Biden Cancer Initiative official to keynote MichBio Expo

ANN ARBOR — MichBio, Michigan’s biotechnology industry association, announced that Lisa Simms Booth, senior director of patient and public engagement at the Biden Cancer Initiative, will give the keynote address at the MichBio Expo and Conference, to be held in Ypsilanti Oct. 29 and 30.

Said Stephen Rapundalo, president and CEO of MichBio: “We know that the biosciences industry conducts research, develops novel therapeutics and devices to enhance treatment options that greatly impact patient welfare and quality of life. But, for those of us who work in the industry, it is easy to get caught up in the details of our efforts and lose sight of the big picture — the patient. Having Ms. Booth close out our Expo with a keynote address discussing patient-centricity and the work of the Biden Cancer Initiative in helping some of the most critical patients through what is likely the most challenging time in their lives, will highlight why we do the work that we do.”

Linda Simms Booth. Photo courtesy MichBio.

At the Biden Cancer Initiative, Booth leads advocacy outreach and collaboration strategies, including the design and coordination of the Biden Cancer Collaborative, which develops solutions to shared challenges.

Prior to joining the Initiative, Booth was at FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, shaping its approach to accelerating medical progress through leadership roles in partnership development, external affairs and operations. Throughout her 14-year tenure at FasterCures, she created programs that brought together pharmaceutical, biotech, philanthropic, and non-profit communities.

Prior to joining FasterCures, she worked for a variety of political and advocacy organizations including LISTEN Inc., The Alliance for Justice, Time Dollar Institute, Children’s Defense Fund, Democratic National Committee and the National Rainbow Coalition. She is a Pittsburgh native and graduate of Michigan State University.

The Washington, D.C.-based Biden Cancer Initiative is an independent nonprofit organization founded by former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden to accelerate and coordinate cancer research, treatment, and cures.

In addition to the keynote address from Booth, the Expo and Conference will feature a “Michigan Center Stage” session with MEDC President and CEO Jeff Mason, and Senior Policy Advisor for the Washington, D.C.-based Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Pete Pellerito. Rapundalo will moderate a discussion with the two guests on enhancing Michigan’s competitiveness and stature in the biosciences industry.

The program for the expo, the 25th annual event for MichBio, will focus in its first day on how the industry has changed in the last quarter century, while the second day will lay the groundwork for the future with sessions on investments, talent and leadership, research and commercialization, and technology that will shape the industry for decades.

The event is sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. as well as numerous corporate and industry partners.

For the full event program, exhibitor and sponsor information, or to register, visit

The event will be held at the Ann Arbor Marriott Hotel at Eagle Crest, 1275 S. Huron St., Ypsilanti.

MichBio is the trade association committed to driving growth in Michigan’s biosciences industry and its many sectors, including agri-biotech, food and nutrition, bio-based technologies and renewable chemicals, industrial and environmental biotech, medical devices and technologies, pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare, diagnostics and research products, testing and research services, and clinical research. More at

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