The Genetics Institute Impact: Agenda for Xconomy’s Big Event Dec. 14

Xconomy Boston — 

[Update: Noon ET, 12/9/11] We’re less than a week away from Xconomy’s biggest event of the year for the Boston biotech community, “The Genetics Institute Impact.”

This is shaping up to be a truly special reunion for the people who built one of Boston’s pioneering life sciences companies, and who are still making waves in the industry today. [Update] More than 270 people have registered, and we are sold out for the festivities next Wednesday evening, Dec. 14, at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.

The agenda will be a little different from some other Xconomy events. We’re going to start off by inviting a handful of Genetics Institute alumni to share a favorite anecdote from their days at GI. These could be tales about ups and downs, thrills, horrors, or just plain funny or embarrassing moments that revealed a lot about what made GI such a great adventure. I don’t know what the speakers plan to say, but I’m sure it will be short and sweet and memorable.

Once those remembrance talks are done, I’ll moderate a 20-minute keynote chat with GI’s longtime CEO Gabe Schmergel and the company’s scientific co-founders—Tom Maniatis and Mark Ptashne.

I’m sure these guys could carry on all night. On yesterday’s prep call, Maniatis and Ptashne started jogging each other’s memory banks, revealing tales about former Harvard University president Derek Bok and legendary former CBS chairman Bill Paley (a GI investor). I could have listened for hours, but the goal is to ask just a few questions, and keep the program brief. That way there will be plenty of time for catching up with old friends.

Besides the talks, we will have a cool memorabilia display to check out thanks to contributions from Dale Blank, Gina Nugent, and others. If you have photos from GI in some kind of electronic format like jpeg or gif, now’s the time to send those my way so I can make this display even better. Just shoot me a note at And if you have some favorite music that people at the company used to like to listen to—and it’s on CD, Pandora, or at least something other than vinyl or cassette tapes—let me know. I’m taking suggestions for what ought to be on the GI soundtrack.

Here’s the actual program, which we will print up for those of you there at the event. If you couldn’t tell, I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of fascinating people at this event and learning a bit more about a special time and place in the history of the biotech industry. Those of you who show up early at 4:30 pm can get a jumpstart on networking before the program starts at 5:30 pm. See you there Wednesday evening.

4:30 pm—Registration/networking

5:30 pm—Host welcome, Koch Institute

5:35 pm—Introductions, Xconomy

5:40 pm—Remembrance talks

Adelene Perkins, CEO, Infinity Pharmaceuticals

Tuan Ha-Ngoc, CEO, Aveo Pharmaceuticals

Tony Evnin, partner, Venrock Associates

John Knopf, CEO, Acceleron Pharma

Abbie Celniker, CEO, Eleven Biotherapeutics

Sha Mi, Distinguished Investigator, Biogen Idec

5:55 pm—Keynote chat

Gabe Schmergel, former CEO, Genetics Institute

Mark Ptashne, co-founder, Genetics Institute

Tom Maniatis, co-founder, Genetics Institute

Luke Timmerman, national biotech editor, Xconomy (moderator)

6:15 pm—Networking

7:30 pm—End