Dinesh Patel, Sen. Orrin Hatch Headline BioUtah’s 2013 Utah Life Science Awards

BioUtah, the industry association for Utah’s life science community, today announced its 2013 Utah Life Science Award winners. Dinesh Patel, PhD has garnered BioUtah’s flagship award, the Willem J. Kolff Lifetime Achievement Award; Dixie Sells and Kevin Jessing will share the BioUtah Institute’s Outstanding Contributor Award; and Senator Orrin Hatch will receive the inaugural BioUtah Public Service Award.


All Utah Life Science Award winners were selected by a panel that included a cross-section of industry, education and government leaders in Utah’s life science community.

“These awards reflect some of the greatest qualities we can aspire to—summoning our energy and passion to serve our callings, colleagues and fellow human beings,” said Kimball Thomson, president and CEO of BioUtah. “All four of our winners this year are great examples of commitment to these values, and are worthy of emulation.”

Patel, partner emeritus with Signal Peak Ventures, was recognized for his multifaceted contributions to building Utah’s life science sector. A prominent entrepreneur and business leader, he has founded or co-founded multiple Utah life science companies. He was the founder and CEO of TheraTech, now a major Utah division of Actavis. Patel invested in a in a large number of Utah life science companies as co-founding managing director of vSpring Capital, and in an additional 20-plus companies as an angel investor. He is active in community service, including support of numerous charities, and is currently chair of the Governing Authority for the Utah Science Technology & Research Initiative (USTAR) and a member of the executive board of BioUtah.

“It is a great honor for me to be recognized by my peers with the Kolff Award, named after one of the greatest life science innovators Utah or the world has ever known,” said Patel. “In my life as an entrepreneur, investor, volunteer and board member in Utah’s life science community, it has been my privilege to work with some of the greatest people I could ever know.”

In receiving this award, Patel joins a distinguished group of Utah life science greats. Previous Kolff Award winners include legendary Utah inventor and robotics engineer Stephen C. Jacobsen; University of Utah Nobel Laureate Mario R. Capecchi; and the late medical informatics pioneer Homer R. Warner.

Hatch was recognized with the BioUtah Public Service Award for his extraordinary contributions to improving the business, legislative and regulatory environment for life science companies in Utah and throughout the U.S. One of the most influential and respected members of Congress on life science issues, Utah’s senior U.S. Senator is co-leading the bi-partisan effort to repeal the jobs-killing, innovation-stifling medical device excise tax.

The 2013 BioUtah Institute Outstanding Contributor Award honors unsung heroes for the work they do within their respective organizations and in the community. Sells, VP of Regulatory Affairs for BSD Medical, was recognized for her exceptional knowledge and effectiveness in regulatory affairs on behalf of her organization and in the community. Jessing, current Utah Life Science Cluster Director, shared the award for his creativity and commitment to making the BioInnovations Gateway (BiG) a model life science learning organization and incubator as its former executive director.

The Utah Life Science Awards will be presented at the 4th annual Utah Life Science Summit at a special luncheon that begins at 12 p.m. at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. Utah Governor Gary Herbert will join BioUtah leaders in presenting the awards.

The premier event for Utah’s life science community, the Utah Life Science Summit brings together state and national leaders for an all-day, high-quality education and networking experience. Last year’s Summit featured the official launch of BioUtah as the exclusive industry association for Utah’s life science community. This year’s event will mark BioUtah’s one-year anniversary. In its highly productive first year, the association has attracted broad and deep industry support. More than 80 life science-focused organizations have combined to commit hundreds of dollars to BioUtah’s events, educational programs, and local and national legislative outreach.