EDMONTON, Alberta--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BioAlberta announced the recipients of its 2023 Achievement Awards in recognition of the outstanding contributions of the individuals and companies whose innovation and achievements have contributed to the growing success of Alberta's life sciences sector. The awards were presented at BioAlberta’s 25th Anniversary Health and Life Sciences Showcase & Awards Dinner, held in Edmonton on September 28th.
BioAlberta Annual Achievement Awards
“Our life sciences sector is expanding quickly, and the 2023 award recipients showcase Alberta's growing ability to develop new technologies and take them to market, to transform our health system and improve the lives of people around the world,” said Robb Stoddard, President and CEO of BioAlberta.
2023 Company of the Year – Fluid Biomed Inc.
This award acknowledges a company that has shown significant achievement within the marketplace and Alberta’s business community through strong performance or a leadership role.
Fluid Biomed Inc. is commercializing the first polymer-based brain stent to cure aneurysms. The company’s team of neurosurgeons, scientists, and engineers have designed the world’s first hybrid polymer-metal flow-diverting stent to cure this deadly disease. Uniquely constructed of dissolving polymer and metal, this innovative medical device provides a scaffold to allow better healing and visualization of blood vessels.
Accepting this award, Co-founder and CEO, Dr. John Wong said ”As a young company, Fluid Biomed is incredibly humbled and proud to be recognized as BioAlberta‘s 2023 Company of the Year. It has been inspiring to first witness and now become a valued participant in the exponential expansion of the provincial life sciences ecosystem. Kudos to all of us as we grow the nexus of intellect, infrastructure, and investment in Alberta to create the next generation of medical technologies that will save lives around the world. Thank you!”
2023 Technology Innovation Award – Dr. Kristina Rinker, Dr. Robert Shepherd, and Dr. Kenneth Fuh
This award recognizes individuals or teams that have made meritorious contributions to the life sciences industry and inspired a new way of thinking and perspective for their sector.
“Professor Rinker’s lab in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Calgary developed a foundational approach to a highly accurate blood test that can detect the presence of breast cancer in less than a teaspoon of blood…Dr. Rinker is especially proud of her team, so gratefully accepts this award on behalf of her entire lab, especially Dr. Robert Shepherd and Dr. Ken Fuh,” said Greg Klak, Co-Chair BioAlberta Board of Directors.
Dr. Rinker is a biomedical engineering innovation professional focused on technology development, translation to implementation, mentoring and training, and entrepreneurial thinking. She is also a professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Calgary.
Conceived from her work in the Rinker Lab at the University of Calgary, alongside Dr. Ken Fuh, Dr. Randy Moore, and Bob Shepard their company Syantra was founded. Syantra’s innovative discovery platform is used to identify novel biomarkers and drug targets. Their platforms and precision medicine approach help to identify disease early and intervene to reverse disease and restore wellness.
Accepting this award, Dr. Rinker said: “Thank you to BioAlberta, the life sciences community and supporters for this award on the behalf of my entire team. This has been quite the journey, over a decade ago we had this idea for a new type of blood testing platform and I’m very grateful to the Alberta Government for providing the initial funding for this new technology and concept.”
2023 Vista Award - Dr. Lawrence Korngut
This award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions in the form of technical innovation, business excellence, talent development, capital attraction or infrastructure development.
Dr. Korngut is a neurologist and clinical neurophysiologist at the Calgary Neuromuscular Clinic and is the Director of the Calgary ALS and Motor Neuron Disease Clinic.
Dr. Korngut is the National Principal Investigator of the Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry that now includes 31 participating clinics and over the past two years has recruited over 2400 patients including over 1000 with ALS. In 2012-13, he also led a team of registry leaders and disease experts in developing the Canadian Neurological Registry Best Practice Guidelines that are accompanied by an implementation toolkit. The project culminated in the formation of the Canadian Registry Network.
Amongst his many contributions to the field of neurology he sits as chair for several health research initiatives. His most prominent research includes phase II and III clinical trials of new therapies for neuromuscular conditions.
Accepting this award, Dr. Korngut said: “I am honoured to accept the BioAlberta Vista Award on behalf of all of our team members at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Lumiio and KASTx Ventures, who, like our colleagues in the Alberta biotech ecosystem, contribute daily to the tremendous momentum that we are generating as a community. I am grateful to BioAlberta for uniting the biotech community across Alberta and supporting us all in building bridges and find synergies between our different efforts.”
2023 Alberta BioIndustry Hall of Fame - Christopher Micetich
The Alberta BioIndustry Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made extensive contributions to Alberta’s life sciences community. Recipients are known to be passionate advocates for science and technology, accomplished scientists, or business leaders and mentors whose dedication leaves an indelible mark in the life sciences sector.
“Christopher G Micetich is a University of Alberta Alumni, serial entrepreneur, investor and author In 2014, his company Fedora signed, at-the-time, the largest licensing deal ever in Canadian biotech history, licensing their beta-lactamase inhibitor to Hoffman J La Roche for US$750 million in addition to milestones and royalties…I remember the energy in these Alberta life sciences sector rooms and how we all felt so much pride…Chris we ask you to continue to inspire and foster future business leaders,” said Keith Gilchrist, BioAlberta Awards Committee Chair.
Christopher Micetich is an accomplished author and entrepreneur with over three decades of experience launching businesses. Christopher presently serves as President & CEO of Brass Dome Ventures Ltd., a management consulting firm focused on providing services to innovators and entrepreneurs, and Fedora Pharmaceuticals Inc., an anti-infective drug discovery company founded in 2011.
Christopher has employed over 1,000 people from around the globe and, was once the largest employer of PhD chemists in Canada! In 2020 with the University of Alberta, Christopher created Innovation Masterminds (imYEG), a disruptive pre-accelerator, created, driven and facilitated by industry to help advance innovation from post-secondary institutes in Alberta. Christopher also serves as a board member, advisor and mentor with several organizations in the province.
Accepting this award, Christopher said: “I am extremely honoured and humbled to be included amongst Alberta’s finest key opinion leaders who have dedicated their careers to supporting and promoting our province’s life sciences sector. BioAlberta’s BioIndustry Hall of Fame have a very long tradition of recognizing and celebrating individuals who have left their mark and made a difference not only in Alberta but, throughout the world. There are no words that can describe my gratitude for having my name now forever etched in history along side all those Alberta Champions who have mentored and supported myself, including my own Father, early in my career.”
BioAlberta is a member-driven and funded not for profit industry association that represents and promotes the province's vibrant and diverse life sciences industry. Through our many partnerships and collaborations, we are dedicated to promoting Alberta's life science sectors, locally, nationally, and internationally. BioAlberta enables success for its members by providing a wide range of networking and educational events, and by effectively delivering policy options to governments. BioAlberta activities are focused in key strategic areas: advocacy; promotion, marketing, and networking; industry development.