Governor Gary R. Herbert, along with the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative, announced the winners of the 2019 Governor’s Medals for Science and Technology. The medals will be presented to the four honorees at the Utah Technology Innovation Summit on April 1.
“I congratulate each of this year’s medal winners and I would like to thank them for their contribution to technology innovation in Utah,” said Gov. Herbert. “It is contributions like these that keep Utah at the forefront of technology innovation and ensure we have a diverse economy that can weather any economic storm.”
“It is an honor to pay tribute to this year’s medal winners,” said Barbara Araneo, Ph.D., acting executive director of USTAR. “These awards represent outstanding innovation in the fields of science and technology education and advancement, which makes a huge contribution to the citizens of Utah.”
This year’s winners are as follows:
Lifetime Achievement Award
Fred Lampropoulos, Chairman and CEO, Merit Medical Systems, Inc.
Randall J. Olson, M.D., Chair, University of Utah Health Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, and CEO, John A. Moran Eye Center
Diane Crim, Salt Lake Center for Science Education
Intermountain Precision Genomics
Initiated in 1987, the Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology is the highest civilian award bestowed by the State of Utah to residents who have provided distinguished service or made significant contributions to Utah in scientific and technological fields. A panel of industry experts and educators review the nominations and make recommendations to the Governor.
The medals will be presented to the winners during the lunchtime plenary session of the Utah Technology Innovation Summit on April 1 at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City. The awards are presented in partnership by USTAR and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
***See 2019 winner biographies below***
With a career spanning over 30 years, Fred Lampropoulos is being honored for his work serving the medical device industry and the state of Utah. After serving as the Chairman and Chief Executive of Utah Medical, Lampropoulos founded Merit Medical Systems, Inc. in 1987, where he currently serves as Chairman and CEO. Merit has grown from a start-up to a publicly traded company with revenues of more than $1 billion forecasted for 2019. He founded Sentir Semiconductors in 1991, which later merged into Merit Medical. He has invented and holds more than 240 patents on devices used in the diagnostic and therapeutic treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Lampropoulos is involved in the community and serves on many boards. His awards include the MountainWest Capital Network Entrepreneur of the Year, a 2003 Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology in the industry category, the Utah National Guard Bronze Minuteman Award, and the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award. He was inducted into the Utah Business Hall of Fame, the Utah Technology Hall of Fame, and the University of Utah College of Science Hall of Fame.
Randall J. Olson, M.D.
Randall J. Olson, M.D. is being honored as a world-renowned expert in cataract and intraocular lens (IOL) surgery who established the John A. Moran Eye Center with philanthropic support, creating a premier center for ophthalmic care and research in Utah. He is the inventor of both surgical instruments and a hypodermic needle system and method to reduce surgical infection.
Throughout more than three decades at the University of Utah, Olson has taken on—and solved—some of the most challenging problems in his field by creating unique new collaborations between philanthropists, academics, and private industry. He has co-founded numerous biotechnology companies, and created Moran's Sharon Eccles Steele Center for Translational medicine as a new model for partnerships between academia, philanthropy and private industry to bring new therapies to market faster. Olson emphasizes innovation as he directs and mentors more than 60 faculty, 500 staff, and 20 residents and fellows at the Moran Eye Center under its vision that no person with a blinding condition, eye disease, or visual impairment should be without hope, understanding and treatment.
Diane Crim is being honored for her 30 years of teaching in multiple schools in the Salt Lake School District, and for her work at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education (SLCSE), with her current assignment at the Bryant campus, which serves a large minority and low-income student population.
She joined a team of educators in 2007 to create the SLCSE in Rose Park to provide a world class STEM education to a broad and diverse student population with a commitment to provide interdisciplinary curriculum and project-based learning. She has partnered with colleagues and university researchers, served as a math coach to other teachers and developed a project-based curriculum for high school statistics which has become the foundation for many data-driven projects at SLCSE.
Intermountain Precision Genomics
Intermountain Precision Genomics is being honored for genetically-targeted cancer innovations that are improving the lifespans and quality of life for thousands of Utah residents, placing Utah at the cutting edge of precision medicine. Precision Genomics, with its core laboratory located in St. George, Utah, has developed next-generation genomic technology that decodes the genetic makeup of each patient's unique cancer cells to detect the individual genes contributing to their illness. These insights unlock the door to highly-effective, personalized treatment options, offering hope to patients who haven’t seen improvement from traditional treatment.
Placing Utah on the map for genetic innovations, Precision Genomics has sequenced more than 6,000 tissue samples since the company’s inception, with more than 75 percent of patients with advanced-stage cancer finding additional treatment options. In addition to its use of genomic technology in oncology, Precision Genomics is also using the technology to improve care of patients suffering from depression. Since the release of RxMatch in early 2018, Precision Genomics has provided medication screenings for 1,500 patients across more than eight clinical specialties.