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2016 Community Awards Honor Academic and Industry Leaders, Children’s Hospital

Wednesday, January 13, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Maria Thacker
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ATLANTA, GA (January 13, 2016) -- 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 28, 6 pm to 9 pm, at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre. Details available at www.gabio.org/awards.

The 2016 recipients are Michael P. Diamond, M.D., Augusta University; Kevin C. Lei, MBA, MS, CLP, Emory University; Stacy Shuker Reece, Ph.D., Down South Innovation; David Stern; and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Biographies of Honorees

Michael P. Diamond, MD, Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Associate Dean for Research, Medical College of Georgia and Senior Vice President for Research, Augusta University

Michael P. Diamond, M.D. is the Brooks Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Associate Dean for Research of the Medical College of Georgia, and Senior Vice President for Research at Augusta University in Augusta, GA.  He is an internationally renowned clinical and translational investigator, who is recognized for many scientific contributions, including within the field of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. 

Dr. Diamond has been funded by six NIH Institutes and served as Principal Investigator or Co-PI on over forty-five commercial clinical trials on diverse topics including infertility, insulin sensitivity, postoperative adhesions, uterine fibroids, ovulation induction, menstrual migraines, osteoporosis, endometriosis, and sexual dysfunction. He has served on multiple study sections and special review committees for the NIH, as well as a member and subsequently a consultant to the Obstetrics and Gynecology Device Panel of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health of the Food and Drug Administration.

He is being recognized for spearheading the first clinical studies on cannibidiol – an oil derived from the marijuana plant – to test its efficacy in pediatric epilepsy patients suffering from chronic seizures.

Dr. Diamond is a past President of his subspecialty society, the Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and has served as the Society of Reproductive Surgeons, as well as Chair of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Androgen Excess and Environment and Reproduction Special Interest Groups. 

Kevin Lei, CLP
Director of Faculty & Start-up Services, Office of Technology Transfer, Emory University

Kevin serves as the Director of Faculty & Start-up Services at Emory University’s Office of Technology Transfer. He previously held positions as licensing associate, senior licensing associate, assistant director, associate director, and director of VentureLab at Emory. Kevin's 28-year prior employment history has included positions in both the academic and industrial sectors. All of these years have been spent in positions of increasing responsibility within the medical industry and life sciences technology transfer. Kevin was a bench scientist, an operations manager of a biotech incubator, a founding president of a biotech start-up, and an R&D manager of a Georgia-based biotech company before joining Emory nineteen years ago. Kevin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Shanghai University for Science and Technology, a Master of Science in Hematology from The Second Military Medial University (Shanghai), and an MBA in Finance from Georgia Institute of Technology. Kevin is a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP™).

He is being recognized for his tireless support of Emory faculty, entrepreneurs and their companies.

Stacy Shuker Reece, Ph.D.
Down South Innovation

Dr. Reece has been a part of Atlanta’s life sciences industry since 2006. She started as a scientific advisor in an intellectual property law firm where she gained experience with patents, technology licensing and initiated the firm's business development activities.

In 2008 she moved to the Georgia Department of Economic Development and became the Director of the Center of Innovation for Life Sciences. In this role, she created strategic relationships for Georgia's biotechnology companies to assist them in their technology commercialization efforts. She worked with companies ranging from global pharmaceuticals to pre-clinical, early stage companies. It was there that she pioneered the use of social media in economic development and saved the Centers $85,000 in marketing costs.

In 2012, she moved to Georgia Bio to initiate an industry partnering program between multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies and scientists in academia and emerging companies. These meetings led to a clinical trial, a biannual conference and research collaborations.

She is being recognized for her determination to grow Georgia’s life sciences industry by creating strategic partnerships throughout the state; additionally Dr. Reece is recognized for her drive to promote careers, leadership and entrepreneurship for women in the life sciences.

Dr. Reece has chaired and served on several committees of Georgia Bio, Southeast BIO, Southeast Medical Device Association, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the MIT Enterprise Forum of Atlanta, Health South Connect, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and Women in Bio.

Dave Stern

David Stern was the first employee of CardioMEMS, Inc., an Atlanta based medical device company that successfully developed the recently approved CardioMEMS HF System, a wireless sensing and communication technology designed to improve the management of heart failure. In June 2014, CardioMEMS was acquired by St. Jude Medical in a $450 million deal. Mr. Stern served as the Vice President of R&D and the Atlanta Site Leader for St. Jude Medical through the end of 2015.

Prior to joining CardioMEMS, Mr. Stern spent 16 years at C.R. Bard in multiple R&D capacities working with a variety of medical devices. At the time of his departure in 2001, he was Vice President & Business Unit Manager of Bard’s Peripheral Technologies Division.  In 1992, he was part of the first group of employees to receive the Charles Russell Bard Award for employee excellence.

Mr. Stern is a former president and current board member of the Southeast Medical Device Association and also serves on the Georgia Bio and Bio/Med Investor Network board of directors as well as the Georgia Tech Biomedical Engineering Industry Advisory Board.

He is being recognized for his dedication to the growth of Georgia’s medical device sector, as well as his leadership within Georgia Bio. Additionally, Mr. Stern is being honored for his key role in the St. Jude acquisition of CardioMEMS, and his ongoing leadership within St. Jude as the Vice President of R&D and the Atlanta Site Leader.

Mr. Stern has a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a M.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and is the holder of 11 patents.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has been 100 percent dedicated to kids for 100 years. A not-for-profit organization, Children’s is dedicated to making kids better today and healthier tomorrow. Our specialized care helps children get better faster and live healthier lives. Managing more than 870,000 patient visits annually at three hospitals and 27 neighborhood locations, Children’s is the largest healthcare provider for children in Georgia and one of the largest pediatric clinical care providers in the country. Children’s offers access to more than 60 pediatric specialties and programs and is ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report. With generous philanthropic and volunteer support since 1915, Children’s has impacted the lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world. Visit www.choa.org for more information.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is being recognized for enhancing societal and economic impact by transforming pediatrics, strengthening collaborative partnerships and creating opportunities.

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

Georgia Bio (www.gabio.org) is the state’s life science industry 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; mthacker@gabio.org).


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