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Utah Life Sciences News & Events

BioUtah Kicks-Off the 2021 Virtual BioHive Summit with Dr. Dean Li, President, Merck Research Laboratories

October 14, 2021

Salt Lake City—October 13, 2021 – The BioHive Summit, powered in partnership with BioUtah, on Nov. 12 will live stream a distinguished line-up of speakers and panelists from inside and outside Utah’s burgeoning life sciences industry (research, medical technology, diagnostics, health IT, digital health and biotechnology/biopharmaceutical) to discuss trends, challenges and the future of healthcare and Utah innovation.

The BioHive Summit, the new name for the previously titled Utah Life Sciences Summit, aims to build on the best, with a fresh, engaging and upbeat virtual experience for participants

Dean Li, MD, PhD, president of Merck Research Laboratories, will take center stage in a fireside chat with Recursion CEO and BioHive Co-Founder, Chris Gibson, for a riveting conversation about Utah’s innovation landscape, the future of healthcare research and Merck’s efforts in battling COVID-19.  

Before joining Merck in 2017, Dr. Li served as the H.A. & Edna Benning professor of medicine and cardiology, chief scientific officer, associate vice president and vice dean at the University of Utah Health System. While at the university, Li blazed new trails to expand research efforts and transform discoveries into clinical treatments for the benefit of patients.

“Although our BioHive Summit will be virtual this year, we will gather with pride as one of the fastest-growing life sciences industry in the nation,” said Katelin Roberts, executive director of BioHive. “This year’s summit will not only reflect our continued rise, but it will also capture the spirit of BioHive by spreading the word about the world-class innovation hub that Dr. Li and others have helped to ignite here in Utah.”

At Merck, Li has held positions of increasing leadership in translational medicine and discovery functions and was appointed to president, Merck Research Laboratories, in January 2021. The company recently submitted an Emergency Use Authorization to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an investigational oral antiviral COVID-19 medicine, molnupiravir.

“We’re very honored to have Dr. Li join us for the BioHive Summit,” said Kelvyn Cullimore, president and CEO of BioUtah. “His experience, knowledge and passion for exploration and commercializing clinically relevant basic science discoveries will offer our audience unique and valuable insights – a definite ‘wow’ factor for the conference.” 

Dr. Li has founded or co-founded innovative biotechnology companies, including Hydra Biosciences Inc. and Recursion Pharmaceuticals. He also helped to lay the foundation for the Utah Genome Project – a University of Utah drug development pipeline that represents successful investments in the future of precision medicine.

In addition to stimulating speakers, panels and presenters in an opening plenary session and three afternoon tracks, the annual BioUtah Awards will also be presented recognizing leadership and achievement within the industry.  

“As we continue to navigate the pandemic, the BioHive Summit will spotlight the brightest in our field, such as Dr. Li, and help us stay connected as we unite around our common mission to find innovative treatments and cures,” added Cullimore.

To register and keep apprised of the agenda and speakers list visit biohivesummit.com.

About BioUtah and BioHive

BioUtah is an independent 501(c)(6) trade association serving Utah’s life sciences industry. Its member companies reflect a broad spectrum of the industry with strengths in medical device manufacturing and services, research and testing, biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, and advanced diagnostics, and healthIT, amongst others; and are a key driver of Utah’s economy and life-saving treatments and cures for patients. BioHive is a chapter of BioUtah; its mission is to brand, build and bring together Utah’s life sciences and healthcare innovation community.