- Global Pharma News & Resources

MichBio To Present Inaugural Michigan Bioscience Pantheon Award to Ten Inductees at Expo

MichBio will present ten inaugural Michigan Bioscience Pantheon awards to industry leaders and innovators who have made a substantial contribution to bioscience research and industry in Michigan and beyond. The presentation will take place during the MichBio “25 Years of the Michigan Biosciences Industry Association” Expo and Conference on October 29th and 30th.

“The Award is meant to recognize the pioneers and inspirational leaders with a rare combination of vision, creativity, passion and acumen to foster change,” says Stephen Rapundalo, PhD, President and CEO of MichBio. “It honors their scientific discoveries or business triumphs that have made a difference in health and welfare around the world and impacted the state’s economy in a meaningful manner. The Pantheon Award is a small way for us to congratulate these luminaries on their lasting influence.”

The 2018 Pantheon award winners are:

Tom Borton, PhD Former VP, MERRA

Tom Borton formerly served as the Director of Environmental and Energy Programs for the Michigan Energy and Resource Research Association. In this role he provided supporting services to early stage small businesses in Michigan during their efforts to initiate and transfer research into operational business stages. This included extensive work with the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Michigan State Research Fund. Dr. Borton holds a PhD in Environmental Health Sciences and Planning from the University of Michigan.

John Brown Chairman Emeritus, Stryker Corporation

Mr. Brown retired as CEO of Stryker Corporation in 2004 after 27 years and currently serves as Chairman Emeritus. During his tenure he transformed the organization into a medical technology powerhouse with unparalleled growth and success.

Mr. Brown is a director of the American Business Conference, a recently retired director of St. Jude Medical, serves as a governor-appointee on the Michigan Economic Development Committee and is a director emeritus of the Auburn University Foundation.

Denis Callewaert, PhD, President and CEO, Oxford Biomedical Research and Oxford Laboratories

Dr. Callewaert earned his B.S. at the University of Detroit and his Ph.D. at Wayne State University. In 1974 he accepted a position at Oakland University’s Department of Chemistry, led the formation of Oakland’s Biochemistry program and founded its Center for Biomedical Research. In 1993 he helped start MichBio.

Dr. Callewaert has also started five biotech companies including Proteins International in 1983, Oxford Biomedical Research in 1984, and Oxford Laboratories in 1995. His newest venture, Food Quality Testing Corp. was started in 2017 and is focused on providing point of use tests to ensure food quality.

James Herbert, Executive Chairman, Neogen Corporation

Mr. Herbert was CEO of Neogen Corporation, a publicly held company that develops products for food and animal safety, from its inception in 1982 until recently when he assumed the role as Executive Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Herbert has been an officer or member of the Board of Directors in more than 30 corporations during his career and continues to serve on several non-profit boards. He received his bachelor’s from the University of Tennessee and completed advanced studies at Emory University and Harvard. He has received honorary PhD degrees from MSU, the University of Tennessee, and Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland.

David Herzig, PhD, Former VP of Development, Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research

Dr. Herzig obtained his BS from Oberlin College and his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, spent four years in NIH labs, and served on the faculty of NYU Medical School before moving to Warner-Lambert Pharmaceutical Research. He moved to Ann Arbor with Parke-Davis to head their allergy/immunology/pulmonary research group. He became the VP of Drug Development and was responsible for the launch of several hormonal, post-menopausal drugs.

Jean Kantrowitz, MPH Founder, L-VAD Technology, Inc

Ms. Kantrowitz cofounded L.VAD Technology, Inc in 1985 and ViaDerm LLC in 2011. As administrator of a leading-edge heart failure assist device R&D laboratory, she had a key role in NIH grant applications and industry partner funding yielding $48 mil in the aggregate. She served as an NIH site reviewer for 45 large scale, program project applications.

Ms. Kantrowitz holds a BS from Rider College, an MS from the University of North Carolina (both business ed), and an MPH from the University of Michigan. For 10 years, she served as co-chair of the American Society of Artificial Organs work group on the history of artificial organs.

Mickey Katz-Pek, Founder, Biotechnology Business Consultants (BBC)

Ms. Katz-Pek has worked with a substantial number of large public and private companies and institutions since founding BBC in 1990. Previously, Ms. Katz-Pek spent 17 years as an administrator at UM, founded BioQuant, a medical diagnostics company, and the Michigan Biotechnology Association (now MichBio), and was Director of Biotechnology and Life Sciences at MERRA.

Ms. Katz-Pek also served on a National Science Foundation’s advisory board, has been an SBIR/STTR reviewer at NIH, and is currently a Board member of NSF International.

Roger Newton, PhD, FAHA, FACN Founder, Esperion Therapeutics

Dr. Newton is the Founder and a board member of Esperion Therapeutics. Prior to founding Esperion in 2008, Roger was Senior VP, Pfizer Global R&D for four years, the President and CEO of the original Esperion for six years, and Chairman of the Atherosclerosis Drug Discovery Team that developed LipitorR at Warner Lambert for seventeen years.

Roger is a fellow of the American Heart Association, director of DeNovo Sciences and Juventas Therapeutics, Inc., and is also a member of the Tech Advisory Boards for Arboretum Ventures and Metagenics, Inc. Roger earned a PhD in Nutrition from the University of California, Davis, an MS in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Connecticut, and a BS in Biology from Lafayette College.

Dick Sarns, Founder, Sarns, Inc., DLP, Inc. and NuStep, Inc

Mr. Sarns designed an innovative heart-lung machine for cardiac bypass surgery in 1960 with Sarns, Inc and founded NuStep in 1987. The family-run company developed a first-of-its-kind recumbent cross-training bike for individuals with limited movement. Over 100,000 NuStep units have been sold across 20 countries. After celebrating his 91stbirthday in June, Sarns retired from his self-started company.

Ron Williams, PhD Founder and Chairman, Medbio, Inc and DLP, Inc.

Mr. Williams is a graduate of Penn State University where he earned B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering. He began his career as a researcher at Battelle Columbus Labs, and later became the VP of the Fenwal Division of Baxter Labs focused on blood collection, storage and processing devices. In 1984 he joined DLP, Inc. makers of medical devices used in cardiac surgery, as President and co- owner. In 2006, Ron became an owner of Medbio, Inc., where he serves as its Chairman.

Mr. Williams is a registered Professional Engineer; inventor or co-inventor on more than 15 medical device patents; past Chairman of the Right Place Manufacturer’s Council; and an inductee into the Grand Rapids Magazine/Van Andel Institute Medical Hall of Fame.

The Award ceremony will take place at the end of the first day of the MichBio Expo and Conference on October 29th. For the full event program, exhibitor and sponsor information, or to register, visit

MichBio is the trade association committed to driving growth in Michigan's biosciences industry and its many sectors, including agri-biotech, food and nutrition, bio-based technologies and renewable chemicals, industrial and environmental biotech, medical devices and technologies, pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare, diagnostics and research products, testing and research services, and clinical research. MichBio members include bioscience companies, academic and research institutions, bioscience service providers, and related organizations. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @MichBio.

View source version on

Editor Details

  • Company:
    • Business Wire
  • Website:
Last Updated: 19-Oct-2018