Members of the Ohio State community are set to meet with international leaders in global health, but the meeting won’t be anywhere near Columbus.
That event — the Health Sciences Innovation Conference and Trade Show — is set to take place in Mumbai, India, and cost approximately $1 million, including funding, accommodations and events, said co-chairman of the conference Dr. Chandan Sen, associate dean of the OSU College of Medicine. The conference will be hosted by OSU and the All India Institute for Medical Sciences and aims to develop partnerships between OSU and Indian academic institutions and health sciences-related industry, according to the conference’s website.
It is set to run Jan. 15-17 in Mumbai at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
The OSU India Gateway — which opened in Mumbai in 2012 — aims to establish research opportunities between OSU and Indian biotech and pharmaceutical companies through the conference.
The Global Gateway program aims to give OSU a presence in selected countries by providing students, alumni and faculty opportunities for networking, studying abroad and conducting research, according to its website. There are also currently offices in Shanghai and São Paulo.
Sen said he is excited for the prospect of connecting officials from both India and OSU in an attempt to have conversations about health sciences.
“I think our experts need to talk to their experts, and there needs to be discussion and open dialogue,” he said.
The conference is set to incorporate sessions focused on research, education, commercial and international business, clinical, and careers, the last of which is geared toward students, the website says.
Some of the themes of the various sessions are set to focus on fetal health, cancer, AIDS, medical devices and infectious disease.
Slated speakers include Luc Montagnier, a Nobel Prize Winner for physiology who helped discover HIV, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, minister of health and family welfare for the Indian government, and David Dean, an associate professor of plastic surgery at OSU.
Dr. Abhay Satoskar, a professor in the College of Medicine who helped plan the event, said he is enthusiastic about the prospect of what the conference might hold.
“I think (what is most important is) to meet new people, make new collaborations, start new projects, draw funding and train students. There are multiple levels,” Satoskar said. “We can use that to benefit the community there, as well as community here.”
Along with his excitement of shared talents and resources from the two different countries, Satoskar said he’s looking forward to the student opportunities that can come from the conference.
He said the conference will benefit students because of the high-profile attendees.
“I think that’s exciting because it allows you the opportunity to interact with them, and convey your opinion and what you think should be done and what you think will benefit the U.S. and India,” Satoskar said.
Sen also said he would love for students to be able to attend, and will work in accommodating those interested students in any way the conference can.
“I would like to call upon student support mechanisms to engage and really make resources available for students to attend,” he said.
He said he promises to help students who are interested make it to the event.
“What I can do is waive their registration fee, which is $300, and make it free for students,” Sen said. “That will be the commitment that the conference will show, but beyond that, somebody has to really help them.”
Sen said the registration fee will be waived for any student who registers for the H3C conference before Oct. 1, and he will also make it a point to make housing accommodations available for those who reach out to him.
The reason that students are so vital, Sen said, is because they will be the next generation to pass on knowledge in the field of health sciences.
“They are the ones that are going to give us continuity, and if we don’t bring them on board early on, there will be a disconnect in whatever we are trying to achieve,” Sen said.
Early registration for the event costs $250, covering attendance, refreshments and lunch and publications materials, while student registration is $100 and includes career and networking programming, according to an OSU release.