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Press Release

BCNE and Roux Institute Co-Host Bioscience Association of Maine Women in BioScience Event

By June 23, 2022No Comments

Portland, Maine – BioConnects New England (BCNE) recently had the opportunity to join the Roux Institute and BioME in co-sponsoring the annual Bioscience Association of Maine (BioME) Women in BioScience event, which took place on June 7 at Après in Portland, Maine.

The event celebrated the innovation, collaboration, and promotion of the life science, biotechnology, and device manufacturing sectors in Maine, as well as women in bioscience.

The event featured a panel discussion, moderated by Agnieszka Carpenter, Executive Director of the Bioscience Association of Maine, with acclaimed female scientists and professionals who addressed their success stories and challenges, along with practical concepts to advance women in the bioscience industry.

Dr. Aileen Huang-Saad, director of life sciences and engineering and associate professor of bioengineering at the Roux Institute, Dr. Jared Auclair, BCNE executive director, and Heather Johnson, commissioner, Maine Department of Economic Community Development, all provided opening remarks.

The discussion on women in science included the following panelists:

  • Dr. Anne Breggia, Director, Maine Medical Center BioBank
  • Dr. Kimberly Hamilton, President, FocusMaine
  • Jen Lavanture, VP of Business Development & Corporate Strategy, MedRhythms
  • Dr. Marsha Rolle, Professor, Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Racelis Acosta, Plant Manager, Corning Life Sciences

“This event proved to be a wonderful celebration of women in bioscience as well as the expanding landscape of opportunity for individuals interested in the biosciences in Maine,” said Dr. Huang-Saad.

The event follows the recent partnership between BCNE and BioME. With this alliance, BioConnects New England and BioME aim to promote the growth and sustainability of the life sciences industry in New England through academic excellence and strategic programming. Additionally, BioConnects New England and BioME agree to foster research and development collaboration on a range of projects.

BioConnects New England is harnessing the resources and talent across New England to advance the biotech industry, expand and localize biomanufacturing, and provide economic opportunities and pathways to the community, focusing particularly on economically disadvantaged areas, women, and marginalized populations.


BioConnects New England is a multi-state coalition and finalist of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge—a $1 billion program sponsored by the Economic Development Administration. Through this initiative, BioConnects New England will create a biomanufacturing cluster in the region of Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island that have been historically excluded from the biotechnology industry, one of the fastest-growing sectors in New England with national importance. This coalition will connect hubs throughout New England to support existing—and establish new—biomanufacturing infrastructure as a pathway to increase employment and educational opportunities for underserved regions and populations.


The Bioscience Association of Maine (BioME) is a trade organization that promotes the industry’s steady growth, interprets its benefits to the public, and influences pertinent public policy. BioME aims to advance economic growth and opportunities within the life sciences community of Maine by allocating equal involvement in life sciences advocacy, education, economic development, workforce development, and attracting out-of-state business.