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Press Release

iBIO Institute Announces Honorees of 11th Annual iCON Awards

iBIO Institute
Posted on: 21 Aug 17

The iBIO Institute today announced the four honorees of the eleventh annual iCON Awards –the region’s most prestigious honor for life sciences educators, researchers and civic visionaries. The iCON Awards celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding innovators and leaders whose work provides the basis for biotechnology developments worldwide.

The 2017 Civic iCON Award will be presented to the Honorable Anne Burke, Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. For 50 years, Justice Burke has dedicated herself to improving the lives of children young people with disabilities as a teacher, attorney and founder of the Chicago Special Olympics. As Special Counsel for Child Welfare to Governor Jim Edgar, she instituted reforms to the juvenile justice system, which increased collaboration between law enforcement and social service agencies and strengthened child protection services.

“This year’s iCON Award honorees are leaders and innovators in their respective fields,” said Walt Johnston, Sr. Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Astellas Pharma US, Inc. and Chair of the iBIO Institute Board. “Whether through education, industry or advocacy, all have made a lasting impact in Illinois and beyond.”

Justice Burke was appointed to the Illinois Appellate Court in 1995 and was elected to the seat in 1996. From 2002 to 2004, Burke served as interim chair on the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People. Since 2008, she has served as the Illinois Supreme Court Justice for the First Judicial District (Cook County, Illinois).

The 2017 iCON Entrepreneurial Award honoree is Edward J. Fiorentino, Chairman of the Board and CEO of TerSera Therapeutics. This award recognizes a pioneering entrepreneur who is a risk taker and visionary leader.

Fiorentino formerly served as the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Crealta Pharmaceuticals and CEO of Actient Pharmaceuticals. He also contributes to the expansion of the Illinois life sciences community through his leadership on corporate and non-profit boards. Prior to Crealta and Actient, Fiorentino spent 20 years at Abbott, holding various roles at the company including Senior Vice President of Diabetes Care Operations and President of MediSense Products.

The 2017 iCON Innovator Award will be given to Joseph Moskal, chief scientific officer of Aptinyx and distinguished professor of biomedical engineering at Northwestern University.

Dr. Moskal founded Naurex and served as its chief scientific officer until Allergan acquired the company in 2015. Previously, Dr. Moskal served as an assistant professor and director of the neurosurgery laboratories at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Earlier, he was a staff fellow at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Moskal also serves as the director of Northwestern University’s Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics and is well known for his research on the NMDA receptor.

The fourth iCON award is the Knowledge Builder Award, which will be presented to Elizabeth Bartimus, a seventh and eighth grade science teacher at Johns Hill Magnet School in the Decatur Public School district. Bartimus is a passionate instructor who aims to bring science to life for her students through real-world applications of learning. In 2016, she helped implement bring the iBIO Institute’s TalentSparks! teacher workshops in Decatur. A program of the Institute’s EDUCATE Center, TalentSparks! assists science teachers in developing real-world, problem-centered, hands-on learning curricula to align with Next Generation Science Standards.

Funds raised at the iCON Awards ceremony further the mission of the iBIO Institute, whose nationally-recognized EDUCATE™, PACT and PROPEL® Centers deliver world-class educational programs and job-creating new technology ventures.

“The iBIO Institute brings the biotechnology industry together to inspire young students and teachers, launch groundbreaking life science startups and connect patients with cutting-edge treatments,” said John Conrad, executive vice president of iBIO and the iBIO Institute. “The iCON Award Honorees embody this spirit by dedicating their own talents and resources to worthwhile pursuits that better the lives of others.”

For more information on the iCON Awards Dinner, including ticket/table registration and sponsorship opportunities, please visit The eleventh annual iBIO iCON Awards Dinner will take place October 3 at The Field Museum in Chicago.

About iBIO Institute

The mission of the iBIO Institute is to orchestrate business leadership in delivery of world-class educational programs and job-creating new technology ventures. The Institute’s EDUCATE Center delivers science and math programs for teachers and students, thereby inspiring the next generation of innovators and helping restore America’s leadership in technology education. The Institute’s PROPEL Center increases the number and success rate of early-stage life sciences companies in Illinois.

To learn more about the iBIO Institute and its programs, visit

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Last updated on: 21/08/2017

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