Biotechnology Heritage Award
2013 Winner: George Rosenkranz
The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) selected George Rosenkranz as the winner of the 2013 Biotechnology Heritage Award. The award was presented during BIO’s annual international convention, which was held in Chicago, April 22-25, 2013.
George Rosenkranz joined Syntex Corporation in 1945, retiring 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 life-long friends. Revolutionary advances in the intellectual understanding of, and production techniques for, steroid drugs were developed under his 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, and 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 Science and the Board of Governors of the University of Tel Aviv and of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovoth, Israel. He holds the Mexican National Prize in Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Leadership Award of the Mexican Health Federation, and Mexico’s Eduardo Liceaga Award; also the Winthrop-Sears Award of the Chemical Heritage Foundation and the Chemists’ Club.
In addition to leadership 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 U. S. National Bridge Championships. In 2000, Dr. Rosenkranz was the recipient of the American Contract Bridge League's "Blackwood Award" and entered 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 at a special ceremony during the BIO Annual International Convention to honor individuals who have contributed significantly to the growth of biotechnology through discovery, innovation, commercialization, and/or public understanding. In honoring these individuals, the Chemical Heritage Foundation and the Biotechnology Industry Organization seek to encourage emulation, inspire achievement, and promote public understanding of modern science, industry, and economics in this rapid-growth area.
The cosponsorship of the award complements the mission of both organizations by advancing their mutual goals of educating the public, nourishing a sense of pride and community within the industry, and developing the record of the remarkable contributions the molecular sciences make to our lives.
About the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
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.
About the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF)
The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) is a collections-based nonprofit organization that preserves the history and heritage of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences and technologies. The collections are used to create a body of original scholarship that illuminates chemistry’s role in shaping society. 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; expanding the reach of our museum; and engaging the broader society through inventive public events.