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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

Judith Sheft, NJIT's Associate Vice President of Technology Development, to Co-Chair BioNJ's 21st Annual Meeting

The 21st annual meeting for BioNJ, the trade association for New Jersey’s life sciences industry, will be held on January 30th this year. Considered the kickoff event of the year for the life sciences industry, the annual dinner meeting and networking event brings together executives of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, professional service providers, government officials, academic leaders and others for an evening of business discussions, networking and awards.

Judith Sheft, NJIT’s associate vice president of technology development, is the co-chair of this year’s meeting along with Harriet Maphet, the president of Infinity Resources LLC of Bridgewater, NJ.

“This is a great opportunity for people across the life sciences ecosystem – from academia, to industry, to government – to meet and connect, share ideas, and celebrate accomplishments of the past year,” Sheft said. “This meeting is a highlight for the industry and helps foster the overall sense of community and momentum.”

Nick Buoniconti, a Miami Dolphins Pro Football Hall of Famer who became a champion for research into spinal cord injuries following an injury to his son, will be this year’s keynote speaker. Buoniconti helped found and now serves as a national spokesman and fundraiser for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Through the related Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, he and his family have helped raise more than $150 million in support of The Miami Project’s research programs.

“Because patients can’t wait, the goal of our 21st Annual Dinner Meeting is to reaffirm the life science community’s commitment to discovering and developing cures to address unmet medical needs,” said Debbie Hart, President and CEO of BioNJ. “With the 48th Super Bowl taking place in New Jersey on February 2, 2014, we are honored to have an individual who is known as much for his advocacy for patients as he is for his stellar work on the football field.”

“With the keynote focus this year on spinal cord injuries, we will be highlighting the many ways that we can use technology, from cutting-edge biopharmaceutical therapies to biomedical devices, to improve patient outcomes and quality of life,” said Sheft, who earlier this year received a First Mate Award from BioNJ in recognition of her efforts to grow New Jersey's biotechnology community and for her service to the industry group.

At NJIT, the new Center for Injury Biomechanics, Materials and Medicine is broadly focused on understanding, treating and preventing traumatic brain injury. Gaining a clearer picture of the relationship between mechanical input and biological change and how impacts of varying intensity and orientation affect neuronal tissue with greater precision, is a major focus of research.

The 21st Annual Dinner Meeting will be held January 30, 2014 from 4:30 to 10:00 p.m. at the Hilton East Brunswick in East Brunswick, NJ.

About BioNJ

BioNJ is singularly focused on advancing the growth and prosperity of New Jersey’s life sciences cluster through advocacy initiatives directed at state and federal public policy issues and networking and educational programs that bring the community together. Founded in 1994 by New Jersey industry CEOs, the 300-member organization serves as the voice of life sciences companies located in New Jersey, seeks to promote their economic growth and development and works to encourage new and established companies from around the world to locate to New Jersey. BioNJ represents companies engaged in biopharmaceutical, biomedical, bioagricultural and bioremedial endeavors. For more information, please go to: www.BioNJ.org.

One of the nation’s leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT’s multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of 11,400 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering and cybersecurity, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $121 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com. NJIT has a $1.74 billion annual economic impact on the State of New Jersey.