NDRI to honor Distinguished Scientists, Vaccine Pioneers, and Organizations

NDRI to honor Distinguished Scientists, Vaccine Pioneers, and Organizations

NDRI to honor Distinguished Scientists, Vaccine Pioneers, and Organizations

2022 Service to Science Awards Recipients Announced

PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Board of Directors of the National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) is pleased to announce that Dr. Katalin Karikó and Dr. Drew Weissman, the scientists who led the research and technology development for the therapeutic use of mRNA – the foundation for the COVID vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna/NIH, will receive NDRI’s 2022 Empowering Research and Discovery Award. This award honors individuals whose contributions and leadership have helped advance critically-needed research. The awards will be presented at NDRI’s 2022 Celebration of Service to Science Awards Dinner on September 28, 2022 at the Union League in Philadelphia. Dr. Karikó is a Senior Vice President with BioNTech and an adjunct professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Weissman is the Roberts Family Professor in Vaccine Research at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.

Additional honorees include prominent organizations and renowned leaders who have made significant contributions to the advancement of research:

  • Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Penny Heaton, MD

    Global Therapeutic Area Head, Vaccines, the Empowering Research and Discovery Award
  • Moderna, the Empowering Research and Discovery Award
  • Susan Hockfield, PhD, President Emerita, Professor of Neuroscience, and a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will receive the organization’s prestigious D. Walter Cohen, DDS Service to Science Award presented in honor of the Philadelphia native, prominent member of the local, national and international scientific community and NDRI chairman emeritus.
  • David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc, Assistant Professor in the Division of Translational Medicine & Human Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania, the Co-Founder & Executive Director of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN), and National Bestselling author of Chasing My Cure: A Doctor’s Race to Turn Hope Into Action will receive the Excellence in Research and Patient Advocacy Award.
  • Gift of Life Donor Program, the nation’s leading organ procurement organization coordinating more organ and tissue donors than anywhere else in the United States. Gift of Life Donor Program has a 44-year long history of saving lives and NDRI’s longest OPO partner with the Legacy Partnership Award.
  • Lonza, a global organization focused on enabling a healthier world by supporting healthcare customers on their path to commercialization, with the Outstanding Life Sciences Industry Leadership Award.

“NDRI is privileged to honor the scientific discoveries of the individuals and organizations who have helped to advance research in the fight against the coronavirus,” said Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD, chair of the NDRI Board of Directors and president of Shepherd University. “We are grateful to all of our honorees for the vital role they have played in promoting research to benefit humanity.”

Bill Leinweber, NDRI president and CEO, shared “We look forward to celebrating – in person, once again, the commitment of all of our awardees to advancing science, research, and drug discovery.”

Presentation of the 2022 Service to Science Awards will be made at NDRI’s awards event on September 28, 2022 at the Union League in Philadelphia.

For more information about NDRI’s 2022 Awardees, including bios and details about the awards event, visit https://ndriresource.org/servicetoscience for more information.

About NDRI

The National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) is the nation’s leading source of human tissues, cells and organs for scientific research. A not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization founded in 1980, NDRI is funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, public and private foundations and organizations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations. NDRI is a 24/7 operation that partners with a nationwide network of over 130 tissue source sites (TSS), including organ procurement organizations (OPOs), tissue banks, eye banks, and hospitals. The TSS, are distributed throughout the USA, in 45 states, with concentrations in major metropolitan areas on both the east and west coasts. Their wide geographic distribution allows NDRI to provide biospecimens from donor populations with diverse demographics and also facilitates the timely and efficient provision of fresh tissues directly to researchers across the U.S. and around the world. By serving as the liaison between procurement sources and the research community, NDRI is uniquely positioned to support breakthrough advances and discoveries that can affect advances in the treatment and cure of human diseases.


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