Boston, MA – (March 8, 2005) – Newly appointed President of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MBC), Thomas M. Finneran, will greet contamination control technology scientists and technologists from around the globe at the CleanRooms Contamination Control Technology (CCT) Conference & Exhibition being held March 22 and 23 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. This year, Boston plays host to the international conference and exhibition which presents the latest science, technology and equipment for the protection of products and personnel in ultraclean or critically-controlled manufacturing environments such as those required for biotechnology products.
The conference will feature a number of prominent national speakers from the bio/pharmaceutical and contamination control industries, university research laboratories, as well as the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), and the National Institute of Science & Technology (NIST).
The timing of the event is fortuitous given recently increased public awareness in Massachusetts over public health and safety issues related to biotechnology research and development.
Contamination control and biosafety concerns captured headlines in Boston last month, when it was reported that three Boston University biotechnology researchers had become infected with tularemia, or “rabbit fever,” a bacterial disease spread by insects and animals, including rabbits, and which appears as a pneumonia-like illness when inhaled. University officials have acknowledged that researchers in the lab had violated policies and procedures mandating the use of proper contamination control systems and safety equipment.
Contamination control has also been thrust into the forefront of the embryonic stem cell research debate raging in Massachusetts and around the world. In January it was announced that all of the approved batches of human embryonic stem cells in the US had been found to be contaminated by the presence of an animal molecule called N-glycolylneuraminic acid, which humans cannot produce. As a result, if transplanted into patients, the cells could provoke an immune reaction.
According to John Haystead, Editorial Director for the CleanRooms Group of Nashua, NH-based PennWell Publishing, which is sponsoring the upcoming conference, “One of the reasons Boston was chosen to host the 2005 Contamination Control Technology conference was the region’s leadership position in life-science research and development, and the directly-associated need for broader knowledge and expertise in contamination control technology to ensure product, worker, and public safety. We are extremely pleased that President Finneran and the Mass Biotech Council are recognizing the important contribution of the contamination control science community to the advancement of biotechnology.”
The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MBC), founded in 1985, is a not-for-profit organization that provides services and support for the Massachusetts biotechnology industry. Thomas Finneran, the former Massachusetts House Speaker, became President of the Council last September. The MBC is committed to advancing the development of critical new science, technology and medicines that benefit people worldwide. Representing over 400 companies, academic institutions and service organizations involved in biotechnology and healthcare, the MBC works with public leaders to advance policy and promote education, while providing member programs and services.