2014 Community Awards Honor University, Industry, CDC Leaders

ATLANTA--()--Georgia Bio each year recognizes individuals, companies and organizations for significant contributions to Georgia’s life sciences industry with its Georgia Bio Community Awards. The recipients will be honored at the Annual Awards Dinner January 23, 6 pm to 9 pm, at Atlanta’s Fox Theater. Register Here

The 2014 recipients are Richard diMonda, BEE, MSBME, MBA; Judy M. Gantt, M.Ed., Director, David J. Sencer CDC Museum, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Joseph M. Patti, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Corporate Development & Strategy, Biota Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and Todd Sherer, PhD, CLP, Associate Vice President for Research Administration and Executive Director of Technology Transfer, Emory University.

Richard diMonda, BEE, MSBME, MBA was trained in electrical and biomedical engineering, and in business. He brings many years of medical device commercialization experience, from a variety of public and private medical companies, to new medical device and Health IT ventures. He has executive management as well as hands-on experience with regulatory (FDA PMA and 510k clearance), clinical research, product management and marketing. Having managed 5 PMA clinical trials and registries encompassing over 3,000 patients and 60 US and European sites, and worked in over 18 different fields of medicine he specializes in entrepreneurial start-ups. He’s applied this knowledge to help companies refine their value proposition, product and clinical focus so that it is in alignment with new health care policy initiatives for proof of cost benefit and clinical utility, positioning a company to secure third party reimbursement. Currently he is working with a number of Georgia Research Alliance startups, with an emphasis on helping medical startups reach commercially oriented milestones to open investment opportunities to them from a variety of governmental, foundation, and private equity sources.

Judy M. Gantt, M.Ed. has served as Director, David J. Sencer CDC Museum since its inception as the Global Health Odyssey Museum. She manages all projects, including educational programming for students and teachers, such as the CDC Disease Detective Camps and Teach Epidemiology; temporary, permanent, and traveling exhibitions; and the CDC history collections.

Ms. Gantt joined CDC as an instructional specialist in 1980. She went on to direct CDC’s continuing education courses and public health image library, and to spearhead CDC’s first distance learning broadcasts. She managed immunization training courses and curriculum projects for physicians, nurses, and other public health personnel for eight years, and was recruited to serve as director of the new CDC Museum in 1996. After the events of September and October, 2001, she directed the public health response hotline, designed to answer public inquiries on bioterrorism and other public health topics. Ms. Gantt has served on Georgia Bio’s Education and Workforce Development committee since 2007, and is a member of the Board of Advisors, Georgia BioEd Institute.

Joseph M. Patti, M.S.P.H., Ph.D. is currently the Executive Vice-President, Corporate Development & Strategy at Biota Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel drugs to treat life-threatening viral respiratory infections. Dr. Patti is also a founding Board Member of SciStem Therapeutics LLC, a private company developing “first-in-field” regenerative medicine cell-based therapies for bone healing and other orthopedic and musculoskeletal disorders. Dr. Patti was a co-founder of Inhibitex, Inc., a NASDAQ-listed biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for a variety of bacterial and viral infections. Inhibitex was acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb for $2.5B in February 2012. Prior to the acquisition, Dr. Patti was Inhibitex’s Chief Scientific Officer as well as the Senior Vice President, Research & Development. Under Dr. Patti’s direction, the company successfully filed five Investigational New Drug Applications (three biologicals, two small molecules) with the FDA. During Dr. Patti’s tenure the company executed an initial public offering and raised over $300M in private and public equity. Prior to founding Inhibitex, Dr. Patti was a Research Assistant Professor at Texas A&M’s Institute of Biosciences and Technology and was focused on the molecular aspects of bacterial - host interactions. From 1996 to 1998, he also served on the faculty at the University Of Texas Health Science Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Todd Sherer, PhD, CLP is Associate Vice President for Research Administration and Executive Director of Technology Transfer. Dr. Sherer has been a member of the Georgia life sciences community for 10 years. During this time, he has expanded and led Emory University’s Office of Technology Transfer, growing the team from a group of eight into a specialized staff of 20 and leading the program to national prominence. Dr. Sherer’s efforts, which have resulted in multiple record-setting years in licensing revenues, licensing agreements and start-ups, have not only benefited Emory University, but also the broader Atlanta and Georgia bioscience communities. He established a biannual Breakfast Club program to pitch promising Emory inventions to the Georgia business community. The program is designed to give the community an early look at the exciting technologies being developed at Emory and pair local entrepreneurs and investors with these opportunities. Further, Dr. Sherer served as President of the EmTech Biotechnology incubator and oversaw its seed fund targeted at Emory/Georgia Tech collaborative projects. He helped educate faculty at Georgia universities about entrepreneurship by bringing the Kauffman Foundation FastTrac® TechVenture™ Program to Atlanta. He has contributed his time and energy to strengthening the bioscience industry as a member of the Southern Bioalliance Board, Wallace H. Coulter Translational Fund Review Committee, Georgia Research Alliance VentureLab Advisory Board, and Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Working Group. He has also assisted the boards of numerous local biotechnology start-ups including Curry Pharmaceuticals and Metastatix. Dr. Sherer is the Immediate Past President of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), which represents over 300 organizations from 30 countries, and remains a key member of the organization’s board. In addition, he serves on the Southeast BIO (SEBIO) board of directors and is Conference Co-Chair of the upcoming SEBIO investor forum being held in Atlanta later this year.

Other leading companies, executives, researchers and dedicated individuals will receive Georgia Bio Awards for the following categories (listed alphabetically by award title):

  • Deals of the Year Awards - Arbor Pharmaceuticals, LLC.; Clearside Biomedical Inc.; CorMatrix Cardiovascular, Inc.; EndoChoice, Inc.; Royal Philips & Georgia Regents Health System
  • Emerging Leader of the Year - Dana Fallaize, Emory University
  • Industry Growth Awards – David Hartnett, Metro Atlanta Chamber; David Perryman, DRIVE LLC
  • Innovation Awards - Amy Baxter, MD, CEO, MMJ Labs; Ami Klin, Ph.D., Director, Marcus Autism Center
  • Legislator of the Year Award - Representative Ben Watson (R-166)
  • Phoenix Award - Merial LTD & the University of Georgia
  • Teacher of the Year - Julie A. Johnson, RN, MSN/MBA, Ed.S., Social Circle High School

For a list of past Georgia Bio Award recipients, click here.

Georgia Bio (www.gabio.org) is the private, non-profit association whose members include pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, medical centers, universities and research institutes, government groups and other business organizations involved in the development of life sciences related products and services.

Note to Editors: Credentialed members of the news media are invited to attend. Registration is complimentary. Please contact Maria Thacker (404-920-2042; maria.thacker@gabio.org).


Georgia Bio
Maria Thacker Goethe, 404-920-2042

Release Summary

Georgia Bio each year recognizes individuals for significant contributions to Georgia’s life sciences industry with its Community Awards. Emory, CDC, Biota representatives & Richard diMonda honored.


Georgia Bio
Maria Thacker Goethe, 404-920-2042