Alturas Analytics Bioanalytical Contract Research
Contract Bioanalytical Research
When Alturas Analytics’ laboratory director and co-founder Shane Needham, Ph.D., talks about the Palouse as the perfect place to do business, he speaks from experience. Dr. Needham and Robin Woods co-founded Alturas Analytics, a bioanalytical services company, in 2000, and it continues to thrive in Moscow.
“Our mission is to continually expand and improve the analytical services we provide our clients to support the treatment of disease,” Dr. Needham said. “My time is filled with activities that leverage new opportunities and markets to allow Alturas Analytics to continue to grow.”
Alturas’ commitment and ability to grow is indicative of the potential in the region, which boosts a rural, high-quality lifestyle, two top-notch research universities and an airport with regular flights to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and thus the world.
Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp (BTE)
All those pros are why Alturas continues to support the Palouse Knowledge Corridor’s Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp. After all, more successful businesses in the region benefit them as much as they do the rest of the community, with more places to shop, improved health care, greater recreational offerings, more career-track jobs, and other amenities.
“The BTE is a great venue for budding entrepreneurs that fuel the economy,” Dr. Needham said. “Our team always wants to support the ‘American Dream’ of being an entrepreneur.”
Though already established, Alturas’ involvement with BTE doesn’t just assist new businesses; it’s also a chance for Needham and Woods to reflect on their business and where they’re going.
“Every year, the Bootcamp helps me reflect on our current practices and improve upon those through connections with other entrepreneurs,” Dr. Needham said. “It is a wonderful way to connect with like minds and a way to support the community.”
After all, it wasn’t that long ago that Woods and Dr. Needham were the new entrepreneurs. Their drive then, as now, was to create a premier contract research organization focused on liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). LC-MS/MS bioanalysis is sensitive enough to identify various compounds, for example, in blood and plasma, equal to a grain of salt in an Olympic swimming pool. This technology has applications in developing new drugs and fighting diseases, like cancer, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. Dr. Needham received his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Washington State University and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Rhode Island, and previously worked for Pfizer before coming back to the Palouse. Woods, who is the president of Alturas, has a Bachelor of Science in biology and genetics from WSU, and helped start two environmental testing laboratories before connecting with Needham. Now, their business supports about 25 employees and clients across the country.
Walk The Walk
Dr. Needham and Woods don’t just talk the talk; in addition to supporting the Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp, they also support an array of other community organizations and state-wide initiatives relating to community, business and science, from the Palouse Discovery Science Center to WSU’s Carson College of Business. Woods was appointed by Idaho Governor C.L. (Butch) Otter as the Region II Representative to the Idaho Economic Advisory Council, which advises the governor and Department of Commerce on economic development policy and block grant awards. She is also a member of the Higher Education Research Council and a board member of the University of Idaho Research Foundation and Gritman Medical Center’s Board Secretary/Treasurer. Dr. Needham is active on the academic conference circuit, and has been the chair and organizer of several workshops at national conferences. He is a reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals in the biochemical sciences, and serves on the editorial board for the publication “American Pharmaceutical Review.” He is also the head coach of the Moscow wrestling club and is on the board of directors for the CPSA Charitable Foundation, a non-profit organization which aims to advance the public understanding of biomedical and pharmaceutical research as it relates to human health.
Always Give Back
Giving back is part of their business culture, which is why the Bootcamp — which presents an opportunity to give back to the business community — is important to them.
“Throughout the history of the USA, entrepreneurs have driven the economy,” Dr. Needham said. “The Palouse is no different and the more we support entrepreneurship, the better off our community will become. The Palouse is unique … we like to call it the perfect place to do business and attract employees.”