George Rosenkranz to Receive 2013 Biotechnology Heritage Award

April 21, 2013 - Philadelphia and Chicago

The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) have selected George Rosenkranz as the winner of the 2013 Biotechnology Heritage Award. The award will be presented during a keynote lunch on Tuesday, April 23, at BIO’s annual international convention, which begins tomorrow in Chicago.

“George Rosenkranz has pioneered with brilliance in steroid chemistry; innovated with legendary success in the pharmaceutical industry; and recruited, mentored, and guided individuals of great talent to stellar careers. He unites in his person European charm, Hispanic courtesy, and American entrepreneurial spirit,” says James C. Greenwood, president and CEO of BIO. “George led the development of the oral contraceptive pill, served as chairman of the corporation that brought it to the global market, and thereby permanently changed world culture.”

About George Rosenkranz

George Rosenkranz joined Syntex Corporation in 1945 and retired as CEO and board chairman in 1981. During his years with Syntex, Rosenkranz created and guided an academic research group of star-studded brilliance, which included Alex Zaffaroni and Carl Djerassi, first as his junior collaborators, then as his lifelong friends. Revolutionary advances in the intellectual understanding of and production techniques for steroid drugs were developed under Rosenkranz’s direction, using native Mexican plant sources as raw materials. Syntex became the leading supplier of the oral contraceptive pill and other corticoids.                                             

Rosenkranz’s accomplishments have encompassed every aspect of the steroid hormone industry. He holds over 150 patents and has published more than 300 research articles on steroid hormones.

The National Academy of Medicine of Mexico made Rosenkranz an honorary member in recognition of his dedication to scientific work and to training Mexican colleagues at Syntex. Rosenkranz is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and the Board of Governors of both the University of Tel Aviv and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. He has been honored with the Mexican National Prize in Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Leadership Award of the Mexican Health Federation, and Mexico’s Eduardo Liceaga Award, along with the Winthrop-Sears Award of the Chemical Heritage Foundation and The Chemists’ Club.

In addition to being a leader in science Rosenkranz is a world-class bridge player. He has authored fourteen books on contract bridge, several with Phillip Alder of the New York Times, and has won eleven North American Bridge Championships. In 2000 Rosenkranz was the recipient of the American Contract Bridge League’s Blackwood Award, and he was inducted into the ACBL’s Hall of Fame for his contributions as theorist, writer, and player.

About the Biotechnology Heritage Award

The Biotechnology Heritage Award is presented yearly by the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) since 1999, at a special ceremony during the BIO Annual International Convention. The award honors individuals who have contributed significantly to the growth of biotechnology through discovery, innovation, commercialization, and/or public understanding. Recipients include Joshua Boger, Herbert Boyer, Ronald Cape, Nancy Chang, George Rathmann, William Rutter, Robert Swanson, and Henri Termeer. In 2013 the Life Sciences Foundation (LSF) joins us in presenting the award and in honoring these individuals whose lives encourage emulation, and  inspire achievement.

CHF and LSF work closely together to treasure the past, educate the present, and inspire the future. As cosponsors of the Biotechnology Heritage Award, they share the mutual goals of educating the public, nourishing a sense of pride within the biotechnology community, and developing the record of the remarkable contributions the molecular sciences make to our lives. 

About the Biotechnology Industry Organization

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers, and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial, and environmental biotechnology products. See www.bio.org.

About the Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Chemical Heritage Foundation preserves and makes known the achievements of the chemical and molecular sciences, technologies, and industries. In bridging science with the humanities, arts, and social sciences, CHF is committed to building a vibrant, international community of scholars; creating a rich source of traditional and emerging media; and engaging the broader society through inventive public events. Please see www.chemheritage.org.

About the Life Sciences Foundation

The Life Sciences Foundation (LSF) was established in 2010 to create a record of the achievements of contemporary bioscientists. To learn about the people, institutions, and organizations that are making biotech history, visit www.biotechhistory.org.

 

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