The spirit of innovation is alive and well in Central Pennsylvania!

October 29 marked the fourth annual Penn State Hershey Innovation Awards. Faculty, staff, students, partners and the community gathered to celebrate the spirit of innovation.

The Innovation Awards recognize members of the Penn State Hershey community whose ideas moved forward through execution of a license agreement, starting a company or earning a patent between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. The award ceremony began in 2011 to raise awareness of the innovation and commercialization activity taking place among Penn State Hershey researchers.

A dinner was held at the University Conference Center followed by a keynote address by Charles Smith, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Apogee Biotechnology Corporation, Inc., entrepreneur-in-residence at Penn State College of Medicine and professor within the Department of Pharmacology. As a faculty entrepreneur, Charles shared his journey of starting a company and tips for those who follow in his path.

Following the keynote address, awards were presented by Drs. Sheila Vrana, Ronald Huss and Kurt Kissinger along with respective department chairs. The Office of Technology Development recognized 25 individuals for their achievements during this event.

Congratulations to the following individuals and departments: Cellular and Molecular Physiology – Yuguang (Roger) Shi, Ph.D., Computer and Information Systems – Mathea Jacobs, Dermatology – Diane Thiboutot, M.D., Emergency Medicine – Christopher DeFlitch, M.D., Humanities – Michael Green, M.D., Benjamin Levi, M.D., Ph.D., Medicine – Abraham Mathew, M.D., Neurosurgery – Mark Dias, M.D., Ophthalmology – Joseph Sassani, M.D., Pathology – Keri Donaldson, M.D., Pharmacology – Arun Sharma, Ph.D., Dongxiao Sun, Ph.D., Kent Vrana, Ph.D., Todd Eric Fox, Ph.D., Surgery – Peter Dillon, M.D., Donald MacKay, M.D., D.D.S., Randy Haluck, M.D., Pennsylvania Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Program – Carroll Rottmund, B.S.N., R.N., CLNC, CMI, Kelly Cappos, B.S.N., R.N., CLNC, CBIS, Marie Reed, M.Ed., B.S.N., R.N. and Mechanical Engineering, Mary Frecker, Ph.D. External collaborators included Barry Fell, M.S., TPC Designs, Joshua Allen, Ph.D. Oncoceutics and Gen Sheng Wu, Ph.D., Wayne State University.

The culmination of the event was the presentation of three awards for outstanding achievements in innovation; the Student Award for Excellence in Innovation given to Andrew Kelleher, Ph.D., Cellular and Molecular Physiology; Investigator to Watch Award given to Arati Sharma, Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology; and the Innovator of the Year Award given to the Surgery Innovation Group (SIG).

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