Last week, Jim Greenwood, President & CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), attended the 10th Annual BayBio Pantheon Ceremony, where he presented Dr. Stanley N. Cohen with the BayBio Lifetime Achievement DiNA Award for his contributions to making a transformative difference within the life science industry.
The event was attended by more than 600 biotechnology innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, elected officials and policy leaders.
Dr. Cohen’s groundbreaking work with Dr. Herbert Boyer is widely credited with creating the foundation for the modern biotechnology industry.
In 1972, Cohen and Boyer were both attending a conference in Hawaii on plasmids. Legend has it the two met up with colleagues at a delicatessen for some corned beef and pastrami and to further discuss their work. It became clear that bringing together their respective studies had implications essentially for all of biology and for the isolation of natural human proteins produced in bacteria or other organisms.
That meeting, according to an article in Nature, “led to a scientific achievement that later rocked the world of science. Within a year, they had cloned DNA molecules made by splicing together DNA fragments of two different plasmids, thus creating recombinant DNA. The foundations for biotechnology were established.”
Dr. Cohen has continued to build on that work. And today serves as a distinguished professor of genetics at Stanford University.
During his visit to Northern California, Greenwood also gave an industry update to the Council of State Bioscience Associations (CSBA), where he discussed the climate in Washington and what biotechnology leaders can expect in the upcoming year.
He also toured the offices of Solazyme, a renewable oil and bioproducts company, and participated in a roundtable discussion with bioindustrial leaders and Congressional staff.
Participating in the roundtable were senior management from Solazyme, Amyris, LS9, NexSteppe, Novozymes North America; as well as staff from the California Congressional Delegation and members of the California State Assembly and State Senate.
The discussion focused on what is needed to ensure a growing and thriving bioindustrial economy in the United States-one that fuels job creation, spurs innovation and reduces our reliance on foreign fuels.