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Annual Conference: 2015 Awards
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2015 Awards - Acknowledged & Celebrated in Orlando

During this year's 2015 BioFlorida Annual Conference, BioFlorida recognized individuals and organizations for their ingenuity and innovation within the life sciences industry through awarding four distinct Award recognitions. This year’s Awards & Award Recipients include:

BioFlorida Leadership Award 

The BioFlorida Leadership Award is presented to a BioFlorida volunteer who has taken on a leadership role within the organization, dedicated significant time to achieving BioFlorida'sgoals and has acted as a true ambassador to BioFlorida and the industry. 


The 2015 BioFlorida Leadership Award was presented to Thad Seymour, Jr. Seymour who was recognized for his vision and passion for growing the life sciences industry in Orlando and throughout the state. Prior to retiring earlier this year, he led strategy and business development for Tavistock Development Company, the developer of Lake Nona, which successfully combines a medical innovation cluster with a residential development that emphasizes health, education and sustainability. Lake Nona Medical City has attracted more than $3 billion in capital investment from high profile life sciences organizations including Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Nemours Children’s Hospital, University of Central Florida Health Sciences Campus, University of Florida Research and Academic Center, VA Medical Center and the Guidewell Innovation Center.

Seymour also helped create and later co-chaired bioOrlando, the Central Chapter of BioFlorida. He has been an active board member and an ambassador for the organization and for the life sciences industry across the state of Florida.


Weaver H. Gaines Entrepreneur of the Year Award 

The Weaver H. Gaines Entrepreneur of the Year Award honors an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the growth of Florida's life sciences industry in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical technology or bioagriculture. The award is named in honor of Weaver Gaines, one of the founding directors of BioFlorida.   

The 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year Award was presented to Matthew H.J. Kim with Vigilant Biosciences, Inc. Inspired by both his parents’ battle to overcome their affliction with oral cancer, Kim founded Vigilant Biosciences, Inc., a successful University of Miami spin-off in 2011. Vigilant Biosciences, Inc. is recognized as a leading innovator and developer of solutions that aid in the early detection and intervention of cancer. The company aims to enhance the lives of patients and their families by providing point-of-care and lab-based solutions that empower healthcare practitioners to assess the risk of oral cancer early and improve outcomes through earlier intervention. Click here to view dedicated release from Vigilant Biosciences.        

David J. Gury Company of the Year Award

The David J. Gury Company of the Year Award honors a company that has achieved significant milestones and has 

contributed to the growth of Florida's life sciences industry. The award is named in honor of David Gury, one of the founding directors of BioFlorida.

The David J. Gury Company of the Year Award was presented to Claudia Zylberberg, PhD of Akron Biotech. Akron Biotechnology places a strategic focus in developing, manufacturing and commercializing novel GMP grade products aimed at regenerative medicine, biopharmaceutical, biotechnology and cell therapy industries. Earlier this year, Akron Biotechnology and Cognate BioServices announced a strategic partnership to provide a more complete package of services to their clients, unifying their resources to better serve growing market demands internationally.

BioFlorida Lifetime Achievement Award

The 2015 BioFlorida Lifetime Achievement Award is reserved for recognizing an individual's outstanding leadership in the industry throughout their career that has significantly contributed to the growth of the industry.   

The 2015 recipient of the BioFlorida Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Patti Breedlove with the University of

Florida’s Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator. In her role, Breedlove has successfully fostered the growth of many young bioscience companies including Nanotherapeutics, AxoGen and Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (AGTC). The program assists businesses in recruiting experienced leadership, works to foster relationships with potential investors and partners and provides them with laboratory space, animal facilities, fermentation facilities, greenhouses and $1 million of core scientific equipment. The average Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator company raises $24 million in investment.


Breedlove has also served on the executive committee of BioFlorida for 11 years and has chaired BioFlorida’s most successful Chapter Event - the Celebration of Biotechnology, creating a collaborative outdoor atmosphere that attracts hundreds of life science professionals to Alachua each spring.  





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