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Engage IN Life Sciences

Indiana Life Sciences Summit

Indiana’s Life Sciences Summit is the premier annual event for showcasing the state's vibrant life sciences sector—a critical component of Indiana's economy.

Shining a Spotlight on Indiana's Life Sciences Industry

BioCrossroads convenes Indiana's life sciences experts each year, highlighting the capabilities and advancements being made across the sector.

This annual event brings together leaders from academia, finance, government, industry, and philanthropy, to discuss the latest trends, research, and innovations in life sciences. The Summit provides an opportunity to highlight Indiana's role as a global hub for life sciences excellence, fostering collaboration and networking opportunities. It serves as a platform to celebrate achievements, explore future directions, and drive economic growth and innovation in the sector—and underscores Indiana's commitment to advancing health and well-being through life sciences.

2023 Indiana Life Sciences Summit

The annual Indiana Life Sciences Summit, hosted by BioCrossroads in November 2023, spotlighted Indiana’s leadership role in research and medical advances related to Alzheimer’s disease.

August M. Watanabe Life Sciences Champion of the Year Award

The August M. Watanabe Life Sciences Champion of the Year Award, presented by BioCrossroads, is a testament to the innovative spirit and enduring impact on the life sciences ecosystem. Established in honor of BioCrossroads’ late chairman, Dr. August “Gus” M. Watanabe, an esteemed and transformative figure in Indiana’s life sciences community, this award recognizes influential individuals who are making meaningful differences across the sector through discovery, invention, therapies, cures, developing companies, and job creation.

The August M. Watanabe Life Sciences Champion of the Year Award is presented annually at the Indiana Life Sciences Summit.

Watanabe Life Science Champion of the Year Recipients


Find out more about past Watanabe Award Honorees.


Dr. August “Gus” M. Watanabe

Dr August "Gus" M. Watanabe

A renowned physician, researcher, professor, entrepreneur, and venture capitalist, Dr. August “Gus” M. Watanabe was a transformative and esteemed figure in Indiana’s life sciences industry who made a monumental impact. Dr. Watanabe graduated from the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) with an M.D. in 1963 and was board-certified in cardiology in 1973. By age 37, he would become the youngest professor of internal medicine in the history of IUSM, and in 1983 he was named chairman of the department.

Dr. Watanabe served as co-founder of Marcadia Biotech, partner in Twilight Venture Partners, and a director of Ambrx, Endocyte, QuatRx, and Kalypsys. He was also a senior advisor to Frazier Healthcare Ventures. He also remained active in the community, serving as a director of the Indiana University Foundation, the Regenstrief Foundation, Christel House International, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

In 1990, he left academia to work in the private sector for Eli Lilly and Company, where he would hold several executive positions, eventually becoming president of Lilly Research Laboratories. Under his leadership, Eli Lilly launched 11 important new drugs, more than doubled its global research and development staff, and tripled annual investment in R&D to $2 billion. Upon retiring from Eli Lilly, he became the founding chairman of the Indiana life sciences initiative, BioCrossroads, where he began establishing the framework for what the state’s life sciences sector has become today.

During his academic and research career, Watanabe co-authored more than 100 scientific publications and book chapters and served on the editorial boards of scholarly journals and as an officer in several national academic organizations, including the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

Without Dr. Watanabe, the Indiana life sciences sector would not look the same. That can also be said for each of the recipients of this award.

2024 Indiana Life Sciences Summit

Mark your calendars for November 7, 2024, for the Indiana Life Sciences Summit. This year's event will focus on our state's role in global metabolic advancements.

Stay tuned for more information.