BioForward Recognizes Scientific and Business Success with Annual Wisconsin Biohealth Awards
August 16, 2022 at 17:00 PM EDT
Dr. Cook and Dr. Kendrick recognized for scientific impact and business success in the biohealth industry
MADISON, Wis—BioForward Wisconsin has announced the winners of the seventh annual Wisconsin Biohealth Awards which showcase leadership and innovation in Wisconsin’s biohealth industry and specifically recognize scientific and business successes that have made Wisconsin a leader in biohealth.The 2022 winners: Hector F. DeLuca Scientific Achievement Award—Dr. James Cook, Wisconsin Biohealth Business Achievement Award—Dr. Nancy Kendrick.
Dr. James Cook is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 1973, he joined the University as an Assistant Professor in Organic Chemistry and was promoted to University Distinguished Professor in 2002. He is a leading expert in GABA-A receptor drug targeting and has published over 550 papers in the fields of natural products, medicinal chemistry, and organic synthesis. He is the recipient of the UW-System Innovator Award and the UW-Milwaukee Innovator Award and has filed over 90 patents. As the original designer of the GABAkines licensed to RespireRx Pharmaceuticals, his group synthesized a series of benzodiazepine subtype-selective agents for pharmaco-resistant epilepsy and chronic pain that are devoid of tolerance, sedation, and ataxia in preclinical tests to circumvent the opioid epidemic. He also cofounded Promentis Pharmaceuticals at Marquette University, which has a drug in Phase II clinical trials for the chronic mental illness Trichotillomania. His research collaboration at The Center for Addiction and Brain Health at the University of Toronto has led to licensing alpha5 selective agents to a startup company (Damona Pharmaceuticals) with investment funds targeted toward depression and Alzheimer’s disease. More recently his group developed alpha 6 selective agents that are active in animal models of trigeminal orofacial pain and Tourette syndrome and are, to date, devoid of side effects.
Dr. Nancy Kendrick received a B.S. in Biology from Illinois State University, followed by a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Washington University in St. Louis (1973) under Dr. Garland Marshall, Department of Physiology. Her thesis focused on solid-phase peptide synthesis with the goal of creating a model for the neuronal action potential. During that time, she absorbed considerable information about protein chemistry, including structure-function relationships. Nancy did postdoctoral research studying calcium transport in synaptosomes with Dr. Mordicai Blaustein at Washington University in St Louis and studying vitamin D-dependent calcium transport in the intestine with Dr. Hector DeLuca at the University of Wisconsin, Department of Biochemistry. The scientific overview and rigor acquired during her academic years were useful in developing a business. Nancy started Kendrick Labs in her basement as a 2D electrophoresis service for scientists at the University of Wisconsin and incorporated in 1987. Now a Contract Research Organization that serves pharma, biotech, and university scientists worldwide, Kendrick Labs, Inc. occupies about 5000 sq ft of lab/office space. The infrastructure of the business is strong and includes >100 written SOPs (standard operating procedures) for technical procedures, instrument calibrations, and Quality Assurance.
“BioForward Wisconsin is honored to announce and celebrate the achievements of this year’s Wisconsin Biohealth Award winners, Dr. Cook and Dr. Kendrick,” said Lisa Johnson, CEO of BioForward. “Both embody the meaning behind these awards due to their globally recognized research achievements and entrepreneurial support that have led to major medical advances in treating diseases and improving health outcomes. Their ingenuity, passion, and vision will be an asset to the Wisconsin biohealth industry for years to come.”
Wisconsin Biohealth Summit sponsors include Hausmann Group, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, JP Cullen, Kraemer Brothers, Luminex, CZ Strategy, Excelsior Labs, Genentech, UW-Madison Master of Science in Biotechnology Program, Strang, Madison Environmental Resourcing Inc., UW-Extension Master of Science in Applied Biotechnology, Commissioning Agents Inc, Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Fisher Scientific, Aldevron, Catalent, Exact Sciences, GE Healthcare, Illumina, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, MilliporeSigma, Morgridge Institute for Research, Promega, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Abbvie, Alliant Energy, Aurora Health Care, Cellular Dynamics, Eurofins, Findorff, Isthmus Project, Kerry, Labcorp, PhRMA, PPD, Teramedica, University Research Park, and Yahara Software.
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Rissa Guffey/BioForward Wisconsin