Biotechnology Solutions for Obesity on Menu for BIO 2004 Media Brunch

Obesity is a growing epidemic. The American Obesity Association reports that approximately 196 million adults in the United States range from overweight to severely obese. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity will probably overtake smoking as the leading preventable cause of death by 2005. The result: A population at high risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer with severe financial and social repercussions. Biotechnology is part of the solution to this epidemic.

On Sunday, June 6, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) will host a brunch for media to kick off its Annual International Convention. Join us to hear experts discuss the potential for biotechnology to address the obesity crisis through improved foods and new medicines.


David A. Kessler, M.D.
Dr. Kessler is the dean and vice chancellor for medical affairs at University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine and an outspoken advocate on the need for action on obesity. Before joining UCSF, Dr. Kessler was the dean of the Yale University School of Medicine and served as Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Michael W. Schwartz, M.D.
Dr. Schwartz is a professor of medicine in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition at the University of Washington. Dr. Schwartz is a leading researcher into the pathogenesis of obesity and diabetes, including the regulatory effects of leptin and insulin on brain systems controlling body weight.

Robert Fraley, Ph.D.
Dr. Fraley is executive vice president and chief technology officer for Monsanto Co. based in St. Louis. He oversees Monsanto's integrated crop and seed agribusiness technology and research. Monsanto researchers are applying conventional breeding and biotechnology techniques to develop soybeans that will produce oil containing less trans- and saturated fats, identified as leading contributors to cardiovascular disease.

David Dzisiak
Mr. Dzisiak is the Global Business Leader for Oils and Oilseeds with Dow AgroSciences, responsible for the company's canola, sunflower and soybean portfolios. Dow AgroSciences has developed canola and high-oleic sunflower oils that are at least as stable as the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils used by food processors, have virtually no trans-fats, and are low in saturated fat compared to other vegetable oils.

Robert Del Grande, Ph. D.
Mr. Del Grande is executive chef and partner of Cafe Annie in Houston, Texas. He received a B. S. in Chemistry and Biology from the University of San Francisco and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California at Riverside. His restaurant was voted Best Restaurant of 2001 in a Food and Wine Magazine poll and was selected one of Gourmet Magazine's top 50 restaurants in the United States. Chef Del Grande will be preparing the brunch fare, incorporating biotech ingredients into each recipe, from the cool cantaloupe thirst-quencher to the delectable caramelized cobbler.

George Strait
The panel will be moderated by award-winning journalist, George Strait, former ABC News science editor, currently assistant vice chancellor for public affairs at the University of California, Berkeley.

Date: Sunday, June 6, 2004
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Esplanade Ballroom, South Building
Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco

Journalists must be preregistered for the conference to attend.
Register online at

Due to limited seating, please RSVP to Lisa Dry, BIO, by May 21
Tel: 202-962-9231 or E-mail: