Lawrie Returns to NCBiotech Western Office as Carroll Takes New EcoDev Post

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK & ASHEVILLE, N.C.--Jonathon Lawrie, Ph.D., has re-joined the North Carolina Biotechnology Center as executive director of the Western Office in Asheville, as a result of Dale Carroll’s decision to leave the post to become CEO of a newly formed regional economic development organization. Lawrie returns to the NCBiotech office he led from 2011 to 2012, after serving a stint as CEO of a small biotech company. Carroll, meanwhile, is taking the helm of the newly formed Appalachian EB5 Regional Center, a new job creation, economic development and capital access program that will serve 79 counties in Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee.

The EB5 Center, headquartered at Biltmore Park in Asheville, is one of the newest such centers across the country using a program established by Congress to attract foreign investment to the United States from carefully screened high-net-worth individuals around the world. Their investments must be tied to U.S. job-creation projects.

The Appalachian EB5 Regional Center will work collaboratively with other organizations on economic development priorities initially within 29 counties in Western North Carolina and 50 counties in Eastern Tennessee – primarily in rural communities and in the metropolitan areas of Asheville, Winston-Salem, Chattanooga, Cleveland, Johnson City, Knoxville and Morristown.

Before Lawrie initially came to NCBiotech in 2011, he’d been assistant professor at the Western Carolina University College of Business’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. His career has spanned economic development, academia, R&D and management at major pharmaceutical companies as well as co-founding or heading several biotechnology companies.

A native of Michigan, Lawrie earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Irvine, and graduate degrees in microbiology and immunology from the University of Washington, Seattle.

Lawrie said he’s “delighted” to return to NCBiotech. “Western North Carolina’s craft brewing fame is spreading around the world, and fermentation is one of the earliest applications of biotech. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves again with our many NCBiotech partners, including Dale Carroll, as we continue to create unique new life science jobs in the region using the tools of biotechnology and our renowned ingenuity in concert with our amazing biodiversity.”

Carroll said his work with NCBiotech “has been one of the highlights of my economic development career. We continue to see quality growth of the life sciences sector across the region, including expansions by large established companies and the launch of smaller early-stage enterprises."

Mark Phillips, vice president of Statewide Operations for NCBiotech, said North Carolina is fortunate to have both Carroll and Lawrie partnering with other state and regional leaders to bring new jobs and opportunities to the western part of the state.

"We continue to see quality growth of the life sciences sector across the region,” Phillips said, “including expansions by large established companies like Greer Labs in Lenoir and the launch of smaller early-stage enterprises like f(x) Immune Company in Asheville."

Copyright © 2014, NCTechNews. North Carolina technology news on NCTechNews, reporting the business of life sciences and innovation. Published by Innovative Public Relations, Inc., a Research Triangle, North Carolina based publicity and branding consultancy. David Menzies, President.