BCMB graduate students Kate Halter and Justin Westerfield are helping to connect academics with the local biotech industry in Knoxville. As liaisons for the Academic Alliance they organize monthly Beer & Biotech networking events where life science professionals of all sorts can come to meet people and learn about our local biotech environment. Last week they invited Gloria Johnson from the Tennessee General Assembly (HD13). Gloria talked about the importance of connecting with our local legislators, as well as effective strategies for doing so. The Academic Alliance is part of an industry advocacy group called Life Science Tennessee, which also hosts events across the State such as startup pitch competitions, an annual industry conference, and a Day on the Hill in February.