The Penn Center for Innovation’s Celebration of Innovation honors the patent recipients from Fiscal Year 2021 (July 2020 – June 2021), as well as, select partners, inventors, and startups that made exceptional achievements. In 2021, 142 patents were awarded to Penn and its faculty inventors, the most ever. More statistics about Penn’s successful FY2021 can be viewed in our Annual Report.
The Celebration returned in a hybrid format for 2021 with both attendees and award recipients in person and virtually. Most participants joined for the in-person event at the Singh Center for Nanotechnology from 4pm – 5:30pm on December 2nd. COVID protocols were followed and masks were worn by participants.
PCI’s Managing Director John Swartley welcomed attendees and introduced the keynote speaker, Jean Bennett, MD, PhD, the F.M. Kirby Professor of Ophthalmology at the Perelman School of Medicine and the Director of the Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics. Dr. Bennett is a world leader and pioneering physician-scientist in the field of retinal gene therapy and her discoveries led to the first FDA-approved gene therapy for a genetic disease. Dr. Bennett is a co-founder of Spark Therapeutics and the newly launched Penn spinout Opus Genetics.
Following Dr. Bennett, the special awards were presented to:
- Deal of the Year: Interius Biotherapeutics
- Startup of the Year: Vetigenics
- Emerging Inventor of the Year: Dr. Mike Mitchell
- Paul. D. Sehnert Memorial Partner of the Year Award: Institute of Life Changing Medicines
- Inventors of the Year: Drs. Drew Weissman and Katalin Kariko
PCI thanks all the participants of this year’s event, and wishes everyone a great holiday season.