General Assembly Forms Life Science Caucus  

Sen. Haile and Rep. White serve as inaugural co-chairs with 21 founding members

Nashville, Tenn. (Mar. 12 2018) –Senator Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin), first vice chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, and Representative Mark White (R-Memphis) are founding co-chairs of the bipartisan Life Science Caucus in the General Assembly. To date, there are 21 members of the caucus. The first Caucus meeting was held on February 6.

The purpose of the Caucus is to broaden and deepen policymakers’ knowledge of the life science industry and identify economic opportunities, including through regulatory and workforce policies, to support the industry’s growth.

“As a small-town pharmacist and member of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, I understand the value of life sciences innovations in bringing life-saving technologies and therapies to Tennesseans,” said Senator Haile. “I’m proud to serve as co-chair of the new Life Science Caucus at a time when the industry is seeking to grow its presence in our state, and I welcome the opportunity to expand awareness of this important industry to my colleagues in the General Assembly.”

The life science industry employs more than 40,000 Tennesseans across 1,200 companies and research institutions. Life science industry employees enjoy an average salary of more than $83,000.

“Tennessee is home to internationally acclaimed research institutions, such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital near my district in Memphis as well as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt University,” said Rep. White. “These are incredible assets but they represent just a piece of the life science industry. I look forward to opening a dialogue with industry experts, patient groups and the public to discuss ways to further support this industry.

The caucus is supported by Life Science Tennessee (LST), an industry organization of more than 100 members representing companies, organizations and institutions from the state’s biotechnology, research, diagnostics, pharmaceutical, medical device and agricultural technology industries.