Virginia Bio Recognizes Twenty Outstanding Contributions to Bioscience within the Commonwealth

Individuals, Organizations, Milestones Honored at Event Commemorating 20th Anniversary of Virginia Bio

RICHMOND, Va.--()--On Thursday, May 2, Virginia Bio, the premier statewide non-profit trade association representing the life sciences industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia, will recognize 20 exemplary contributions to bioscience research and commercialization as part of the organization’s 20th anniversary celebration. The awardees will be recognized at the Twenty Wonder-Filled Years Gala Banquet, being held at the Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville. H. Thomas Watkins, former President and CEO of Human Genome Sciences and current Chairman of Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) will give the keynote address.

The 20 individuals and organizations from throughout Virginia to be recognized are as follows:


  • Alfred ‘Al’ Gilman, M.D., Ph.D. for his discovery that G-proteins are a vital intermediary between the extracellular activation of receptors (GPCR) on the cell membrane and actions within the cell, which merited the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • Robin A. Felder, Ph.D. for tireless innovation that generated nine for-profit and non-profit bioscience companies in Charlottesville and Richmond over the past 15 years.
  • Sheridan ‘Sherry’ Snyder for founding Genzyme, Biotage, Argonex, Upstate Biotechnology and Biocatalyst International, among other companies at the forefront of diagnostics, drug development and life science collaborations worldwide.
  • Timothy Macdonald for his discoveries and expertise in the creation of T-type calcium channel blockers and for treatment of cancer and other disease.


  • Health Diagnostic Laboratories for its rapid rise to leadership in health management, supplying a wide range of innovative laboratory analysis and care services to patients and clinicians.
  • Intelliject, an innovative drug delivery technology company, for demonstrate the power of personal commitment in maximizing the benefit of a medicine by simplifying its delivery.
  • United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) for developing and managing the private non-profit organization system for organ transplantation in the United States.
  • The Virginia Biotechnology Research Park as an outstanding example of public vision and collaboration, realized now as a burgeoning hub of biomedical research, innovation, tech transfer and commercialization.

Coastal Virginia

  • Howard W. Jones Jr., M.D. for leading early science-assisted fertility research in the US and performing the nation’s first in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure and opening its first IVF clinic.

Northern Virginia

  • American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) for its global preeminence as a private non-profit biological resource center and research organization.
  • Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) for its early and leading role in the Commonwealth in support of research, development and commercialization of innovative technologies.
  • First Forensic use of DNA in the US at the Virginia Bureau of Forensic Science Department of Consolidated Laboratory Services, and its impact on revolutionizing law enforcement procedure around the nation and globe.
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Farm Research Campus for its role as one of the world’s premier biomedical research centers and its pursuit of the most basic and challenging problems of biology.

Southwest Virginia

  • Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. for his leadership of the Human Genome Project and NIH, and his role in enabling and encouraging the advancement of health care through the personalization of medicine.
  • R.J. Kirk for founding in Virginia and leading several successful pharmaceutical companies and, subsequently investment firms which are a source of funding to Virginia bioscience companies.
  • Tracy Wilkins for his contributions on the faculty of Virginia Tech, and for founding and leading Virginia biotech companies with global reach, including TechLab.
  • The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute for its bold partnership of university, private health care system and the state, that promises to improve human health and quality of life by providing leadership in medical education, biomedical and clinical research and spark economic development in Roanoke.
  • World’s First Cloned Pig, performed by Virginia researchers, and marked the beginning of years of research and development leading to the first genetically engineered pigs with knockout of a key pig gene (alpha-Gal) towards overcoming hyperacute rejection of transplanted organs and cells.


  • Public Policy favoring innovation and entrepreneurs for years of legislative and executive accomplishments that facilitate bioscience research and commercialization in the state.
  • Founders of Virginia Bio for the vision and energy to plant the seeds in 1992 for what has become the premier statewide non-profit trade association helping and representing the life sciences industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“Our award recipients are some of the foundation stones for our burgeoning bioscience community within Virginia,” said Jeffrey Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer of Virginia Bio. “We are honored to celebrate their accomplishments tonight and know that their success will spark the success of many others in the Virginia bioscience community over the next 20 years.”

About Virginia Bio

Virginia Bio is the premier statewide non-profit trade association for life sciences, promoting the considerable scientific and economic impact of the life sciences industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia Bio is an advocate for the biopharmaceutical and device industries among federal, state and local policy-makers. Virginia Bio is the official state affiliate of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). To learn more, visit


Media Representative for Virginia Bio:
Heather Gitlitz, 202-587-2516

Release Summary

These 20 significant contributions to bioscience in the Commonwealth will be honored by Virginia Bio as part of an anniversary gala they will be hosting on May 2 at the Boar's Head in Charlottesville.


Media Representative for Virginia Bio:
Heather Gitlitz, 202-587-2516