The 5th annual Celebration of Innovation honored more than 80 Penn inventors, startups, and partners

The Penn Center for Innovation hosted the fifth annual Celebration of Innovation on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2020. More than 130 people were in attendance, virtually, to hear from Keynote Speaker Dr. Jonathan A. Epstein, M.D., Executive Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Officer, Perelman School of Medicine, and discover the names of the 5 special award winners. 

Despite not being able to be in person at our usual happy hour and talk, the event was still intimate and focused on the successful innovations emerging from Penn. Dr. Epstein spoke on how Penn Medicine researchers pivoted their work to tackle COVID, from vaccine development, to patient care and diagnostic testing. Researchers including Dr. Drew Weissman, Dr. Cesar de la Fuente, Dr. James Wilson, and Dr. Ping Wang, are all leveraging their work to help in the critical public health fight.

Dr. Michel Koo

Following Dr. Epstein’s talk, the annual awards were presented. In honor of a true innovation champion at Penn, the Partner of the Year Award was renamed for Paul D. Sehnert. Paul was the director of real estate development at Penn who helped bring the Pennovation Works campus to fruition. He lost his battle with cancer last year.

The award winners in the order they were received are:

  • Deal of the Year: Exyn Technologies in recognition of its groundbreaking partnership with Sandvik
  • Emerging Inventor of the Year: Dr. Michel Koo of Penn Dental in recognition of his groundbreaking work developing novel approaches to eradicate biofilms
  • Startup of the Year: Cabaletta Bio
  • Inventor of the Year: Dr. Saar Gill of Penn Medicine in recognition of extraordinary innovations allowing expansion of cell therapy to new cell types, new indications and new methods of gene delivery
  • Paul. D. Sehnert Memorial Partner of the Year Award: Pennovation Works

Thank you to everyone who supported the Celebration of Innovation this year.  For the names of the 76 inventors who received patents in FY20, watch the opening section of the video below.

Watch the full recording of the Celebration of Innovation:

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