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News Release

New Life Sciences Networking Group Announces Panel Discussion on Intellectual Property

LA JOLLA, CA – April 3, 2012 – As one of its first events, a new life sciences networking group in town, Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable (OBR)-San Diego, will host a panel discussion on intellectual property’s role in creating successful businesses, scheduled for Wednesday, April 11, 6 to 9 PM. Sponsored by The Scripps Research Institute, the event will be held at the Keck Amphitheater in Beckman Center for Chemical Sciences on the Scripps Research campus, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla CA 92037.

The panel, titled “How Intellectual Property Turns Scientific Discoveries into Profitable Ventures,” will feature Scott Forrest, PhD, Scripps Research Institute vice president of business development; Anton Hutter, patent attorney and Partner in the UK firm of patent and trademark attorneys, Venner Shipley LLP; and Scripps Research alumnus Avi Spier, director of business development at Genomics Institute at the Novartis Research Foundation.

The event will also offer a networking session, said OBR-San Diego President Kelvin Chan, a Scripps Research graduate student.

Founded in 2011 in the United Kingdom as a network that connects academic innovators and life sciences industry professions, OBR is the brainchild of Scripps Research graduate student Daniel Perez, currently pursuing a dual doctorate through the Skaggs Oxford fellowship program, a partnership of Oxford University and Scripps Research. OBR now numbers more than 4,000 members in London, Cambridge, and Oxford. OBR’s San Diego chapter was established in February.

“Our goal with OBR is to move ideas forward by tearing down the barriers that prevent communication between academia and industry,” said Perez. “By fostering these relationships, we aim to channel the enthusiasm and innovation of younger academics—students, postdocs, junior faculty—by pairing them with each other and experienced professionals.”

The new San Diego chapter aims to pursue OBR’s goal of building a bridge between academia and industry, engaging with the network based on three initiatives:

  • Education – the group provides twice-quarterly seminars, workshops, panel discussions, and networking opportunities
  • Business Consulting – the Oxbridge Roundtable Solutions program connects small teams of selected graduate and postdoctoral students with biotech companies to work on strategy and consulting projects in the intersection of science, business, and entrepreneurship.
  • Communication – the OBR’s online interactive Roundtable Review ( features guest contributions, seminar summaries, VIP interviews, and commentary covering news, developments, and “hot topics” in science and business

According to Chan, the San Diego group has been received with “great interest” from students and the area’s biotech business community. In addition to Scripps Research, the chapter has reached out to the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Salk Institute, Torrey Pines Institute, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, and others.

Industry participation, which already includes management consultants, venture capitalists, and intellectual property firms, has grown with the help of established industry networks such as UCSD’s Entrepreneurial Challenge program and the San Diego Biotech Network, said Chan.

OBR-San Diego membership, programs, and events are free of charge. OBR membership is required to attend events. Registration for the April 11 panel discussion can be made at

For further details on OBR-San Diego, visit the organization’s website ( or contact Chan at

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is one of the world's largest independent, not-for-profit organizations focusing on research in the biomedical sciences. TSRI is internationally recognized for its contributions to science and health, including its role in laying the foundation for new treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, and other diseases. An institution that evolved from the Scripps Metabolic Clinic founded by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps in 1924, the institute now employs about 2,700 people on its campuses in La Jolla, CA, and Jupiter, FL, where its renowned scientists—including two Nobel laureates—work toward their next discoveries. The institute's graduate program, which awards PhD degrees in biology and chemistry, ranks among the top ten of its kind in the nation. For more information, see

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Kelvin Chan,president of OBR-San Diego and Scripps Research Institute graduate student.
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