The Penn Center for Innovation hosted its fifth annual Celebration of Innovation on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2020. More than 130 people were in virtual attendance to hear from Keynote Speaker Dr. Jonathan A. Epstein, M.D., Executive Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Officer, Perelman School of Medicine.
Despite the video attendance limitation, the event was celebratory and focused on the successful innovations emerging from Penn. Dr. Epstein spoke eloquently on how Penn Medicine researchers pivoted their work to tackle COVID, from vaccine development, to patient care and diagnostic testing, and highlighted the efforts of Penn Medicine researchers including Dr. Drew Weissman, Dr. Cesar de la Fuente, Dr. James Wilson, and Dr. Ping Wang, who are all leveraging their work to help in this critical public health fight.
Following Dr. Epstein’s talk, five special annual awards were presented including the Partner of the Year Award which was renamed in honor of the late Paul D. Sehnert, formerly director of real estate development at Penn, who helped bring the Pennovation Works campus to fruition and was a true innovation champion at Penn.
The five award winners at this year’s Celebration of Innovation Event were:
- 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: