Seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, four-time Olympic gold medalist and entrepreneur Venus Williams will discuss her groundbreaking career, business success, and health journey in a conversation with Emmy-nominated sports reporter Erin Andrews in the keynote address of the BIO International Convention in San Diego, June 13-16, 2022.
The BIO International Convention is the world’s largest gathering of leaders in the biotechnology and life sciences industries, bringing together thousands of biotechnology and pharmaceutical executives for a chance to meet one another and foster new opportunities and promising partnerships. This year the convention is taking place in person again, after moving online for two years due to the pandemic.
Both Williams and Andrews have faced their own health challenges, becoming advocates for increased health awareness and better outcomes for everyone, according to a press release from conference organizers BIO (Biotechnology Innovation Organization).
Williams will discuss her experience as a patient advocate with Andrews on June 15 at the BIO International Convention. Williams was diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue and muscle and joint pain.
Andrews is also an advocate for women in sports and cervical cancer awareness, as a survivor herself. She has overcome the obstacles in her path to be a true success story and an inspiration to millions.
“As a professional athlete living with an autoimmune disease, balancing my health with my drive to perform at the highest level has not always been easy,” said Williams. “It takes personal commitment and immense support from the team around me to ensure I am at my best on the court. That same type of collaboration in the biotech industry drives the innovation that addresses today’s major health challenges and improves patients’ lives.”
Biotechnology’s ‘life-changing work’
Williams’ experience with Sjögren’s syndrome inspired her to launch her plant-based protein company Happy Viking because of the impact a plant-based diet had on mitigating her symptoms. And in April, Williams supported Sjögren’s Awareness Month through a video message that encouraged those living with Sjögren’s to advocate for themselves and face every day with courage, strength, and grace.
“Venus Williams and Erin Andrews bring their unique viewpoint as patients and can speak firsthand about the biotechnology industry’s life-changing work to improve health,” said BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath. “Their work for equal pay and representation have broken barriers for the next generation of players, reporters, and businesswomen.”