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Five Honored for Contributions to Triad’s Bioscience Community

By Barry Teater, NCBiotech Writer


Five of the Piedmont Triad region’s most successful individuals and organizations working in the biosciences have been honored with 2017 Excellence Awards at Triad BioNight, a biennial celebration of the region’s life science sector organized by the Piedmont Triad Office of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

This year's award recipients are:

  • Patricia H. Reggio, Ph.D., Marie Foscue Rourk Professsor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She received the Academic Development Excellence Award, given to those who make exceptional contributions to educational program development or enhancement of workforce skill development.  Reggio, who has headed UNCG’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for 11 years, established a new Ph.D. program in medicinal biochemistry, established industry fellowships for students, recruited and retained top faculty, and attracted top students who have gone on to scientific careers with prominent universities, companies and government agencies.
  • Eric Tomlinson, D.Sc., Ph.D., president of the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and chief innovation officer at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He received the Biotechnology Community Leadership Excellence Award, given to those who exhibit outstanding leadership through the development of partnerships, collaboration, regional thinking, vision and action-driven objectives that enhance the region’s biotechnology community. Tomlinson has helped develop the Innovation Quarter into a dynamic place for research, business and education in biomedical science, information technology, clinical services, engineering and advanced materials.  The Quarter is home to more than 65 companies, five academic institutions, 3,200 workers and several thousand students enrolled in degreed and workforce training programs.
  • Doug Pierce, co-founder and president of Clinical Ink, a Winston-Salem company that offers a paperless data-capture platform to improve clinical trial efficiency.  He received the Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, given to those who excel in commercial enterprise development through innovation, business acumen, community commitment and role modeling for other enterprises. Pierce is a pharmaceutical R&D innovator who developed eSource, enabling real-time clinical data collection and transmission, significantly reducing errors and work burden. He has created jobs within the Innovation Quarter, raised capital from local shareholders and led successful rounds of new capital investment with a private equity partner.
  • The Catalyst Fund, a $15 million technology-development program that accelerates innovative life science technologies at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The program received the Biotechnology Service/Support Excellence Award, given to those who consistently provide outstanding support or service leadership to the biotechnology community by building awareness, helping with policy development and advocacy, providing funding, and supporting sustainable efforts in biotechnology. The Catalyst Fund, managed by Pappas Capital, recently announced almost $600,000 of investments in six proprietary technologies being developed through Wake Forest Innovations.
  • The Bioprinting Team at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The 15-member group, led by Anthony Atala, Ph.D., received the Research and Development Excellence Award, given to those who have exceptional accomplishments in research and development including capacity investment, external funding, significant knowledge/technology advances and peer or external recognition. The team received international recognition in 2016 for successfully printing living tissue using a sophisticated, custom-designed, three-dimensional printer protocol. The peer-reviewed effort, published in Nature Biotechnology, overcame major challenges, such as ensuring cell survival, in creating structures that could be transplanted into living organisms and remain viable.

The award recipients were chosen by a 12-member independent committee:

  • Chair: Dan Erb, PT, Ph.D., founding dean, School of Health Sciences, High Point University
  • Jan Critz, MBA, director of economic development and tourism, Rockingham County
  • Dan Herr, Ph.D., professor and chair of nanoscience, UNCG/Joint School of Nanoscience & Nanoengineering
  • Troy Knauss, MBA, partner, Guardant Partners, and vice chairman, Angel Resource Institute
  • John Merrill, MBA, executive director, Gateway University Research Park
  • Nick Oberlies Ph.D., professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • Wendy Poteat, MPA, director of government affairs, Greater Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce
  • Cindy Rothschild, Ph.D., partner, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton
  • Joan Schanck, MPA, academic research program officer, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
  • Chris Veal, MBA, technology commercialization counselor, Small Business & Technology Development Center
  • William Woodruff, MA Ed, retired biotechnology department head, Alamance Community College
  • Amanda Wright, senior director, client services, PMG Research

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