BIO Opens Call for 2011 Biotech Humanitarian Award Nominations

Know someone who is using the power of biotechnology to heal, fuel or feed the planet?  Nominate them today for the Biotech Humanitarian Award!  BIO is currently seeking nominations for the Third Annual Biotech Humanitarian Award which will be presented at the 2011 BIO International Convention in Washington, DC, June 27- 30.

“Each year I look forward to judging the Biotech Humanitarian Award.  Through this process, I have an opportunity to see the types of cutting-edge projects that are taking place across the nation, whether by scientists, like our first honoree Dr. Jay Keasling, or by patient advocates like Robert Klein.  Our industry is doing truly remarkable things to address the most significant problems facing our world today, such as health, the environment and our food supply,” said Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of BIO. 

The Biotech Humanitarian Award celebrates the contributions of pioneers in biotechnology and provides the industry an opportunity to shine a spotlight on an individual who, through their work in or support of biotechnology, is harnessing science’s potential to provide health and medical, industrial and environmental, or agricultural improvements to communities all over the world.  Through this Award, we will honor an individual who is translating biotechnology into solutions to our world’s most pressing challenges.

Nominations are open to any professional in the broad biotechnology sector including advocates, scientists, researchers, academics, entrepreneurs, financiers, philanthropists, educators and others.  Potential nominees will come from all sectors and professions and are not bound by one area of biotech.  All nominations must be received by April 5, 2011, in order to be considered.

A distinguished panel of judges will evaluate submissions based on how the nominee’s work potentially impacts future generations; anticipated impact on contemporary society; contribution to the field of biotechnology; and level of innovation.

Judges will pay additional consideration to approaches that are at a turning point and may potentially have immeasurable influence.  Judges will look for individuals who have had – or have the near-term potential to make -- a significant and lasting impact on society and our world. 

Robert Klein, 2010 Biotech Humanitarian Award HonoreeLast year’s award was bestowed upon 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, Mr. Klein manages the peer review and grant process for the $3 billion in stem cell research funding authorized by the Initiative.

The inaugural award was bestowed upon 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.  Keasling was honored for his breakthrough 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 previously said that he expects the new malaria treatment to be released at the end of 2011 or in early 2012.

The 2011 Biotech Humanitarian Award will be bestowed upon an individual whose work aims to significantly reduce human suffering or enhance the human experience in a way that has a clear and direct benefit to society.  The Award will be presented at the 2011 BIO International Convention in Washington, DC, June 27th – 30th, and will be given a $10,000 award to help further their work.

While the Biotech Humanitarian Award will highlight one person’s work, the Award is also an important way to highlight the scope of our industry’s contributions to addressing major societal issues, from climate change to global hunger to health crises.

To nominate someone for the 2011 Biotech Humanitarian Award, please visit