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East Advisory Committee


H. L. (Steve) Stephenson, III, attorney, Ward & Smith, P. A.
Immediate Past Chair
David Peele, Ph.D., president, Avoca, Inc


Full Committee

  • Bill Bullock, senior vice president, statewide operations and economic development, North Carolina Biotechnology Center
  • Joe Cascone, vice president, operations, Mayne Pharma USA
  • John D. Chaffee, president and CEO, NCEast Alliance
  • Chris Flanagan, plant manager, RTI Surgical
  • Rod Gurganus, Beaufort county extension director, North Carolina State University
  • Flint Harding, director, business development, Avoca, Inc.
  • Ron Heiniger, Ph.D., associate professor - extension corn specialist, North Carolina State University
  • Phillip Hodges (Phil), manager, Nano Ventures, LLC
  • Robert M. Lust Ph.D., department chair, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University
  • Mark Phillips, executive director, eastern office, vice president statewide operations, North Carolina Biotechnology Center
  • Carl Rees, senior economic developer, ElectriCities of North Carolina
  • Vann Rogerson, senior vice president, NCEast Alliance
  • Thomas Schultz, Ph.D., director, marine conservation molecular facility, Duke University Marine Laboratory
  • Edmund (Ed) Stellwag, Ph.D., director, genomics core facility and associate professor, department of biology, East Carolina University

Eastern North Carolina has steadily increasing potential for development and application of biotechnology.  Across the region, the diverse partners and resources required for effective biotechnology development grow in number, maturity, and commitment: researchers and laboratories, universities and schools, entrepreneurs, existing and start-up companies, investors, educators and training programs, economic development and government leaders. The key component for sustained biotechnology development – an interactive community of varied parties working to common purpose – is nicely taking shape.

Over time, that community will bring measurable benefits to the societal and economic life of the area. Discoveries and realistic goals will yield companies, products, jobs, expanded agricultural activities, and rippling effect. Over coming years, biotechnology will be counted key among the region’s targeted strategies for broad economic impact with particular attention to its implications for plant and animal agriculture, forestry, biofuels, new medical technology, aquaculture/marine biotechnology, bioprocessing and pharmaceutical processing, and university based research.

In biotechnology as in other important societal sectors, the most effective long-term results spring from cohesive, purposeful communities. The Advisory Committee for Biotechnology in Eastern Carolina will work to strengthen the cohesion of this regional community, and assist its continuing movement from strategies and goals to practical outcomes.

The Committee will serve as focal point, tool, and resource. It will:

  • Verify – by its members, presence, and activities – that biotechnology demands sustained, high-level, multi-partner attention throughout Eastern Carolina.
  • Identify goals, strategies, and activities to strengthen the biotechnology endeavor throughout the region.
  • Catalyze or sponsor events and projects useful to the regional biotechnology community.
  • Assist varied entities in implementation of Eastern-directed recommendations from the State’s 2004 biotechnology strategic plan, New Jobs Across North Carolina.
  • Recommend strategies and activities with which the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and its Eastern Office can assist regional biotechnology development.
  • Display the long-term, collegial, and imaginative view necessary for effective biotechnology development.
  • Serve as advocate, voice, and resource for effective, thoughtful, and appropriate biotechnology development.