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2022 Biotechnology Conference: Transforming and Improving the Human Condition

April 13, 2022

On April 7, the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences hosted the 2022 Biotechnology Conference: Transforming and Improving the Human Condition. Leaders, top global researchers, medical professionals, and innovators in the healthcare and biotechnology sectors gathered at NYIT de Seversky Mansion as well as virtually to talk about the latest innovations and cutting-edge research and how to tap into financial resources to fund a start-up and grow one’s business.

Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences Babak D. Beheshti, Ph.D., welcomed attendees and introduced Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Interim Provost Jerry Balentine, D.O., who offered introductory remarks. “We are coming together to share, discuss, and explore,” he said. “It’s one of the more important roles of higher education, to actually make events like this happen and get different minds, different people, different thinking around a table and learn from each other.”


Dean Babak D. Beheshti moderated the first panel of the event, “The Startup Ecosystem: Government and Industry Resources for Helping Biotech Companies Succeed.”

In an impromptu visit, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn emphasized the important role of research, innovation, and biotechnology and how they were “our way out” of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s my sincere hope that one silver lining from this pandemic will be that our government and industry leaders keep up the commitment to and the momentum behind cutting-edge research that makes a difference in people’s lives,” she said. “As a lifelong Long Islander, I am proud to say that we have so much to offer in this arena.”

Chad Bouton, vice president for advanced engineering at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health and chief executive officer of Neuvotion, gave the keynote address. Bouton’s work focuses on discovering new methods and technologies to improve the lives of those suffering from disability due to traumatic injury. In his work, he helped develop a neural, bioelectronic bypass that records signals with a chip in the brain using a decoding algorithm to decipher, reroute, and allow people to move.


Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn addresses the attendees.

Beheshti moderated the event’s first panel, “The Startup Ecosystem: Government and Industry Resources for Helping Biotech Companies Succeed.” The discussion focused on ways to start a biotech company. Panelists offered expert advice, including:

  • Discuss finances with an accountant familiar with start-ups to establish feasible goals.
  • Consider operational goals when browsing for a lab, including building infrastructure that will support equipment as well as air, waste, and water management.
  • Educate investors on who will need to be involved, such as engineers, architects, etc., and how it relates to the budget.
  • Hire a patent attorney. Intellectual property is the most valuable asset. Investors are particularly interested in an IP portfolio, trademarks, trade secrets, etc.

Director of the Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center Michael Nizich, Ph.D., moderated the second panel discussion, “Executives and Founders Discuss Their Companies’ Innovations.” Panelists presented the innovative ideas their companies were developing, reinforcing the mission the biotech conference was created to achieve.


Pictured from left: Babak D. Beheshti, Chad Bouton, and Jerry Balentine

Other speakers at the conference included:

  • Professor of Physical Therapy John Handrakis, D.P.T., Ed.D., who discussed thermoregulatory dysfunction in persons with spinal cord injury. Thermoregulation maintains core body temperature.
  • Associate Professor of Biological and Chemical Sciences Shenglong Zhang, Ph.D., who presented the development and commercialization of direct RNA sequencing technology.
  • Associate Professor and Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Bioengineering Aydin Farajidavar, Ph.D., who discussed electroceuticals for mapping and modulating gut activity.
  • Assistant Professor of Biological and Chemical Sciences Bryan Gibb, Ph.D., who spoke about bacteriophage therapy in the United States and shed light on the global threat of antibiotic resistance.

Watch a recording of the event.