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Holzer earns state life sciences award

By Alyssa Patrick, Office of Economic Development

HolzerSEATTLE – Washington State University employee Alexis Holzer received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association on Friday.

“Alexis’ engagement within the life science industry, Eastern Washington communities and WBBA over the years has distinguished her as one of the state’s top supporters of Washington’s life science ecosystem,” said Chris Rivera, president and CEO of the WBBA. “Her commitment to WBBA demonstrates that we are truly a member driven organization.”

WSU is a member of the WBBA (, a trade association that brings companies, research institutions and investors together to advance the life science sector in Washington.

As assistant director of WSU’s Office of Economic Development (, Holzer manages the university’s relationships with trade associations like the WBBA. Membership in these groups connects WSU researchers to the private sector for research collaboration and technology transfer opportunities.

Alexis Holzer interviews WSU professor Guy Palmer for WBBA TV at Life Science Innovation Northwest.

For the past two years, Holzer has served as co-chair of the planning committee for Life Science Innovation Northwest (, the region’s fully integrated life sciences conference. As WBBA’s largest event, it brings together over 1,000 researchers, companies, investors and decision makers from the life science sector. Holzer helped plan sessions, recruited company and poster presenters, solicited sponsorships and conducted interviews on WBBA TV.

“Organizations and companies like to work with WSU because of employees like Alexis,” said Anson Fatland, associate vice president of WSU’s Office of Economic Development. “She is willing to collaborate, brings energy to projects and is dedicated to helping WSU partner for the greater economic good of the state.”

Holzer’s understanding of the opportunities offered by the WBBA also increased WSU’s engagement with the association. Over the past three years she has worked with WSU’s economic development team to encourage more WSU participation in LSINW, an opportunity that is beneficial for researchers who are developing technologies and companies related to health sciences.

Relationships made at the event have led to investment in university commercialization, such as significant support from the Life Sciences Discovery Fund ( and Washington Research Foundation ( granted to WSU spinout companies M3 Biotechnology ( and Phytelligence (

“The WBBA is advancing Washington’s life sciences sector,” Holzer said. “Helping WBBA helps WSU, and our state, by creating more jobs and technologies that improve health for people here and around the world.”

The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented at the WBBA Governor’s Life Science Summit and Annual Meeting on Friday at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.

WSU’s Office of Economic Development is the face of WSU to business and community leaders in Seattle. By interacting in the state’s economic center every day, the office identifies opportunities for WSU leadership and faculty to engage in conversations and statewide initiatives that advance Washington’s key industries.


Alexis Holzer, WSU Office of Economic Development, 206-219-2404,
Alyssa Patrick, WSU Office of Economic Development communications, 206-219-2427,



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