Hands-on Demonstrations Delight High School STEM StudentsHands-on Demonstrations Delight High School STEM Students
PhD Student-led Demonstrations Demystify BiotechnologyPhD Student-led Demonstrations Demystify Biotechnology
High School STEM Students Explore Northwestern LabsHigh School STEM Students Explore Northwestern Labs
Prospective Master's Students Visit MBP FacilitiesProspective Master's Students Visit MBP Facilities
Industry Panelists Share Their Career Insights Industry Panelists Share Their Career Insights
AbbVie's Francisco Rausa Delivers Keynote SpeechAbbVie's Francisco Rausa Delivers Keynote Speech
Guests Enjoy Biotechnology Day ReceptionGuests Enjoy Biotechnology Day Reception

Inside Our Program
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Seminars & Events
Biotechnology Day

Each year, Northwestern University's Master of Biotechnology Program (MBP) hosts Biotechnology Day, a one-day life sciences festival designed to inspire and inform curious minds. We aim to reach a broad community of students, scientists, and science enthusiasts through our programming on:

  • K-12 STEM Education
  • Biotechnology Workforce Development
  • Community Based Biotechnology (a.k.a. Biohacking, DIYbio, etc.)

This year's event, which will be held on March 15, 2019, will include community outreach activities, tours of facilities, career panels (technical and non-technical focuses), a keynote speech by Dr. Alicia Löffler, and an open networking session. 

About the Keynote

Title: The State of the Biotechnology Industry in the US, Chicago, and Northwestern

Abstract: The future has arrived for biotechnology at Northwestern. Innovations that we dreamt about 20 years ago are now a reality. From the use of expert cell systems for the production of biofuels to small molecules that reduce the use of opioids, Northwestern innovations are transforming the lives of millions of people around the globe. Growth did not happen in isolation. It took an ecosystem that supports an entrepreneurial culture, a network of talented people, and resources. Dr. Alicia Löffler will discuss the state of the biotechnology industry in the US, Chicago, and Northwestern, and describe the “Northwestern way” for developing the networks and partnering to bring breakthrough innovations to the public.

Speaker: Dr. Alicia Löffler (Associate Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the founding Executive Director of the Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO), Associate Vice President for Research, Adjunct Professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University).

About the Speaker: Dr. Alicia Löffler is the Associate Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the founding Executive Director of the Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO), Associate Vice President for Research, and Adjunct Professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. INVO was founded in 2010 to enhance the transfer of innovations to the market and nurture a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation at Northwestern University. INVO oversees translational, transactional and commercialization activities at a number of centers and initiatives including: The Garage (University-wide incubation/collaboration space), N.XT Venture Fund, NUseeds startup fund for students, the therapeutics accelerator, NewCures, and the biomedical technologies accelerator, Lakeside Discovery. INVO is part of the NIH Centers for Accelerated Innovations Consortium led by Cleveland Clinic (NCAI-CC), designed to accelerate translation of scientific discovery into commercial products that improve health for patients. As Executive Director of INVO, Dr. Löffler supervises the management of over 200 inventions/year, 250 active licenses, 3,880 patents, and a total of more than 60 Northwestern startups, 72% of which are in the biomedical space. Since 2010, INVO has generated approximately $1.5 Billion net income. Dr. Löffler has served as advisor on multiple for-profit and non-profit boards for biotech/medical device organizations. She also served as Board Member and Past-Chair for the Council for Biotechnology Centers (BIO). Dr. Löffler received a BS from the University of Minnesota, a PhD from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and did post-doctoral training at Caltech. She was named one of the Tech 100 stars by Crain’s Chicago Business, and received the “Women in Black” I-Street Award and the 2011 Innovator Award presented by the Chicago Chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS).


March 2, 2018

In March of 2018, MBP hosted its day-long event at Norris University Center. Guests enjoyed industry panels, biotech demonstrations, and keynote speaker Jeffrey C. Baker, Ph.D. (Deputy Director, Office of Biotechnology Products, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the United States FDA).


November 10, 2016

November's event at Norris University Center was a huge success, thanks largely to our co-sponsors, the Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP) and the Biotechnology Training Program (BTP) at Northwestern University. With their help, we were able to engage, educate, and connect nearly 200 members of the scientific community!

Students from Curie Metropolitan High School, Beacon Academy, and Evanston Township High School participated in hands-on activities and small-scale scientific experiments before exploring career paths in the biotechnology field through conversations with industry professionals and Northwestern PhD students. Their visit concluded with an extensive tour of the Northwestern University campus and various laboratory facilities.

The afternoon portion of Biotechnology Day was open to curious members of the community as well as students from the Master of Biotechnology Program. Technical and non-technical career panels comprised of 14 industry professionals representing 13 different companies delved into the details of the many diverse career possibilities offered by the biotechnology field. Francisco Rausa, Senior Principal Research Scientist at AbbVie, delivered a keynote speech which highlighted his work at AbbVie as well as exciting trends emerging in the industry. The evening concluded with an open networking session and reception in the gorgeous Ryan Center for the Musical Arts, overlooking downtown Chicago and the lake.

We would like to thank everyone for a wonderful Biotechnology Day. We hope to see you again next year—until then, stay curious!


February 26, 2016

In February of 2016, MBP hosted its day-long event in the atrium of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. Guests enjoyed industry panels, biotech demonstrations, and keynote speaker Nicole Fisher (HHR Strategies).