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Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – With the threat of the H1N1 pandemic threatening businesses worldwide, executives must be considering contingency plans on how to continue operations if their workforce is struck by the deadly virus.

The challenge of staying open for business in time of disaster – disease, storm or perhaps even a terrorist attack – is the topic of next Local Tech Wire Executive Exchange event.

Titled “Sustainability in Time of Crisis,” the event is set for Nov. 12 in the Triangle.

Oren Cohen, senior vice president, chief medical and scientific officer and managing director, public health & government services at Quintiles, will be the keynote speaker for the luncheon program.

“Even as the recession drags on, corporate executives at all levels have to be addressing issues that could arise from a disaster that H1N1 could inflict on their workforce, and natural disasters remain a constant threat,” said Local Tech Wire Editor Rick Smith. “How does a company operate if much of its work force is incapacitated or unable to get to an office?

“We are truly fortunate to have a keynote speaker who can address so many issues related to sustainability in times of disaster,” Smith added. “Dr. Cohen has extensive knowledge of H1N1 global preparations worldwide through his work at Quintiles, and that company is an example of preparedness itself since it has a global workforce.”

Sponsored by Hosted Solutions, FeatureTel and UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, the program will also include a panel discussion about steps corporate executives need to be taking to prepare for disaster. The panel will discuss such topics as telecommuting, data backup, recovery and application access, finance and security.

The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Radisson in RTP. (Registration information will be published shortly; for event signup and sponsorship opportunities, contact Scott Place at 919-271-5788 or via e-mail [scott.place1@gmail.com].) An event is also being scheduled in Charlotte.

Dr. Cohen brings abroad and deep perspective to the crisis. A medical doctor, he has keen insight into the H1N1 virus as well as other medical issues. He also has been actively involved in Quintiles’ own plans for sustainability at the world’s largest contract research organization with more than 23,000 employees in nearly 60 countries.

Quintiles also has been actively involved in working with numerous firms on H1N1 related issues.

Dr. Cohen also serves as managing director of Quintiles Public Health and Government Services, Vice-Chair of Quintiles’ Council on Research Ethics, and is also Consulting Professor of Medicine on the Infectious Diseases faculty at Duke University Medical Center.

Dr. Cohen joined Quintiles as a medical advisor in 2001, and was appointed Chief Medical and Scientific Officer in 2004. Dr. Cohen’s industry experience is concentrated in antiviral drug development, with particular emphasis in the areas of HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C global clinical trials.

A magna cum laude graduate of Brandeis University, Dr. Cohen is also an Alpha Omega Alpha honors graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine.

Dr. Cohen completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the New York Hospital/Cornell University Medical Center, where he served as Assistant Chief Resident in 1989-1990. From 1990-1991, he served as Clinical Instructor in Medicine at the New York Hospital’s AIDS treatment center.

Dr. Cohen completed his fellowship in Infectious Diseases in 1994 at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and spent seven years conducting basic and clinical HIV/AIDS research as a Fellow, Clinical Associate, and Medical Officer in the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation. Dr. Cohen was appointed Assistant Director for Medical Affairs at NIAID, where he also served on the Department of Health and Human Services/Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Panel on Clinical Practices for the Treatment of HIV Infection, which formulates the national Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents.

Dr. Cohen is board-certified in Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine, and is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Dr. Cohen is the author of more than 50 scientific papers and book chapters, and holds a U.S. patent for HIV-related peptides derived from HIV-infected long-term non-progressors.