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Virginia Bio recognizes 20 contributions to bioscience

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Virginia Bio is recognizing 20 contributions to bioscience research and commercialization during its 20th anniversary celebration Thursday in Charlottesville.

The awardees will be recognized at the banquet being held at The Boar’s Head in Charlottesville. Virginia Bio is the trade association representing life sciences in Virginia.

The 20 individuals and organizations from throughout Virginia to be recognized are as follows:


Alfred ‘Al’ Gilman, M.D., Ph.D. for his discovery that G-proteins are a vital intermediary between the extracellular activation of receptors (GPCR) on the cell membrane and actions within the cell, which merited the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Robin A. Felder, Ph.D. for tireless innovation that generated nine for-profit and nonprofit bioscience companies in Charlottesville and Richmond over the past 15 years.

Sheridan ‘Sherry’ Snyder for founding Genzyme, Biotage, Argonex, Upstate Biotechnology and Biocatalyst International, among other companies at the forefront of diagnostics, drug development and life science collaborations worldwide.

Timothy Macdonald for his discoveries and expertise in the creation of T-type calcium channel blockers and for treatment of cancer and other disease.


Health Diagnostic Laboratories for its rapid rise to leadership in health management, supplying a wide range of innovative laboratory analysis and care services to patients and clinicians.

Intelliject, an innovative drug delivery technology company, for demonstrate the power of personal commitment in maximizing the benefit of a medicine by simplifying its delivery.

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) for developing and managing the private nonprofit organization system for organ transplantation in the United States.

The Virginia BioTechnology Research Park as an outstanding example of public vision and collaboration, realized now as a burgeoning hub of biomedical research, innovation, tech transfer and commercialization.

Coastal Virginia

Howard W. Jones Jr., M.D. for leading early science-assisted fertility research in the U.S. and performing the nation’s first in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure and opening its first IVF clinic.

Northern Virginia

American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) for its global pre-eminence as a private nonprofit biological resource center and research organization.

Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) for its early and leading role in the commonwealth in support of research, development and commercialization of innovative technologies.

First Forensic use of DNA in the US.. at the Virginia Bureau of Forensic Science Department of Consolidated Laboratory Services, and its impact on revolutionizing law enforcement procedure around the nation and globe.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Farm Research Campus for its role as one of the world’s premier biomedical research centers and its pursuit of the most basic and challenging problems of biology.

Southwest Virginia

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. for his leadership of the Human Genome Project and NIH, and his role in enabling and encouraging the advancement of health care through the personalization of medicine.

R.J. Kirk for founding in Virginia and leading several successful pharmaceutical companies and, subsequently investment firms which are a source of funding to Virginia bioscience companies.

Tracy Wilkins for his contributions on the faculty of Virginia Tech, and for founding and leading Virginia biotech companies with global reach, including TechLab.

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute for its bold partnership of university, private health care system and the state, which promises to improve human health and quality of life by providing leadership in medical education, biomedical and clinical research and spark economic development in Roanoke.

World’s First Cloned Pig, performed by Virginia researchers and marked the beginning of years of research and development leading to the first genetically engineered pigs with knockout of a key pig gene (alpha-Gal) towards overcoming hyperacute rejection of transplanted organs and cells.


Public Policy favoring innovation and entrepreneurs for years of legislative and executive accomplishments that facilitate bioscience research and commercialization in the state.

Founders of Virginia Bio for the vision and energy to plant the seeds in 1992 for what has become the premier statewide non-profit trade association helping and representing the life sciences industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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