Editor’s note: Joan Siefert Rose is CEO of LaunchBio.

DURHAM – Becoming the “City of Medicine” is the theme of Thursday evening’s Larger Than Life Science event.

Durham had an image problem. The tobacco industry, which had been largely responsible for the city’s growth, was in decline. So in 1981, civic leaders decided to embrace Duke University’s strengths in medical  research and the emerging biotech sector to rebrand the Bull City as the “City of Medicine”.

The name was aspirational, rather than actual, at the time. But 38 years later, more than 300 medical and health-related companies are based in Durham, which also is viewed as one of the nation’s leading life science innovation hubs.

At tonight’s  LaunchBio’s Larger Than Life Science program – which is held in a former cigarette manufacturing plant – we’ll hear about the long walk down Tobacco Road from former Durham mayor and community activist Wib Gulley. It’s part of the Durham 150 year-long celebration of the City’s founding, and you can sign up here.

Our other Durham Larger Than Life Science speakers are clearly focused on the future: Aperio describes how to prepare for first-in-human clinical trials, and Boehringer Ingelheim offers its popular “BI Academy” to demonstrate how startups can work with the pharma company. Kymanox, the leading business strategy firm, rounds out the event with a deep dive into using data analytics to commercialize medical devices.

Featured Sessions:
  • FIRESIDE CHAT: The Long View

Take a look back at the growth and development of Durham’s booming life science and biotech industries with former Durham Mayor Wib Gulley.

  • PANEL: Begin With the End in Mind

Determine if your organization has the science, expertise, strategy, and protocols in place to advance to first-in-human trials with Aperio Clinical Outcomes.

  • OFFICE HOURS: Regulatory Strategy

Sit down with Nuventra’s Brian Furmanski, Ph.D., a former FDA Reviewer for advice on regulatory strategy and clinical pharmacology issues.


Join senior executives from Boehringer Ingelheim to find out what makes a company attractive from both a collaboration and investment perspective.

  • TALK: Commercializing IVDs

Learn how to streamline the commercialization process by building speed and efficiency into your analytical development and validation programs with Kymanox.

  • EXPO: Keep It 150

Celebrate Durham’s Sesquicentennial Explore the evolution of our science community over the past thirty years and learn how Durham earned its moniker as “the city of medicine.”

More event information is available online.