Targacept’s Hicks Chairs NCBiotech Triad Advisory Group
Karen Hicks, vice president of human resources at Targacept, has been named chair of the newly seated 24-member Advisory Committee for Biotechnology in the Piedmont Triad.
Jerry McGuire, associate vice chancellor for economic development in the Office of Research and Economic Development at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, will serve as vice chair.
“It is extraordinary to have such a highly engaged community of leaders collaborating to strengthen biotechnology opportunities in our region”, said Nancy Johnston, executive director of NCBiotech’s Piedmont Triad Office. “Having a chair from industry and vice chair from academia provides a unique perspective, and will help guide our efforts during the next two years.”
The Center established the committee in 2003, shortly after opening the Piedmont Triad Office as its first location outside the Research Triangle Park headquarters. Subsequently, NCBiotech opened regional offices in Greenville, Wilmington, Asheville and Charlotte – each supported by an advisory committee of business, academic and civic leaders.
“I am honored to serve as chair of this committee, excited to work with Jerry as vice chair and to join all the advisory committee members in growing the life sciences for our region,” said Hicks. “This committee reflects our diversity as a significant life-science community, including the necessary components such as strong academic institutions and committed community leadership.”
The advisory committee works closely with NCBiotech’s Piedmont Triad Office, advocating for and enabling life-science employment growth throughout the region. Initiatives have included the Wet Lab LaunchPad, which provides lab space to early-stage companies in the Piedmont Triad Research Park; Triad BioNight, the marquee event for the Triad’s biotechnology community; and strategic work plans such as BioIgnite, focused on innovation, infrastructure, and investment to help grow jobs.
NCBiotech’s Piedmont Triad Office also helps to deploy the Center’s grant and loan programs locally and to make connections that help grow the life sciences statewide.
Russ Read, immediate past chair of the advisory committee, and former vice chair Scott Sewell, will remain on the committee. Read is executive director of the National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce. Sewell is vice president of Technology Acquisition & Development for Cook Medical.
New members of the committee are:
- Doug Drabble, director of BioNetwork and Life Science Initiatives
- Daniel (Dan) Erb, PT, Ph.D., dean of the High Point University School of Health Sciences
- Andrew Hebard, president and CEO of Technology Crops International, Winston-Salem
- Michael (Mike) Kelly, COO and CFO of Piedmont Pharmaceuticals in Greensboro
- George (Randy) Parker, Ed.D, PE, president of Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown
- James (Jim) Ryan, Ph.D., founding dean of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering in Greensboro, operated by North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and UNCG.