Athenahealth to Add 500 Jobs in Atlanta, Double Footprint
Wednesday, January 04, 2017 12:00 AM

Healthcare tech company Athenahealth (Nasdaq: ATHN) will add about 500 jobs in Atlanta.

As part of the expansion, Athenahealth will double its office footprint, taking an additional 40,000 square feet at Ponce City Market in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward, where it currently leases 98,000 square feet.

Athenahealth provides Internet-based electronic health records, practice management, and care coordination services to medical groups, hospitals and health systems. The company takes on non-core functions, such as claims processing, billing, patient communication and medical records management, allowing providers to focus on patient care.

Watertown, Mass.-based Athenahealth exceeded its projected employee growth rate by 40 percent in Atlanta, though it reportedly laid off 40 people in Atlanta in October 2016 due to restructuring efforts.

Athenahealth has already invested nearly $20 million in Georgia. It created 500 new jobs when it expanded into Georgia in June 2013.


Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Zika Vaccine Developer Names New Chief Scientific Officer
Written by Kristen Pappaterra   
Tuesday, January 03, 2017 12:00 AM

A Smyrna-based developer of vaccines against Zika, Ebola, HIV and other infectious diseases has named a new chief scientific officer.

Farshad Guirakhoo was promoted to the C-suite role at GeoVax Labs Inc. from senior vice president of research and development, his title upon joining the company in 2015. The promotion was effective Jan. 1.

His predecessor as CSO, company co-founder Harriet L. Robinson, will remain as chief scientific officer emeritus, the company said in a statement.

"For the past year, Farshad has been a driving force behind the growth of our vaccine development pipeline, and we are pleased to expand his role at this critical time for our company," GeoVax President and CEO Robert T. McNallysaid in the statement. "In the role of Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Guirakhoo will lead the scientific advancement of GeoVax's technology pipeline as the Company identifies and pursues new opportunities to address significant medical needs."

Robinson will continue to direct the company's HIV vaccine program and to serve as principal investigator on National Institutes of Health grants to GeoVax, McNally said. Robinson will also continue to serve as a member of the GeoVax Board of Directors.

Before joining GeoVax in 2015, Guirakhoo served in senior management and scientific roles with biotechnology companies included Vaxess Technologies, Hookipa Biotech, Sanofi Pasteur, Acambis Inc. and OraVax Inc. He earned his Ph.D. in virology at the Medical University of Vienna in Vienna, Austria, and he holds a M.Sc. degree in genetics and a B.Sc. degree in biology. His post-doctoral training included a stint at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention'sDivision of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases in Fort Collins, Colo. Guirakhoo has filed over 90 patent applications in his scientific career, according to the statement, and was instrumental in the development and commercialization of the Imojev Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine and the Dengvaxia vaccine for Dengue virus.

GeoVax Labs Inc., is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing human vaccines against infectious diseases. Its development programs are focused on vaccines against HIV, Zika, and hemorrhagic fever viruses (Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, and Lassa).

In February 2016, The University of Georgia and GeoVax announced a collaboration to develop and test a possible Zika virus vaccine. Read more about GeoVax's work on an Ebola vaccine here and here.


Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Excellence in Biotech Education Awarded at 2016 BIO International Convention
Monday, May 30, 2016 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The BioGENEius Challenges and Leadership Awards are organized by the Biotechnology Institute, a U.S. based organization dedicated to biotechnology education, and will be announced during the 2016 BIO International Convention, which is being held June 6-9 in San Francisco. Generous support from sponsors include Johnson & Johnson Innovation and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.  

The Biotechnology Institute recognizes that its important constituencies aren’t just students that will be the future leaders of biotechnology, like the BioGENEius Challenge participants, but also those teachers, mentors and learning ecosystems that shape students’ education, and with them, their future and the future of biotechnology. 

The Biotechnology Institute formally recognizes those who expand our collective horizons of opportunity by inspiring the next generation of biotechnology innovators: 

  • The BioGENEius Hall of Fame Award honoring past finalists with a track record of outstanding accomplishments 
  • The BioGENEius Mentor Award honoring a STEM teacher or other significant influencer in the participating communities that serve the BioGENEius program 
  • The BioSTEM Leader Award honoring an outstanding K-12 school for their promotion and support of biotechnology education 

This year, the BioGENEius Hall of Fame Award, honoring past finalists with a pioneering spirit and determination to use biotechnology to make a difference in our lives was presented to Johnny Fells from New York. A past 2007-2009 BioGENEius finalist, Johnny just graduated from Columbia University with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering. He embodies the BioGENEius spirit by “giving back” - a BioGENEius who dedicates his free time to engage, excite and inspire young researchers in biotechnology by acting as a science fair judge, student mentor, inspirational speaker and personally granting special awards for students in less advantaged STEM educational environments. 

The BioGENEius Mentor Award recognizes STEM teachers and members of the BioGENEius community for their impact on the future growth of the biotechnology industry through career development. This year’s awardee, Marc Pedersen from Paulding County High School in Dallas, Georgia exemplifies it best. Marc has been recognized at the national, state and local levels for his excellence as a teacher and “covers it all” at Paulding from biotechnology to biology, chemistry, environmental science and AP physics. As a career mentor, he focuses students to utilize technology to investigate real problems within their own community. The value of their original research is reflected in their achievements at the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair and nationally at events such as the Siemens Math, Science and Technology Competition. To his students, Marc is simply “the best teacher!”

The Institute’s BioSTEM Leader Award honors outstanding K-12 schools for supporting biotechnology learning and the BioGENEius community through their “bio” STEM programs. This year, the Institute recognized Abraham Lincoln High School, in San Francisco, CA for the excellence of its STEM education programs and the dedication of its administration in its support of Lincoln’s Biotechnology Academy founded in 1995. The Academy has grown to 180 participating students who successfully compete nationally and internationally at events such as iGEM before moving on to college and career opportunities in many of California’s biotechnology companies. An essential lesson at the Academy is learning both the promise and limitations of biotechnology in order to develop the best solutions to real world problems. 

“The success of today’s STEM students, the future leaders of the biotechnology industry, rests on our ability to inspire, engage and promote their desire to realize the solutions that science can offer,” said Dr. Lawrence Mahan, President of Biotechnology Institute. “This year’s awardees are exceptional and we are delighted to honor them at BioGENEius during the 2016 BIO International Convention.” 

For additional information about the 2016 Leadership Awardees, visit

About the Biotechnology Institute

The Biotechnology Institute is an independent, national non-profit organization dedicated to education about the present and future impact of biotechnology. Its mission is to engage, excite and educate the public, particularly students and teachers, about biotechnology and its immense potential for solving human health, food and environmental problems. For more information, visit



For the Biotechnology Institute
Alexia Sikora (202) 295-8788
[email protected]

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