MassBio® Announces Headliners for 2020 State of Possible Conference

Feb 26, 2020

Billy Starr and Susan Hockfield to deliver keynote addresses

February 26, 2020 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) – MassBio® today announced the two keynote speakers for its annual State of Possible Conference taking place March 25-26, 2020 at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge: Billy Starr, Founder and Executive Director, Pan-Mass Challenge; and Susan Hockfield, Ph.D., President Emerita, MIT. Drawing over 600 industry leaders in Massachusetts and beyond, the State of Possible Conference is MassBio’s premier event that celebrates what’s possible in the life sciences industry and for patients today that wasn’t five or 10 years ago.

“We are on the precipice of what could be the greatest decade for the life sciences, with breakthrough therapies in the form of one-time cures coming down the pipeline and addressing once untreatable diseases,” said Bob Coughlin, President and CEO, MassBio. “Our State of Possible Conference recognizes this unprecedented success and we are thrilled to welcome Billy Starr and Susan Hockfield as our keynote speakers who, in their own ways, have contributed immensely to Massachusetts’ stature as the State of Possible. From a renowned athletic charity event, to the convergence of 21st century technologies, attendees will have the privilege to engage with a diversity of topics in what will be our greatest conference yet.”

As Founder and Executive Director of the Pan-Mass Challenge, Billy Starr has dedicated more than 40 years to funding life-saving breakthroughs in cancer research. Combining his passion for cycling with his activist spirit, Starr has led the organization in contributing more than $717 million for adult and pediatric cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Founded in 1980, the PMC, a bike-a-thon with 12 routes ranging from 25 to 192 miles, raises more money for charity than any other single athletic fundraising event in the country and contributes 100% of every rider-raised dollar to Dana-Farber. To kick off the two-day conference, Starr will share the trials and triumphs of his story and how it has shaped the entire athletic fundraising industry and saved thousands of lives across the globe.

“It’s an absolute honor to co-headline the 2020 State of Possible Conference,” said Billy Starr, Pan-Mass Challenge Founder and Executive Director. “There is such incredible life sciences work being done here in Massachusetts and I am humbled to have an opportunity to share my personal story and highlight the role the Pan-Mass Challenge has played in the fight against cancer over the last 40 years.”

Susan Hockfield is President Emerita, Professor of Neuroscience, and a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 2004 to 2012 she served as the 16th President of MIT, the first life scientist and first woman in that role. As President, Dr. Hockfield strengthened the foundations of MIT’s finances and campus planning while advancing Institute-wide programs in sustainable energy and the convergence of the life, physical and engineering sciences, with impact across the region, the nation and around the world. She helped shape national policy for energy and next-generation manufacturing, appointed by President Obama in 2011 to co-chair the steering committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership and by serving as a member of a Congressional Commission evaluating the Department of Energy laboratories in 2015. In her closing keynote, Dr. Hockfield will discuss the promise of next-generation technologies that are ripe to disrupt and overcome the greatest humanitarian, medical, and environmental challenges of our time.

The State of Possible Conference convenes the brightest minds in the life sciences to debate the most pressing challenges facing the life sciences to ensure we can continue its incredible success. Included in registration is access to the State of Possible Celebration at the Museum of Science on the night of March 25th. To learn more and register, please visit the MassBio website.

Media can register for free by contacting Jennifer Nason

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