Leadership Awards

Recognizing Leadership

The future of biotechnology cannot be realized through the raw talent of our best and brightest alone, but through the cultivation of their young talents. This is accomplished by inspired mentors who in turn, inspire. The Institute recognizes outstanding individuals and institutions each year during the BioGENEius program at the International Biotechnology Conference.

The BioGENEius Hall of Fame award honors past finalists with a track record of outstanding biotechnology, medicine, or other related careers. We draw upon them to inspire younger generations with their stories or through our BioChampions program.

Hall of Fame Awardees and current activities include:

2022 - not awarded
2021 - not possible due to COVID-19

2020 - Anvita Gupta, Founder, and CEO, AINovo Biotech, Inc.; Founder LITAS For Girls [Winner, 2015]
2019 - Michael Tran Doung, Medical Student at Perelman, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine [Runner Up, 2015]
2018 - Dr. Lecia Brown, Global Clinical Development Scientist, GSK [Finalist, 2006]
2017 - Riley Ennis, Co-Founder, COO at Immudicon; Co-Founder, COO at Freenome; Co-Founder, Oncolinx [Finalist, 2011]
2016 - Johnny Fells, Mentor SEO Scholars, Wealth Management Professional at Goldman Sachs [Runner Up, 2009]
2015 - Tess Michaels, Founder & CEO SOCENIA; CEO, Stride Funding [4th place, 2007)

The BioGENEius Mentor Award honors a STEM teacher or other significant influencer in the participating communities that serve the BioGENEius program. Mentors deserve special recognition for the personal time and effort they willingly dedicate to advancing our next-gen innovators' aspirations.

Past BioGENEius Mentor Awardees include:

2022 - Dr. Bijean Ford, Head Instructor, BioDiversity, Washington, DC
2021 - not possible due to COVID-19
2020 - not possible due to COVID-19
2019 - Dr. Cristobal Carambo, Philadelphia High School for Girls, Philadelphia, PA
2018 - Cara Pekarcik, North Quincy High School, Quincy, MA
2017 - Paul Starodub, Palos Verde Peninsula High School, Rolling Hills Estates, CA
2016 - Marc Pedersen, Paulding County High School, Dallas, GA
2015 - Donna E. Leonardi, Bergen County Academy, Hackensack, NJ

The BioSTEM Leader Award honors outstanding Grade 9-12 schools for their promotion and support of STEM with a strong focus on the life sciences. The best of teachers cannot accomplish their goals without a strong supportive educational infrastructure. These schools have designed model programs to form just such an environment for their students.

Past BioSTEM Leader Awardees include:

2022 - not awarded
2021 - not possible due to COVID-19
2020 - not possible due to COVID-19
2019 - Philadelphia High School for Girls, Philadelphia, PA
2018 - Boston Leadership Institute, Boston, MA
2017 - Life Sciences Summer Institute, San Diego, CA
2016 - Abraham Lincoln High School, San Francisco, CA
2015 - McKinley Technology High School, Washington, DC


Anyone can nominate a candidate for each of these three awards. For the BioGENEius Mentor and BioSTEM Leader Awards, we generally consider nominations from the school districts located within the general vicinity of that year's annual International Biotechnology Conference or from our State Partners. Fortunately, this does not limit outstanding choices!

To make a nomination, please provide the following:

1.  Your name and contact information (address, email, phone)

2.  Individual or School nominee (name, address, nominee point of contact, and contact information)

3.  In 250 words or less, describe

  • Why the nominee stands out in the general field of STEM education and programs in life sciences/biotechnology in particular,
  • 2-3 specific examples (programs, community activities, etc.) of how they lead in this effort, and
  • Professional and personal attributes of the individual (Hall of Fame), leadership as a mentor (BioGENEius Mentor), or the school and staff that qualify them as a leader in STEM and biosciences education (bio stem Leader).

4.  Any awards the nominee has received in the past 3-5 years

5.  Two supporting references (inclusion of their letters of support are desirable)

6.  A statement as to the nominee's availability to be in the venue city during the dates of the International Biotechnology Conference and what if any constraints they might face to do so.


  • Submit items 1-6 as a single document (PDF preferred)
  • Email as an attachment to info@biotechinstitute.org with the subject line: "BioGENEius Hall of Fame Nominee", "BioGENEius Mentor Nominee" or "BioSTEM Leader Nominee" Application (year)