Eli Lilly and Company Chairman, President and CEO John C. Lechleiter honored as Watanabe Life Sciences Champion of the Year

BioCrossroads’ annual award recognizes Dr. Lechleiter’s visionary leadership

Indianapolis, October 15, 2014 –   BioCrossroads today awarded John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., chairman, president and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company, with the August M. Watanabe Life Sciences Champion of the Year Award, a prestigious honor named in tribute to BioCrossroads’ late first Chairman.

BioCrossroads presents the Watanabe Award annually to an individual or organization that has made or enabled unique achievements in the development and promotion of Indiana’s life sciences research, educational or economic advancement.

“John Lechleiter has been the principal visionary and moving force behind our efforts to advance Indiana’s life sciences sector from the very first days of people even beginning to talk about this region’s need for something like BioCrossroads,” said David L. Johnson, president and CEO, BioCrossroads. “He was one of our original organizers and supporters in 2002, and ever since, he has worked strategically and ceaselessly to engage both his colleagues at Lilly and leaders across the broader community to push ourselves forward to become the best we can possibly be when it comes to developing truly world-class life sciences assets, investments and talent here, culminating in his championship of our efforts to drive the creation of the new Indiana Biosciences Research Institute.”

It was two years ago at the Indiana Life Sciences Summit that Dr. Lechleiter made the call to action for the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute.  He made a compelling case for bringing together industry with our research universities in a new, industry-led research institute that could engage in more entrepreneurial and commercial success and recruit world-class talent to Indiana.

Since that time, the Institute has raised $50 million, including significant support from Eli Lilly and Company, as well as from other corporate and philanthropic leaders and the State of Indiana.  The IBRI continues to make progress and has achieved several milestones.

Dr. Lechleiter joined Lilly in 1979 as a senior organic chemist and has served in a variety of key management roles over the years in product development, regulatory affairs, project management, and operations.  He was named Lilly’s president and chief operating offer in 2005 and has served as president and chief executive officer since 2008 and chairman of the board of directors since 2009.

Dr. Lechleiter holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Xavier University and Master’s and doctoral degrees in organic chemistry from Harvard University.  Dr. Lechleiter is a member of the American Chemical Society and Business Roundtable.  He serves on the board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), as president of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), as chairman of the U.S. – Japan Business Council and of United Way Worldwide, and on the boards of the Life Sciences Foundation and the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.  He also serves on the board of directors at both Nike, Inc. and Ford Motor Company.

Dr. Lechleiter joins award winners: Leonard Betley, chairman, president and CEO of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation and chairman of the Regenstrief Foundation and Walther Cancer Foundation (2008); Richard DiMarchi, Ph.D., Standiford H. Cox Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Linda & Jack Gill Chair in Biomolecular Sciences and founder of Marcadia Biotech (2009); Dane A. Miller, Ph.D., founder and former chief executive officer of Biomet (2010); Bill Cook, founder of Cook Group (2011); the Lilly Endowment under the leadership of Chairman Thomas Lofton (2012); and Phillip Low, Ph.D., Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Director of the Purdue Center for Drug Discovery, and founder of Endocyte (2013).

About BioCrossroads

BioCrossroads (www.biocrossroads.com) advances Indiana’s signature strengths in the life sciences by connecting with corporate, academic and philanthropic partners; facilitating investments in promising start ups and building new enterprises; and educating through conferences, reports and market development knowledge.   The initiative supports the region’s existing research and corporate strengths while encouraging new business development and has formed several new nonprofit organizations, including Indiana Health Information Exchange, Fairbanks Institute for Healthy Communities, BioCrossroadsLINX, OrthoWorx,  and Datalys Center.