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Biotech: Nominations Open for 2011 Biotech Humanitarian Award

Nominations are now open for the third annual Biotech Humanitarian Award. Organised by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), $10,000 will be presented to an individual who uses biotechnology to heal, fuel or feed the planet.

The Award will be presented at the 2011 BIO International Convention, in Washington, DC which takes place on 27th – 30th June 2011. Nominations are open to all and can be accessed via http://biotech-now.org/humanitarian-award-nomination. The criteria are:

  • Impact on future generations;
  • Impact on contemporary society;
  • Contribution to the field of biotechnology;
  • Level of innovation exhibited.

The 2010 prize was awarded to Robert Klein, chairman of the governing board of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Klein is best known as the author and Chairman of California’s Proposition 71, the $6 billion “California Stem Cell Research and Cures” ballot initiative, which supports research with a focus on pluripotent (embryonic) and progenitor stem cell research. As chairman of CIRM, Klein manages the peer review and grant process for the $3 billion in stem cell research funding authorized by the Initiative.

Dr. Jay Keasling, CEO of the Joint BioEnergy Institute, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering at the University of California at Berkley and acting Deputy Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory received the inaugural award.

Keasling was honored for his break-through work in synthetic biology, which at commercial scale, will allow for lower cost access to first-line treatment for malaria, as well as significantly advance production of the next generation of biofuels. Keasling has  said that he expects the new malaria treatment to be released at the end of 2011 or in early 2012.

“Many people get into the biosciences because they want to change the world, and through the Biotech Humanitarian Award, our industry can acknowledge an individual whose work is doing just that. This Award underscores the dramatic impact biotechnology has on our everyday lives, from our health to the food we eat to our environment,” said Stephen A. Sherwin, M.D., Chairman of the BIO Board of Directors and Co-founder and Chairman, Board of Directors, Ceregene, Inc.


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