oregon’s bioscience Signature Research Center, OTRADI (Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute) to vet and select the nine competing startup firms.  Says OTRADI Executive Director Jennifer Fox, Ph.D., “We were proud to sponsor the Company Pitch portion of this year’s Oregon Bio Showcase, because we’re committed to shining light on the brilliant and innovative bio and digital health startups thriving here in Oregon.  These growing companies have earned their time on stage in the spotlight, and we hope that their products and acumen will attract more angel and venture capital investment to Oregon.”

The Oregon Bioscience Showcase key event partners included the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, OTRADI/Oregon Bioscience Incubator, Biotronik/MSEI, Welch Allyn, Genentech, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Eli Lilly, TE Connectivity, ThinkfastCRM, Copiers Northwest, Oregon Health & Science University, Summit Development and VWR International.

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About Oregon Bioscience Association

The Oregon Bioscience Association advocates for its members and the industry to create opportunity through advocacy, cultivation and education.  Oregon Bio promotes the growth and quality of the bioscience industry in Oregon and continually seeks ways to support sustainability and growth in the life science, bioscience, biotechnology and device manufacturing industries and to create acceleration initiatives so members can achieve their full scientific, economic and social potential. Oregon Bio, a nonprofit membership association, is the Oregon affiliate of BIO, Biotechnology Innovation Organization.

In 2014, Oregon’s jobs in biotech grew faster than most other U.S. markets. The association’s most current economic impact study showed that in 2014, Oregon’s growing bioscience industry reached nearly 14,000 jobs across 793 state business establishments. State bioscience companies have increased employment by 3.5 percent since 2012, with job growth coming from four of the five industry subsectors. Oregon’s research universities are especially focused in the biosciences relative to other fields with their nearly $456 million in bioscience academic R&D in 2014 accounting for 68 percent of all academic research compared with 61 percent for the nation. In 2015, NIH research funding to Oregon institutions totaled nearly $289 million. Venture capital investments in Oregon’s bioscience-related companies have increased in recent years and since 2012 have totaled just over $62 million. More about the Oregon Bioscience Association can be found at

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