16 May 2014, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Dr Kiran is the third woman to receive the Othmer Gold Medal, and the first Indian to make it to this prestigious group.
The CHF lauded Dr Kiran's pioneering efforts in biotechnology, and for scripting a hugely successful entrepreneurial story by drawing on her knowledge of fermentation science to build Biocon, India's first biopharma company.
Accepting the award, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, CMD, Biocon, said, "I am deeply grateful to the Chemical Heritage Foundation for awarding me the Othmer Gold Medal 2014. This is an honor akin to being invited to join an extraordinary league of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and philanthropists, an emotion that is both proud and humbling at the same time."
Established by the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) in 1997, the annual award honors outstanding individuals who have made multifaceted contributions to chemical and scientific heritage through outstanding activity in such areas as innovation, entrepreneurship, research, education, public understanding, legislation or philanthropy.
Dr Kiran further added, "As an entrepreneur who is driven by a sense of purpose to make a difference to global healthcare, I take pride in saying that Biocon is contributing to affordable innovation which goes to the core of ensuring a global right to healthcare. In this, we seem to be drawing lessons from Donald Othmer's practical and low-cost approach to innovation."
The Othmer Gold Medal is presented annually and co-sponsored by CHF and four affiliated organizations namely the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the Chemists' Club, and the Societe de Chimie Industrielle.
The medal commemorates Dr Donald Othmer (1904-1995), noted researcher, consultant, editor, engineer, inventor, philanthropist, professor, and coeditor of the Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology.
So far, nineteen people have been conferred with this honor till date, including Arnold O Beckman, Carl Djerassi, Mary Lowe Good, Harry B Gray, Jon M Huntsman, Kazuo Inamori, Robert S Langer, P Roy Vagelos, James D Watson, George Whitesides and Ahmed Zewail.
The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF), located in Philadelphia, is a collections-based nonprofit organization that preserves the history and heritage of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences and technologies.
The collections are used to create a body of original scholarship that illuminates chemistry's role in shaping society.