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8/28/2014 Tomasso chosen to welcome guests at Tech Collective’s 2014 Bioscience Awards
LINCOLN – Rep. Lisa P. Tomasso (D-Dist. 29, Coventry, West Greenwich) stood before guests and honorees for Tech Collective’s 2014 Rhode Island Bioscience Awards Thursday morning and welcomed them to the future of science.

“This is truly an amazing event to me because it really showcases how far the world has come,” she said. “The work that so many of you do is crucial to the future of our state’s economy. Your elected officials in the General Assembly recognize all that you have accomplished and hope to do everything in our power to make our state a leader in research and technology.”

The awards ceremony, which took place at the Kirkbrae Country Club, honored four individuals for their work in education, health, digital technology and other related bioscience fields.

The representative noted the state has paid close attention to the biosciences in recent years, lending support to programs like the Jason Project, which encourages students to explore careers in science, and Innovate RI, a small business program targeting research and development initiatives. She also mentioned a special hands-on internship program designated for students interested in science, which the General Assembly approved in its 2013 legislative session. Coupled with the new science buildings at the University of Rhode Island Kingston Campus and a decrease in the state’s corporate tax this year, Representative Tomasso said she hopes this generation’s new crop of scientists will have access to all the support they need to conduct cutting edge research and tackle the problems that take a toll on the state, the nation and the world.

“The existence of a thriving biotech sector creates high-wage, high-value jobs, which are critical to the manufacturing renaissance we have started here in Rhode Island,” Representative Tomasso told the crowd on Thursday. “It is also our hope and belief that the state’s new corporate tax – lowered from 9 percent to 7 percent this year – will help attract businesses with creative new approaches to developing better medicines, foods and lifestyles for people all over the world.”

The Rhode Island Bioscience Awards honor those who have impacted the biology and biotechnology industries through innovative accomplishments and successful research initiatives.  The following individuals received awards:

· Dr. John D. Jarrell, Ph.D., P.E., president of Materials Science Associates; founder of BioIntraface, Inc.;
· Dr. Greg Paquette, professor and director of Biotechnology Programs at the University of Rhode Island; and
· Megan L. Ranney, M.D., M.P.H., director of Emergency Digital Health Innovation Program; assistant professor at the Department of Emergency Medicine of Rhode Island Hospital/Alpert Medical School, Brown University.

David R. Vito, assistant professor of biology at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and coordinator of the Amgen Biotech Experience Program at URI, received the Community Leader Award for his work in advancing the industry through advocacy, education, workforce development and leadership.

Tech Collective is the state’s Information Technology and Bioscience Industry Association. For more information, go to

For more information, contact:
Brenna McCabe, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2457