Saturday, February 4, 2017

BioNJ Annual Dinner Meeting & Innovation Celebrtion

On Thursday 2nd February, pharmaceutical industry leaders, innovators, and Patients, gathered at the Hilton New Brunswick for Bio NJs 24th Annual Gateway Gala and Innovation Celebration, to honor medical innovation coming out of  New Jersey's vibrant life sciences community.

After the Networking Reception, attendees made their way into the main hall where the night kicked off with the video 'Fighter', by Taylor Tote, who with Hannah and Natalie Gorsegner wrote the song to raise awareness and money, (more than half a million dollars to date), for childhood cancer research, through their organization, Infinite Love For Kids Fighting Cancer.  Natalie, a 7-year old cancer survivor, her sister Hannah and their caretaker Taylor were then introduced to the stage by Debbie Hart, Bio NJs Founding President and CEO during her welcome address to perform the song live for all attendees.  A perfect way to set the tone for the evening and an important reminder of why we in this industry do what we do!

Debbie Hart, Founding President and CEO of BioNJ


Fred Hassan
Recipient of the 10th Annual Dr. Sol J. Barer Award for Vision, Innovation and Leadership 

As the night moved on, respected industry leader, mentor and globally recognized industry role model Fred Hassan was presented with the 10th Annual Dr. Sol J. Barer Award for Vision by Dr. Sol J. Barer.  Colleagues, peers, mentee's, and friends honored Fred Hassan during a video tribute highlighting his tremendous contributions to shaping the industry and advancing healthcare,  As he received his award, he reminded us of the importance of being grounded in a strong family foundation as he shared the moment with his children and wife of over 40 years.  Congratulations Mr. Hassan!

Joan Lunden
Keynote Speaker 
As a Patient, Patient Advocate and media legend, keynote speaker Joan Lunden held the audience captive as she shared her story and insights on her personal battle with breast cancer.  Joan took us through her journey describing everything from the importance of the relationship with her father, an oncologist whom she lost when she was 13, to the difficulties that she experienced navigating the healthcare system, to chemo-brain, (which her husband likened to what it must feel like to live with a man), to the moment she washed off her eyebrows and eyelashes in one fell swoop, to the healthcare system and technology that helped to save her life. 

You can visit Ms. Lunden's website for helpful information about cancer, health, wellness, lifestyles tips, family and boomer information.

James Sapirstein, CEO, ContraVir Pharmaceuticals
BioNJ Chairman
Incoming BioNJ Chairman James Sapirstein stated during his address that what we do in our industry is ....'buy people time..'  A poignant message, as Ms. Hart closed the night thanking the industry for the gift of time, that due to new treatment options, clinical trials and evolving standards of care she and her family and friends are able to share with her mother, who is currently battling cancer.   

A fantastic event hosted by Bio NJ whose rallying cry "Because Patients Can’t Wait® "reminds us all why do we do we do with passion each and every day!

Please follow this Link for more information about BioNJ.

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