Vice President Biden Speaks at Wake Forest Biotech Place
Vice President Joe Biden praised Wake Forest Biotech Place as a shining example of scientific innovation serving as a locus for the new biotechnology-based economy in Winston-Salem.
Biotech Place, a part of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, is a state-of-the-art biotechnology research and innovation center and the sixth building Wake Forest Baptist has opened in the growing Piedmont Triad Research Park.
Speaking to a crowd of 600, Biden hailed those in the audience as “fighters,” referring to the city’s vision and ability to shift from an economy built on tobacco and textiles to one based on medical innovation and research.
“The people of North Carolina are fighters,” Biden said. “The American people are fighters. That’s why I’m so optimistic, even in these tough times.” During an official visit to Winston-Salem, Biden devoted most of his speech to the Obama administration’s efforts to create jobs and boost the economy for the middle class.
Biden was welcomed by Linda Porrino, Ph.D., chair of physiology and pharmacology, and remarks were given by Jan Wagner, D.V.M., Ph.D., vice president and senior associate dean for research at Wake Forest Baptist, and Graydon Pleasants, Piedmont Triad Research Park administrator.
The vice president’s speech was preceded by remarks from Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines and Phil Shugart, president of Carolina Liquid Chemistries, a tenant of Wake Forest Biotech Place and success story that began with two employees in a Wake Forest incubator and is now a company of 70 employees nationwide.
Wake Forest Baptist is driving the redevelopment and economic revitalization of a large section on the eastern edge of downtown Winston-Salem. The latest evidence of this development is Biotech Place.
The new research building is a world-class 242,000 square foot historic structure comprised of two former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. warehouses that have been redeveloped into a modern biotech research laboratory where internationally renowned Wake Forest Baptist researchers are pioneering new fields of medicine discovering tomorrow’s treatments today.
Wake Forest Baptist is Biotech Place’s largest tenant and includes the Departments of Biochemistry and Structural Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Physiology/Pharmacology, Microbiology and Immunology, the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma and the Piedmont Triad Research Park offices.