CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug 29, 2018--The iBIO Institute today announced the honorees of the twelfth 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 life sciences developments worldwide. Tickets/table registrations and sponsorship opportunities are now available for purchase on iBIO’s website. Funds raised at the iCON Awards ceremony supports the mission of the iBIO Institute, a 501(c)3 public charity, which orchestrates business leadership in delivery of world-class educational after-school programs and summer STEM camps for girls grades 3-8 in underserved Illinois schools.

The 2018 Civic iCON Award will be presented to The Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute. Thomas Shanley, MD, Chairman of Pediatrics at Lurie Children’s Hospital and President and Chief Research Officer at The Manne Research Institute, will accept the award on behalf of the organization. For more than 30 years, the research at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago has been conducted through The Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute, which focuses on improving child health and transforming pediatric medicine to ensure healthier futures for patients. The Manne Institute actively innovates in STEM by implementing community health programs in Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods.

“This year’s iCON Award honorees are leaders and innovators in their respective fields,” said Walt Johnston, Senior 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.”

The 2018 iCON Entrepreneurial Award honoree is Sean Nolan, CEO of AveXis, a leading gene therapy company developing treatments for rare and life-threatening neurological genetic diseases. This award recognizes a pioneering entrepreneur who is a risk taker and visionary leader.

Mr. Nolan has served as the CEO of AveXis since 2015 and led the company through a dynamic growth period which included the generation of transformational clinical data for its lead product that treats patients suffering from Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the number one genetic cause of infant mortality. Prior to joining AveXis, Mr. Nolan worked for InterMune in San Francisco as the company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer where he was responsible for building and leading the North American commercial organization in preparation for the anticipated U.S. launch of pirfenidone, a treatment for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, a devastating orphan disease.

The 2018 iCON Innovator Award will be given to Dr. Maryellen Giger, the A.N. Pritzker Professor of Radiology, the Committee on Medical Physics, and the College, and Vice-Chair for Basic Science Research in the Department of Radiology at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Giger is considered to be one of the pioneers in the development of computer-aided diagnosis (CAD). She has authored or co-authored more than 220 peer-reviewed journal articles, is an inventor on over 35 U.S. patents, and serves as a reviewer for various national and international granting agencies including the National Institute of Health and the U.S. Army. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and was awarded the William D. Coolidge Gold Medal from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, the highest award given by the AAPM. In 2013, she was named by the International Congress on Medical Physics (ICMP) as one of the 50 medical physicists with the most impact on the field in the last 50 years.

The iCON Knowledge Builder Award will be presented to Allison Hennings, a biology teacher at Oak Park River Forest High School in Oak Park, Illinois, where she leads the school’s award-winning independent research program. For the last six years, Ms. Hennings has actively encouraged her students to participate in iBIO’s annual Illinois BioGENEius Competition, and every year OPRF students represent a significant majority of BioGENEius participants based on selection and quality of their projects. Last year, one of her students won the statewide competition and went on to compete in the international competition in Boston over the summer. Before becoming a high school teacher, Ms. Hennings was an intensive care nurse at Loyola University’s Medical Center for 12 years.

The iBIO Institute will award a fifth award at this year’s event called the iCON Community Award, which will be presented to an iBIO member organization that has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the communities it serves in Illinois. The winner of the iCON Community Award will be announced at the event on October 2.

“The iBIO Institute brings the life sciences industry together to inspire young students and teachers, launch groundbreaking life science startups and connect patients with cutting-edge treatments,” said John Conrad, president and CEO 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, please visit The twelfth annual iBIO iCON Awards Dinner will take place October 2 at The Chicago Botanic Garden.

About iBIO Institute

The mission of the iBIO Institute, established in 2003 by the Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO), 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.

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

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PUB: 08/29/2018 03:08 PM/DISC: 08/29/2018 03:08 PM