Ride Ataxia’s Kyle Bryant to Be Keynote Speaker at Exposition

he Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO) recently announced that Kyle Bryant, founder and director of Ride Ataxia, Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance, will be one of the keynote speakers for the 2016 iBIO Industry Exposition (iBIO, IndEx) at the Hilton Orrington in Evanston, Illinois, April 19-20.

The meeting, whose theme is “Converge to Emerge,” will discuss the latest trends and innovations impacting the community, and will include about 400 life sciences professionals. Bryant will be joined by Christophe Weber, president and CEO of the Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda.

“The iBIO IndEx 2016 is a place to converge and connect with key thought leaders and peers from diverse backgrounds, and emerge with new insight to help drive industry-wide growth and transformation,” apress release from the organization stated.

Bryant is a well-known figure in the Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) community. His speech will tell his story — about how at age 17, he was diagnosed with FA. At first he was devastated when he realized that his future would revolve around walking aids, wheelchairs, vision and hearing loss, and likely a premature death.

Kyle will speak about how he transformed his situation – turning hopelessness into an opportunity to provide hope for others. In 2007, Kyle started Ride Ataxia, riding 2,400 miles from San Diego to Memphis on a recumbent trike to raise awareness and research funds for FA.

He has since ridden thousands of miles and is active on many levels empowering the FA community and raising millions of dollars for FA research. Kyle also will focus on the role of patients in medical innovation, emphasizing the importance of patient participation.

“The iBIO IndEx this year will explore how our community focuses on the needs of the patient to drive medical innovation,” said Warren Ribley, iBIO president and CEO, in the release. “Starting with one of the leading global biopharma CEOs, Christophe Weber, we will explore how the biopharma, medtech, and clinical communities are addressing patients needs. We are ending the day with the patient perspective from Kyle Bryant, whose personal story and work with the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance is an inspiration to us all.”