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2017 Community Awards Honor Academic and Industry Leaders, Georgia Power, UGA Research Center

Thursday, January 19, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kristen Pappaterra
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ATLANTA, GA (January 19, 2017) -- Georgia Bio each year recognizes individuals, companies and organizations for significant contributions to Georgia’s life sciences industry with its Georgia Bio Community Awards. The recipients will be honored at the Annual Awards Dinner January 26, 6 pm to 9 pm, at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North.  Now in its 19th year, the Georgia Bio annual awards dinner brings together industry leaders to advance the growth of the life sciences industry and foster strategic partnerships that can create a healthier world. Other leading companies, executives, researchers and dedicated individuals will receive Georgia Bio Awards at the dinner. Learn more and register at

The 2017 recipients are Abel De La Rosa, Ph.D., Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory & The Emory Institute for Drug Development; Rafael V. Andino, Clearside Biomedical; Derek Eberhart, Ph.D., University of Georgia; Georgia Power; and the UGA Complex Carbohydrate Research Center.


Rafael V. Andino, Vice President of Engineering and Manufacturing, Clearside Biomedical, Inc.

Rafael V. Andino is a biomedical engineer and businessman having over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry in both public and private companies. He has served in product development, research and development, general management, and Chief Executive roles and has led multidisciplinary and multinational teams to launch successful products in many fields of medicine including ophthalmology, urology, endourology, gynecology, wound care, cardiovascular and general surgery. Mr. Andino is currently Vice President of Engineering and Manufacturing at Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLSD) in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Mr. Andino is being honored for his longtime support of the bioscience industry via Georgia Bio and the Georgia BioEd Institute, including his dedication to participating in its programs in local schools.

Abel De La Rosa, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory & Emory Institute for Drug

Development, Emory University

Dr. De La Rosa serves as the Chief Scientific Officer of the Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory and the Emory Institute for Drug Development, focused on the discovery and development of antiviral drugs for the treatment of viral diseases of unmet medical need and global concern.

Prior to joining Emory University, Dr. De La Rosa was Senior Vice President of Business Development & Scientific Affairs with Pharmasset. From 2002 until its acquisition by Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD) for $11 billion in 2012, he was responsible for licensing, strategic transactions, and alliance management of collaborations and partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and universities.

Dr. De La Rosa is being honored for outstanding achievements in the life sciences industry, including his leadership at Pharmasset and current role at DRIVE, along with continued support of Georgia Bio activities.

Derek Eberhart, Ph.D., Director of Innovation Gateway, University of Georgia

Dr. Derek Eberhart is the founding Director of Innovation Gateway at the University of Georgia (UGA). Innovation Gateway encompasses UGA’s intellectual property licensing and startup support functions to help streamline the path from the lab to the marketplace ensuring that UGA research discoveries reach their full potential for public benefit.  UGA’s commercialization program has facilitated the generation of more than 600 products and 150 startup companies based on UGA research. 

Prior to joining UGA in 2008, Derek worked in a variety of R&D roles in the biopharma industry most recently as Director of Alliance and Portfolio Management at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Eberhart is being honored for his leadership in connecting industry with university expertise and inventions for the public good, promoting economic development, and increasing research visibility.

Georgia Power

Georgia Power is proud to be among the earliest sponsors of Georgia Bio and its predecessors.  For over a quarter of a century, Georgia Power has supported Georgia Bio and its mission to grow the State’s Life Science industry.  Georgia Power is also being honored for its longtime support of Georgia BioEd’s efforts to grow Georgia’s biotech workforce through hands-on learning programs in middle and high schools. 

The largest unit of the Southern Company, Georgia Power serves all but four of Georgia’s 159 counties.  Georgia Power has a long-standing commitment to giving back to the communities we serve.

Complex Carbohydrate Research Center (CCRC)

The Complex Carbohydrate Research Center (CCRC) is home to 17 interdisciplinary research groups.  The CCRC occupies an ~140,000 sq.-ft. building specifically designed for the interdisciplinary and equipment-intensive nature of carbohydrate science.  It is organized to optimize cooperation and collaboration among disciplines, both within the CCRC and with scientists elsewhere. 

The CCRC was founded in September 1985 to answer the national need for a center devoted to increasing knowledge of the functions of complex carbohydrates. The CCRC’s interdisciplinary research groups study the structures and functions of the complex carbohydrates of plants, microbes, and animals to determine the role of carbohydrates in growth and development, host-pathogen interactions and disease processes such as cancer. To investigate the chemistry and the physiological, developmental and molecular biology of complex carbohydrates, research groups at the CCRC have developed and use advanced analytical techniques, including mass spectrometry, NMR spectroscopy, chemical and enzymatic synthesis, computer modeling, tissue culture, immunocytochemistry, and recombinant genetics.

For a list of past Georgia Bio award recipients, click here.

Georgia Bio ( is the state’s life science industry association whose members include pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, medical centers, universities and research institutes, government groups and other business organizations involved in the development of life sciences related products and services.


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