Voice of Industry: Lisa Hale, CEO of Grace Bio-Labs, Part 1

Oregon Bio recently caught up with Lisa Hale, CEO of Grace Bio-Labs, headquartered in Bend, Oregon. Started three decades ago, the company has grown as a globally recognized developer and manufacturer of tools for life science research, working to understand how protein and single-cell interactions are relevant in cancer detection. 

As a voice of industry, we wanted to hear Grace Bio-Labs perspective: 

OR Bio: How does Grace Bio-Labs fit into Oregon’s biotech and life science ecosystem? The region? 

LH:  Typically when you hear the term “biotech” you think of the Bay Area, Seattle, San Diego, Boston, Maryland and North Carolina’s Research Triangle as the U.S.’s domestic bio capitals, however, Oregon has steadily built a biotech hub that includes technical centers of excellence for many of the largest companies in our industry.   

We now have more than 800 bio companies in the state – and nicely distributed across regions from Portland, the Valley and Central Oregon. Our total tax revenues in this industry for the state are now more than $1B. Bio jobs in the state are now more than 45,000 employees strong.  That’s an amazing amount of talent and technology right here in Oregon. Companies like Grace Bio-Labs are one of many small, growing companies with the opportunity to offer technical solutions not only to our customers across the globe – but, as importantly, to partner with companies right here.  Together our Oregon Bio partners are growing our economy, providing access technology and building a phenomenal pool of technical talent for generations to come.  

OR Bio: What are some examples of how Grace Bio-Labs innovates? 

LH:  Grace Bio-Labs has a 30year history and brand recognition in several disciplines – from MicroArray workflows, NextGen Sequencing, Imaging and Microscopy to Cell Culture applications.    

I often say we are the “biggest, small company you’ll never hear of” as most of our portfolio consists of OEM component solutions for some of the largest bio companies in the world.  I would say it’s the “GraceBio Inside” – but that tag line has been taken  (by Intel, last I checked.) 

We offer a broad range of catalog solutions for the workflows and it’s really been a great company to be part of.  When the customers callwe usually have something on the shelf for their needs. If not, we can make the custom solution they are looking for and put their name on it – all manufactured right here in Oregon. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 when we ask Lisa more about her viewpoints on Oregon’s bio-ecosystem and the what learnings Lisa/Grace BioLabs will share with the rest of us. 

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