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Join BioME for our Legislative Update & COVID-19 Vaccine Briefing on February 26, 2021 from 10AM-12PM.

We have gathered global and state health officials from Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Husson University and Eastern Maine Medical Center/Northern Light Health to provide information regarding the science and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Attendees will also hear from Maine State Legislators regarding their committee work, and legislative priorities around the COVID-19 vaccine and Maine’s life science industry.

The event will be followed by a Q&A session, and attendees will have an opportunity to speak with health officials and Maine State Legislators.


10:00-10:10 Remarks from BioME
10:10-10:40 Legislative Update
10:40-11:40 Vaccine Presentations
11:40-12:00 Q&A


Amy Walker, Director for Infectious Diseases Policy, Biotechnology Innovation Organization
Amy Walker is the Director for Infectious Diseases Policy at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. At BIO, Amy works on domestic and international policy issues related to vaccines, biodefense, and antimicrobial resistance. Amy leads BIO’s vaccine work on the state level, working with BIO members to develop consensus positions and determine BIO activities to ensure patient access to vaccines is not hindered by legislative or regulatory barriers. Amy leads BIO’s Infectious Disease Policy Network (IDPN) project, which works to augment the capacity and capability of state pro-vaccine grassroots coalitions. Prior to joining BIO in 2013, Amy was a legislative assistant with Drinker Biddle & Reath’s health government relations team. While at Drinker Biddle, Amy served clients throughout the healthcare field, including patient advocacy organizations, provider associations, hospital systems, global health organizations, and consortia of pharmaceutical manufacturers. Amy began her career on Capitol Hill. Amy received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Amy was a 2015 UPMC Center for Health Security Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative (ELBI) fellow.

Elisabeth Marnik PhD., Assistant Professor of Molecular Biochemistry, Husson University
Elisabeth Adkins Marnik is an Assistant Professor of Molecular Biochemistry at Husson University. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Central Connecticut State University (2011). She then did her PhD in Genetics at the Tufts University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in collaboration with The Jackson Laboratory (2016).  Her dissertation research focused on using genetics to understand the normal adaptive immune response, and how it is altered in autoimmune disease. She was then awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship from the NIH to fund her postdoctoral research at The MDI Biological Laboratory with Dr. Dustin Updike studying germ granules in C. elegans. In 2017 she was chosen by The Harold Alfond Foundation and The Finance Authority of Maine as an Alfond Leader. In 2019 she was chosen as an Early Career Leader for the Genetics Society of America (GSA) where she works with the GSA on their outreach and communcation’s committee. She has helped author multiple peer-reviewed research papers, as well as articles and resources targeting the general population. Elisabeth is passionate about making science accessible for everyone and that motivates her work with undergraduates at Husson University and her science outreach to the broader community. Her research is now focused on understanding the mechanisms that help maintain germline stem cells and how these can be co-opted in cancer.

James Jarvis, MD, FAAFP, Director of Clinical Education, Eastern Maine Medical Center; Senior Physician Executive & System Incident Command, Northern Light Health
Dr. Jarvis is the Director of Clinical Education for Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center and has served as the clinical lead physician for Northern Light Health’s response to COVID-19 since early on in the pandemic. He was trained in the United States Air Force where he went on to serve as the Triage Officer for the 56th Medical Operations Squadron. He is a McAfee Fellow of the Hanley Institute and the Heller School for Social Policy and Management as well as a Past President of the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors. Currently he serves on the faculty of the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine and the University of Maine Institute of Medicine.  He has been with Northern Light Health for 12 years.

Rep. Seth Berry, Maine State Representative
Rep. Seth Berry is serving his seventh non-consecutive term in the Maine House of Representatives. Rep. Berry is a Maine businessperson, political leader and former educator. Since 2011 he has been Vice President at Kennebec River Biosciences in Richmond, a Maine-owned biotechnology firm with an expanding, global presence and a unique focus on aquatic animal health. For his policy work, Berry received the 2014 President’s Award from the Maine Development Foundation for his bipartisan leadership on jobs and workforce measures, the 2014 Maine Children’s Alliance “Giraffe” Award given to those who “stick their necks out for kids,” the 2011 Prevention Award from the Maine Alliance to Prevent Substance Abuse, the 2007 Clean Air Award from the Maine Lung Association and others. He is also a Distinguished Policy Fellow at the University of Maine. Rep. Berry serves as House chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology and is a member of the Standing Committee of the House Elections.

Sen. Heather Sanborn, Maine State Senator
Senator Heather Sanborn is serving her second term in the Maine Senate, representing part of Portland and part of Westbrook. She previously served in the Maine House of Representatives. A former public school teacher and attorney, Heather now owns and runs Rising Tide Brewing Company with her husband, Nathan, in Portland. Under Heather’s leadership, Rising Tide has created two dozen jobs and helped spur the revitalization of the East Bayside neighborhood of Portland. Rising Tide has been committed to giving back to the community, with significant on-going support for the Maine Island Trail Association, the Good Shepherd Food Bank, Full Plates Full Potential, Portland Trails and many other organizations. Heather also served for many years on the Portland Development Corporation board, a quasi-municipal organization that administers the city’s economic development revolving loan funds and job creation grant programs.

Sen. Trey Stewart, Maine State Senator
Sen. Harold “Trey” Stewart III is serving his first term in the Maine Senate after representing the people of House District 147 for two terms in the House of Representatives. He previously served as the Assistant House Republican Leader for the 129th Legislature. Senator Stewart serves on the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee and the Heath Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee. Currently, Sen. Stewart is the youngest member of the Maine Senate. He graduated from Presque Isle High School in 2012. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Maine in 2016 in political science and sociology, the same year he was first elected to the Maine House of Representatives.  Since then, he has completed an MBA while serving his first term in the legislature, graduating in May of 2018 and is now in his second year of law school at Maine Law.


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