2022 Builders of Science Award, France A. Córdova, Ph.D.
The Honorable France A. Córdova is the recipient of Research America’s Geoffrey Beene Foundation 2022 Builder of Science Award. She is currently the Science Philanthropy Alliance’s President and ex officio member of its board.
2022 Geoffrey Beene Foundation Builders of Science Award
Dr. Córdova has a distinguished career in both higher education and government, having served in five presidential administrations. She is a highly experienced leader in science, engineering, and education with more than three decades of experience at universities and national labs. Her scientific contributions in the areas of observational and experimental astrophysics, multi-spectral research on x-ray and gamma ray sources and space-borne instrumentation have made her an internationally recognized astrophysicist. She has published more than 150 scientific papers. She was co-principal investigator for a telescope experiment that is currently flying on the satellite XMM-Newton, a cornerstone mission of the European Space Agency.
Prior to joining the Science Philanthropy Alliance, Dr. Córdova was the 14th Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF). She was nominated to this position by the President of the United States in 2013 and subsequently confirmed by the U.S. Senate. NSF is a $8.1B independent federal agency and is the only government agency charged with advancing all fields of scientific discovery, technological innovation, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. NSF’s programs and initiatives keep the United States at the forefront of science and engineering, empower future generations of scientists and engineers, and foster U.S. prosperity and global leadership.
Through her leadership at NSF, the agency grew by over $1 billion, strengthened existing partnerships while forging new ones, and launched a strategic framework defined by 10 Big Ideas – promising areas of research for targeted investment. Dr. Córdova initiated NSF’s Convergence Accelerator to leverage external partnerships to accelerate research in areas of national importance. To broaden STEM participation from traditionally underrepresented groups, she launched NSF INCLUDES. Today seven other government agencies, including NASA and NIH, have joined INCLUDES. Dr. Córdova co-chaired with other agency heads several committees of the National Science and Technology Council for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, including committees on science, education, innovation, and Arctic research. She has spoken before the U.S. Congress and on global stages including the Global Research Council, Arctic Ministerials, and the World Economic Forum.
Dr. Córdova is President Emerita of Purdue University, where she served as President from 2007 to 2012. She led the university to record levels of research funding, reputational rankings, and student retention and graduation rates. She focused her tenure on launching tomorrow’s leaders, translating research to innovation, and meeting global challenges. Dr. Córdova established a new College of Health and Human Sciences at Purdue, as well as a new Global Research Policy Institute, and participated in state-wide initiatives to boost public-private research collaborations.
From 2002 to 2007, Dr. Córdova led the University of California in Riverside, as Chancellor and was a distinguished professor of physics and astronomy. She laid the foundation for a new medical school, California’s first public medical school in over 40 years, and focused on student diversity and inclusion. From 1996 to 2002, Dr. Córdova was the Vice Chancellor for research and professor of physics at the University of California in Santa Barbara, where she initiated a “Research Across Disciplines” program that funded and encouraged both interdisciplinary and “blue sky” projects.
From 1993 to 1996, Dr. Córdova served as NASA’s Chief Scientist, representing NASA to the larger scientific community, and infusing the activities of the agency – including the International Space Station, then under construction – with the scientific goals of the broader community. She was the youngest person and first woman to serve as NASA’s Chief Scientist and was awarded the agency’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal.
Prior to joining NASA, she was on the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University where she headed the department of astronomy and astrophysics from 1989 to 1993. Dr. Córdova was Deputy Group Leader in the Earth and Space Sciences Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1988 to 1989 and staff scientist from 1979 to 1989. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University and her Doctorate in Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1979.
Dr. Córdova served as Chair of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution and on the Board of Trustees of Mayo Clinic. She also served as a member of the National Science Board (NSB), where she chaired the Committee on Strategy and Budget. She is on the boards of Edison International and Science Applications International Corporation. Dr. Córdova is a past member of the boards of the American Council on Education and the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. She is a present or past member of several science and security policy committees for the National Research Council and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
For her scientific contributions, Dr. Córdova has been awarded several honorary doctorates, including ones from Purdue, Duke and Dartmouth Universities. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, the Kennedy-Lemass Medal from Ireland, and the Order of Bernardo O’Higgins from Chile. She was honored as a Kilby Laureate, recognized for “significant contributions to society through science, technology, innovation, invention and education.” Dr. Córdova was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a National Associate of the National Academies. She is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Association for Women in Science (AWIS).
2020 Builders of Science Award recipients Paul A. Offit, MD, Gary J. Nabel, MD, PhD, and Myron M. Levine, MD, DTPH.
Dr. Ross L. Levine, Laurence Joseph Dineen Chair in Leukemia Research; Chief, Molecular Cancer Medicine Service, HOPP, leads the 2020 Geoffrey Beene Foundation Builders of Science Award honorees in a conversation offering advice to early career researchers wanting to follow in their fields and in their footsteps.
The Geoffrey Beene Foundation is the benefactor for the Builders of Science Award presented on May 13 2021 online. The award recognizes those who have provided leadership and determination in building an outstanding scientific research organization as well as those who have been at the forefront of scientific research. Watch the presentation above. The entire evening can be found by clicking here.
The 2020 GEOFFREY BEENE BUILDERS OF SCIENCE AWARD presented at the 2021 Advocacy Awards.
Paul A. Offit, MD, Biography:
Paul A. Offit, MD is the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as well as the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and a Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a recipient of many awards including the J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics from the University of Maryland Medical School, the Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development from the Infectious Disease Society of America, and a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Offit has published more than 160 papers in medical and scientific journals in the areas of rotavirus-specific immune responses and vaccine safety. He is also the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, recommended for universal use in infants by the CDC; for this achievement Dr. Offit received the Luigi Mastroianni and William Osler Awards from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the Charles Merieux Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases; and was honored by Bill and Melinda Gates during the launch of their Foundation’s Living Proof Project for global health.
In 2009, Dr. Offit received the President’s Certificate for Outstanding Service from the American Academy of Pediatrics. In 2011 , Dr. Offit received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Biologics Industry Organization (BIO), the David E. Rogers Award from the American Association of Medical Colleges, the Odyssey Award from the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, and was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2012, Dr. Offit received the Distinguished Medical Achievement Award from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Drexel Medicine Prize in Translational Medicine for the Drexel University College of Medicine. In 2013, Dr. Offit received the Maxwell Finland award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the Distinguished Alumnus award from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the Innovators in Health Award from the Group Health Foundation. In 2015, Dr. Offit won the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2016, Dr. Offit won the Franklin Founder Award from the city of Philadelphia, The Porter Prize from the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal, and the Jonathan E. Rhoads Medal for Distinguished Service to Medicine from the American Philosophical Society. In 2018, Dr. Offit won the Sabin Gold Medal Award from the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Dr. Offit was a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is a founding advisory board member of the Autism Science Foundation and the Foundation for Vaccine Research.
He is also the author of six medical narratives: The Cutter Incident: How America’s First Polio Vaccine Led to Today’s Growing Vaccine Crisis (Yale University Press, 2005), Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases (HarperCollins, 2007), which won an award from the American Medical Writers Association, Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for • a Cure (Columbia University Press, 2008), Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All (Basic Books, 2011), selected by Kirkus Reviews and Booklist as one of the best non-fiction books of the year, Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine (HarperCollins, 2013), which won the Robert P. Balles Prize in Critical Thinking from the Center for Skeptical Inquiry and was selected by National Public Radio as one of the best books of 2013, Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine (Basic Books, 2015), selected by the New York Times Book Review as an “Editor’s Choice” book in April 2015, Pandora’s Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong (National Geographic Press/Random House, 2017) which was nominated for Best Science and Technology Book of 2017 by Goodreads, and Bad Advice: Or Why Celebrities, Politicians and Activists Aren’t Your Best Source of Health Information (Columbia University Press, 2018).
Myron M. Levin, MD, DTPH Biography:
Dr. Levine has worked on infectious disease research, continuously, since 1970. He co-founded the Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) in 1974 and served as Director from inception until 2015. He has spent considerable time in developing countries working on the epidemiology, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases and applied this field experience to studies of the pathogenesis of such infections and development and testing of vaccines.
For 42 years, Dr. Levine has conducted Phase 1, 2, 3, and 4 clinical trials to evaluate the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of a wide array of vaccines; served as a clinician in vaccine testing for both adults and children; designed and supervised domestic and international epidemiologic studies; overseen research activities in the laboratory; and supervised development of diagnostic assays for use in developing countries and subsequent testing in field trials. His laboratory research has focused on the construction and characterization of attenuated strains of Salmonella Typhi, S. Paratyphi A, non-typhoidal Salmonella serovars, and Shigella to serve as live oral vaccines and as live vectors for the expression of foreign antigens. Multiple constructs have progressed from animal models to human trials.
Dr. Levine has designed and supervised large-scale, randomized, controlled field trials that investigated the efficacy of live oral typhoid vaccine Ty2 la, which led to its licensure by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Post-licensure work with Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine led to early introductions into the routine infant immunization schedule in Chile (1996) and Mali, West Africa (2005). After years of challenge trials and an effective clinical trial, the single-dose oral cholera vaccine, Vaxchora, was approved for licensure by the FDA in 2016.
Gary J. Nabel, MD, PhD, Biography:
As Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President at Sanofi, Gary Nabel serves as a key interface with external stakeholders to drive greater understanding of the depth and breadth of our pipeline and the innovative science behind it. Within Sanofi, he is responsible for fostering operational excellence, scientific exchange and a high performance culture across therapeutic areas and project teams located within North America.
Dr. Nabel has an extensive and distinguished background of academic and hospital appointments, and committee memberships including numerous prestigious awards and honors and an extensive publication record. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1975 and continued his graduate studies at Harvard University, completing his Ph.D. in 1980 and his M.D. in 1982. He served as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of David Baltimore at MIT’s Whitehead Institute. Before his appointment at the Vaccine Research Center, Dr. Nabel served as the Henry Sewall Professor of Internal Medicine, Professor of Biochemistry, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In addition to his faculty positions, Dr. Nabel also served as the Director of the Center for Gene Therapy and co-director of the Center for Molecular Medicine at the University of Michigan. In recognition of his expertise at the forefront of virology, immunology, gene therapy, and molecular biology, Dr. Nabel was elected as a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1998.
2019 Builders of Science Award recipient, Dr. Susan Hockfield
The Geoffrey Beene Foundation is the benefactor for the Builders of Science Award presented at Research!American in Washington, DC on March 13, 2019. The award recognizes those who have provided leadership and determination in building an outstanding scientific research organization as well as those who have been at the forefront of scientific research. Watch the presentation and Dr. Hockfield accepting the Geoffrey Beene Builder of Science Award below. The rest of the evening can be found by clicking here.
Dr. Susan Hockfield, PhD, was elected the sixteenth president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004, the first life scientist and first woman to lead MIT. During her 8 years as president, Dr. Hockfield strengthened the foundations of MIT’s finances and campus planning while advancing Institute-wide programs in sustainable energy and the convergence of the life, physical and engineering sciences.
Dr. Hockfield championed the breakthroughs emerging from the historic convergence of the life sciences with the engineering and physical sciences, in the fields from clean energy to cancer, including the founding of MIT’s David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard.
A signature of her presidency was her vocal commitment to making MIT a leader in building diversity all along the pipeline of talent. In November 2008, she convened MIT’s first-ever Diversity Leadership Congress, a gathering of 300 leaders from across the Institute committed to cultivating a culture of inclusion that allows everyone to contribute at the peak of their ability. These efforts led to a marked increase in women and minority scholars joining the MIT faculty.
As an advocate for the research university as a engine of innovation and economic growth, Dr. Hockfield also helped shape national policy on energy technology and next-generation manufacturing. In June 2011, President Obama appointed her co-chair of the steering committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a working coalition of academic, government and industry leaders.
Dr. Hockfield gained her BA in biology from the University of Rochester, followed by her PhD in Anatomy and Neuroscience at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Dr. Hockfield went on to become a NIH post-doctoral fellow at the University of California at San Francisco before joining the scientific staff at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. In 1985, Dr. Hockfield joined the Yale University faculty and began her research in development of the brain, as well as glioma, a deadly strain of brain cancer. In 1994 Dr. Hockfield gained tenure and was named the William Edward Gilbert Professor of Neurobiology. From there, Dr. Hockfield was appointed to Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Yale, and then to Provost.
Dr. Susan Hockfield most recently served as Chair of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where she has been a member since 1975 and was named an elected fellow in 2005.
Dr. Hockfield lives in Cambridge with her husband, Thomas N. Byrne, M.D. They have an adult daughter, Elizabeth.
Dr. Susan Hockfiled is presented with the 2019 Builders of Science Award Recipient by Seema Kumar and Dr. William N. Hait
2018 Builders of Science Award recipient, Roger I. Glass, MD, PhD
Dr. Glass was named Director of the Fogarty International Center and Associate Director for International Research by NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., on March 31, 2006.
Dr. Glass graduated from Harvard College in 1967, received a Fulbright Fellowship to study at the University of Buenos Aires in 1967, and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1972. He joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1977 as a medical officer assigned to the Environmental Hazards Branch. He was a Scientist at the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research in Bangladesh from 1979-1983 and returned to Sweden where he received his doctorate from the University of Goteborg. In 1984, he joined the National Institutes of Health Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, where he worked on the molecular biology of rotavirus. In 1986, Dr. Glass returned to the CDC to become Chief of the Viral Gastroenteritis Unit at the National Center for Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Glass’s research interests are in the prevention of gastroenteritis from rotaviruses and noroviruses through the application of novel scientific research. He has maintained field studies in India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Russia, Vietnam, China and elsewhere. His research has been targeted toward epidemiologic studies to anticipate the introduction of rotavirus vaccines. He is fluent and often lectures in five languages.
Dr. Glass has received numerous awards including the prestigious Charles C. Shepard Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award presented by the CDC in recognition of his 30-year career of scientific research application and leadership, and the Dr. Charles Merieux Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases for his work on rotavirus vaccines in the developing world. Dr. Glass received the 2015 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award for his many contributions to improving children’s health worldwide, including novel scientific research for the prevention of gastroenteritis from rotaviruses and noroviruses. Dr. Glass was also the recipient of the 2016 CuraPersonalis Award from Georgetown University. This award honors individuals whose outstanding contributions to human health are guided by compassion and service. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Glass has co-authored more than 600 research papers and chapters.
He is married to Barbara Stoll, M.D., the H. Wayne Hightower Distinguished Professor in the Medical Sciences and Dean of the University of the Texas Medical School at Houston, and is the father of three children: Nina, Michael and Andy Glass.
Mara Hutton, Executive Vice President, Geoffrey Beene Foundation introduces the 2018 recipient of the Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award, Roger I. Glass, MD, PhD
Dr. Roger I. Glass accepting the 2018 Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award
2017 Builders of Science Award recipient, Leland Hartwell, Ph.D.
Leland Hartwell, Ph.D. (Nobel Laureate), is the President and director emeritus, Fred Hutch, Seattle, a professor of genome sciences and adjunct professor of medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, as well as, American Cancer Society Research Professor of Genetics.
For most of Dr. Lee Hartwell’s career he studied genes that control cell division in yeast. Subsequently many of these same genes have been found to control cell division in humans and often to be the site of alteration in cancer. Hartwell also turned to yeast to investigate the basis for accurate cellular reproduction and discovered a new class of gene: the “checkpoint” gene. These genes notice when mistakes have been made during cellular reproduction and halt cell division so that repair can take place.
His insights into cell-cycle control are being used at the Hutch and elsewhere to develop treatments for cancer and other diseases. For example, in collaboration with Dr. Steve Friend, Hartwell explored the potential to identify cancer therapeutics using a panel of yeast mutants defective in DNA repair. And together with Dr. Lee Hood the two founded a company, Rosetta Informatics, to use transcript profiles and yeast mutants to identify new therapeutic targets.
Recently his interests have turned to how we can use the enormous knowledge that has accumulated over the last 50 years in genetics and biochemistry to benefit cancer patients. He believes that the most efficient path is to improve molecular diagnostics to identify individuals at high risk for disease, detect cancer and other diseases at an early stage when they can be cured, provide prognostic information and monitor therapeutic response. Proteins will likely provide the best diagnostic information because of their greater diversity and because their state reflects biological function. The technology for protein diagnostics, however, is in its infancy. Hartwell’s efforts are now directed toward improving the field of protein diagnostics.
He is involved in national and international projects to increase the number of laboratories working in protein diagnostics, develop more team science, improve the availability of informatics for data sharing, provide standardized reagents and stimulate new technology development. Together with Dr. Michael Birt of the National Bureau for Asian Research he was a key organizer of the first international Pacific Health Summit, held in Seattle in June 2005, which brought together the best minds in science, policy, medical practice, research and public health from around the Pacific Rim.
In 1961 he earned a B.S. at the California Institute of Technology and in 1964 earned a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the mentorship of Dr. Boris Magasanik. He engaged in postdoctoral work at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies from 1964 through 1965 with Dr. Renato Dulbecco. He joined the University of Washington faculty in 1968 and has been a genetics professor there since 1973.
In 1996 he joined the faculty of Seattle’s Fred Hutch and in 1997 became its president and director. Hartwell is the recipient of many national and international scientific awards, including the 2001 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. Other honors include the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the Gairdner Foundation International Award and the Alfred P. Sloan Award in cancer research. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Mara Hutton, EVP of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation introduces and awards Dr. Leland Hartwell with the 2017 Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award
Leland Hartwell, Ph.D.’s acceptance speech
2016 Builder of Science Award, John H. Noseworthy, M.D., President and Chief Executive Office, Mayo Clinic
Ronald C. Petersen, PhD., M.D. accepted the 2016 Geoffrey Beene Foundation Builders of Science Award on behalf of John H. Noseworthy, M.D.
John H. Noseworthy, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Mayo Clinic, leads one of the largest not-for-profit, academic health systems in the U.S., with $11 billion in annual revenues and 63,000 employees. With a focus on caring for patients with serious, complex illnesses, Mayo Clinic operates in five states and cares for more than a million people a year, from all 50 states and nearly 140 countries. Mayo Clinic is ranked #1 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.
Prior to his appointment as CEO, Dr. Noseworthy served as chair of Mayo Clinic’s Department of Neurology, medical director of the Department of Development, and vice chair of the Mayo Clinic Rochester Executive Board.
Dr. Noseworthy is a professor in the Department of Neurology. He specialized in multiple sclerosis and spent more than two decades designing and conducting controlled clinical trials. Dr. Noseworthy is the author of more than 150 research papers, chapters, editorials and several books, including the three-volume textbook Neurological Therapeutics: Principles and Practice now in its second edition. He also served as editor-in-chief for Neurology, the official journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
During his tenure as CEO, Dr. Noseworthy and his leadership team have ensured that Mayo Clinic is a trusted resource for patients amid a rapidly changing health care environment. Dr. Noseworthy’s leadership style is to bring really smart people together to accomplish what cannot be done alone. For more than 150 years, Mayo Clinic has remained committed to putting the needs of the patient first through team-based clinical care, medical research and medical education.
Born in Melrose, Mass., Dr. Noseworthy received his M.D. degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He completed his neurology training at Dalhousie University and the University of Western Ontario, and a research fellowship at Harvard Medical School. He joined Mayo Clinic in 1990. He has received the Alumnus of the Year award from Dalhousie University (2005), an honorary doctorate of science degree from the University of Western Ontario (2012), an honorary doctorate of laws from Dalhousie University (2015). Dr. Noseworthy was named an Officer of the Order of the Orange-Nassau (2015) and received the Research!America, Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award (2016). Dr. Noseworthy serves as a member of the Merck Board of Directors. For his service on this board he receives annual financial compensation and deferred compensation in the form of shares of Merck stock. Mayo Clinic receives no compensation for his service on this board. Dr. Noseworthy is a Health Governor of the World Economic Forum.
Dr. Noseworthy and his wife, Patricia, have two sons, Peter and Mark.
Mara Hutton, Executive Vice President of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation presenting the 2016 Builders of Science Award to John Noseworhty MD
Ronald C. Petersen, Ph.D., M.D., Consultant, Department of Neurology, and Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Mayo Clinic accepting the award on behalf of John Noseworthy, M.D.,
2015 Recipients, David Van Andel and Dr. George Vande Woude
Mara Hutton, Executive Vice President of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation introduces the 2015 Geoffrey Beene Builder of Science Award winners, George Vande Woude. Ph.D. and David Van Andel.
David Van Andel accepts the Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award
Dr. George Van Woude accepts the Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award
David Van Andel and Dr. George Vande Woude, receive the Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award. Van Andel is Chairman and CEO of Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Van Andel Institute has become a major contributor to science with the recruitment of top scientists and funding support. Work at the Institute encompasses basic as well as translational research, fueling developments in treatments for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s. Dr. Vande Woude is among the pioneers who laid the foundation for our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer. As the director of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Basic Research Program in Frederick, Maryland, he recruited world class researchers and implemented a vital research review process. In 1999, he was selected to be the first director of the Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) where, in concert with David Van Andel, he built an exceptional cancer research program from the ground up.
2014 Recipient, Leroy Hood, M.D.
Mara Hutton, Executive Vice President of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation, presents and Leroy Hood MD accepts the 2014 Geoffrey Beene Builder of Science Award.
Dr. Hood is a pioneer in the systems approach to biology and medicine. His research has focused on the study of molecular immunology, biotechnology and genomics. Dr. Hood’s professional career began at Caltech, where he and his colleagues developed the DNA gene sequencer and synthesizer and the protein synthesizer and sequencer–four instruments that paved the way for the successful mapping of the human genome. A pillar in the biotechnology field, Dr. Hood has played a role in founding more than fourteen biotechnology companies, including Amgen, Applied Biosystems, Darwin, The Accelerator and Integrated Diagnostics. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Of the 6,000+ scientists world-wide who belong to one or more of these academies, Dr. Hood is one of only fifteen people accepted to all three. He is also a member of the American Philosophical Society and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His work has been widely published, and he has coauthored numerous textbooks in biochemistry, immunology, molecular biology and genetics, as well as a popular book on the human genome project, The Code of Codes. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lasker Award for Studies of Immune Diversity, the Kyoto Prize in advanced technology, the Heinz Award for pioneering work in Systems Biology, and most recently, the coveted NAE 2011 Fritz J. and Delores H. Russ Prize for automating DNA sequencing that revolutionized biomedicine and forensic science. He received the 2011 National Medal of Science (awarded in 2012), the highest honor the President of the United States can award a citizen. In addition to having received 17 honorary degrees from prestigious universities in the US and abroad, Dr. Hood has published more than 700 peer reviewed articles and currently holds 36 patents. For further information on Dr. Hood http://www.systemsbiology.org/leroy-hood
2013 Recipient, John Mendelsohn, MD
John Mendelsohn, MD, recipient of Research!America’s 2013 Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award, Mar Hutton, Executive Vice President, Geoffrey Beene Foundation and Tom Hutton, Trustee & President, Geoffrey Beene Foundation and CEO & President, Geoffrey Beene, LLC.
Mara Hutton presenting the 2013 Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award to John Mendelsohn MD
Dr. John Mendelsohn accepting the 2013 Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award
The 2013 Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award honoree, John Mendelsohn, MD, Director of the Khalifa Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy and past President of MD Anderson Cancer Center at The University of Texas (1996 -2011) made research a priority. Under his leadership, he more than doubled its size and implemented new priorities for integrated programs in patient care, research, education and cancer preventions as well as, substantial increases in facilities and philanthropy.
Dr. Mendelsohn contributed so much to science breakthroughs before he arrived at MD Anderson. He spent 15 years at the University of California, San Diego, where he founded and directed a National Cancer Institute – designated cancer center and under his leadership he and his collaborators including Dr. Gordon Sato, pioneered the concept of cancer therapy targeting the products of genes that cause cancer. Their report published in the 1980’s on an oncogene product was novel because they were the first to report an inhibitor of an oncogene product that was a tyrosine kinase.
His continued research in the laboratory and clinic led to the universally adopted concept of anti-receptor therapy that targets key cell signaling pathways as a new form of cancer treatment and to the discovery and development of Cetuximab, commercially known as Erbitux. Erbitux was approved by the FDA for treatment of colon cancer in 2004 and for head and neck cancer in 2006.
Previous honorees include, Donald Lindberg, MD, director of the National Library of Medicine; Nobel laureate David Baltimore, PhD; inventor and physicist Dean Kamen; Richard A. Lerner, MD, president of The Scripps Research Institute; Robert Mahley, MD, PhD, president emeritus of The J. David Gladstone Institutes; and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
2012 Recipient, Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD
Tom Hutton, Trustee & President, Geoffrey Beene Foundation and CEO & President, Geoffrey Beene, LLC., Mara Hutton, Executive Vice President, Geoffrey Beene Foundation with Donald Linderberg, recipient of Research!America’s 2012 Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award,
Mara Hutton presenting the 2012 Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award to Donald Lindberg MD
Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg accepting the 2012 Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award
Donald A. B. Lindberg, MD, director of the National Library of Medicine, was honored with the 2012 Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award for building innovative private-sector research models. In presenting the award, Mara Hutton of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation noted Lindberg’s leadership at the forefront of health and computers and his effort to make information resources available to all through the World Wide Web, especially those in rural, remote, minority and underserved communities.
“I do take great pleasure in the moment in which we pay some attention to studies of information per se that [are] the basis of the practice of medicine, basis of learning, basis of remembering. It’s worthwhile to invest in research in those areas because they benefit all of us,” Lindberg said. “And I think the focus that this organization has on continuing-that is to say, long-term-basic research support is tremendously important. Nothing could be better for the country, and I think for probably for the world as well.”
Director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and former director of the White House High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) Program was honored for pioneering the application of computer technology to medicine which has revolutionized healthcare.
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