Award renamed in honor of former BioCrossroads Chairman

Indianapolis, October 20, 2009 – At the sixth annual Indiana Life Sciences Forum today, BioCrossroads recognized one of the world’s leading peptide scientists and biotechnology entrepreneurs for his significant impact on Indiana’s life sciences greatness and growth –Richard DiMarchi, Ph.D., the Linda & Jack Gill Chair in Biomolecular Sciences and Professor of Chemistry at Indiana University and Chief Scientific Officer of Marcadia Biotech. Dr. DiMarchi received the August M. Watanabe Life Sciences Champion of the Year award, a prestigious honor named in tribute to BioCrossroads’ late Chairman.

Dr. DiMarchi is a steward of Indiana’s life sciences growth, and he encompasses the award’s mission to “honor an individual who has made significant achievements in the development and promotion of Indiana’s life sciences sector and promotes innovative development of the life sciences in Indiana.”

“Richard has been an incredible catalyst for bridging industry with academia, and has brought national attention to the life sciences efforts in Indiana. He has earned a prominent role as one of the leading peptide scientists in the world and is also building one of the most promising biotech companies in the U.S.,” said D. Craig Brater, MD. Dean of the Indiana University School of Medicine and Interim Chairman of the Board of BioCrossroads. “He personifies the emerging face of Indiana’s life sciences sector, and utilizes that role to support and mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs and scientists. And his research and entrepreneurial endeavors are focused on two of the most critical health needs in the U.S. – diabetes and obesity.”

Some of Dr. DiMarchi’s achievements:

  • Together with a Prof Hank Mosberg at the University of Michigan, Dr. DiMarchi spearheaded the 21st American Peptide Symposium in June 2009 which brought over 700 scientists from around the world to Bloomington, IN
  • He is a retired Group Vice President at Eli Lilly & Company where for more than two decades he provided leadership in biotechnology, endocrine research and product development. Nearly all of the current biotechnology products at Lilly have benefitted from a contribution made by Dr. DiMarchi somewhere in the pharmaceutical value chain.
  • He is a co-founder of Ambrx , Inc. and Marcadia Biotech.
  • At Indiana University, Dr. DiMarchi holds the Gill Chair in Biomolecular Sciences. His research group is focused on the field of chemical biotechnology which pertains to thedevelopment of cutting edge chemical technologies for application to macromolecules for medicinal purposes. During his tenure at Indiana University, he has been associated with the selection of ten macromolecule-based clinical candidates through his independent research and discoveries made at Marcadia and Ambrx
  • He currently serves as Chairman of the Ambrx Scientific Advisory Board and Chief Scientific Officer at Marcadia.
  • He was previously a board member to the biotechnology trade group BIO and the American Peptide Society, as well as life sciences companies Millennium Biotherapeutics and Inproteo
  • He currently serves as Board member to Isis Pharmaceuticals, and is a scientific advisor to Kai Pharmaceuticals, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, 5AM Ventures, Zydus-Cadila Healthcare and Twilight Ventures.
  • Dr. DiMarchi singly or jointly holds more than 90 patents and has published over 120 scientific papers
  • He is the recipient of the 2005 Career Research Achievement Award in Biotechnology from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and the American Chemical Society (ACS) has honored him with the 2006 Earle B. Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management, the 2006 Gustavus Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Service of Public Interest, and the 2007 Wallace Carothers Award for Excellence in Polymer Sciences

“I am incredibly touched and honored to receive this award, especially this year since it has been renamed as a tribute to my close friend and esteemed colleague, Gus Watanabe. Gus’s legacy is in the people that he birthed, mentored and retained, both in academia and in industry,” said Dr. DiMarchi. “And it’s my commitment to continue important work in the laboratory as well as to nurture the broader life sciences community in the spirit that Gus exemplified for all of us.”

In addition, as part of the award, BioCrossroads is giving grants to two teachers in the science, technology, engineering or mathematics disciplines to pursue professional development through the Indiana Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (I-STEM) Resource Network.

2010 Life Sciences Champion of the Year nominations will be accepted in late Spring of 2010. Nominations for the 2009 award were submitted to BioCrossroads and a list of finalists was determined. The award winner was voted on by the BioCrossroads Board of Directors.

About BioCrossroads
BioCrossroads ( is Indiana’s initiative to grow, advance and invest in the life sciences, a public-private collaboration that supports the region’s research and corporate strengths while encouraging new business development. BioCrossroads provides money and support to life sciences businesses, launches new life sciences enterprises (Indiana Health Information Exchange, Fairbanks Institute for Healthy Communities, BioCrossroadsLINX, and Datalys Center) expands collaboration and partnerships among Indiana’s life science institutions, promotes science education and markets Indiana’s life sciences industry.