INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 13, 2021) — BioCrossroads’ Board of Directors named educator, innovator and researcher Dr. Peter Kissinger as the recipient of the 2021 August M. Watanabe Life Sciences Champion of the Year Award. The prestigious honor, named in tribute to BioCrossroads’ late Chairman August Watanabe, was given to Dr. Kissinger at today’s Indiana Life Sciences Summit. His research has helped patients around the world, and his leadership has contributed to the Indiana life sciences community.
An academic, researcher and entrepreneur, Dr. Kissinger is highly recognized for his pioneering work in sophisticated techniques for drug development. He taught at Purdue University for more than 40 years, influencing thousands of students.
He has helped guide multiple startup companies, including Prosoila, Phlebotics, Animated Dynamics, and Tymora Analytical. Kissinger teams have enabled painless sampling of laboratory animals that both sped up drug development and reduced the numbers of animals required.
In 1974, Dr. Kissinger founded Bioanalytical Systems, Inc., recently rebranded and formally renamed Inotiv, Inc., headquartered in West Lafayette, IN. Inotiv conducts contract preclinical research to support FDA filings and develops instruments and procedures for pharmacology research. It was the first life sciences business in the Purdue Research Park to go public. Kissinger quickly became involved in planning the park itself, where he also co-founded with the Purdue Research Foundation a business incubator called INventure. This was likely the first university-affiliated new business incubator in Indiana.
Inotiv has grown into a leading publicly traded contract research services and instruments provider to the pharmaceutical industry with more than 300 Indiana employees. Inotiv now has operations in Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, and Colorado. Inotiv recently announced the acquisition of Envigo, a leading global provider of research models and services based in Indianapolis. Upon completion, the combination will add additional operations in the USA and Europe.
“The Indiana life sciences landscape would look much different without Peter Kissinger,” said Patty Martin, president and CEO, BioCrossroads. “He is a leader, teacher, mentor, scientist, innovator, and entrepreneur. Dr. Kissinger has been teaching and training tomorrow’s scientists at Purdue University since 1975 and at the same time demonstrating an amazing ability for turning scientific research into commercial success. “
Dr. Kissinger was a finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Indiana Heartland region for 2001 and 2002 and is a recipient of the Outstanding Commercialization Award for Purdue University Faculty. He received a Sagamore of the Wabash in 2019 as well as Purdue’s Wetherill Medal, established to recognize outstanding efforts in service and outstanding teaching and scholarship by its members.
He has served on company and nonprofit boards, including the Indiana Medical Device Manufacturers Council (IMDMC) and the Indiana Health Industry Forum (IHIF). He is a Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published more than 240 peer-reviewed scientific papers.
Dr. Kissinger is focused on better data for better decisions in preclinical and clinical pharmacology. The data come from valid samples, methods, and instrumentation that few patients will ever see. He notes that “we don’t discover new drugs. Our role is in development, where safety and efficacy in the clinic are the ultimate objectives. We’ve provided support for many successful pharmaceuticals across multiple therapeutic areas for four decades. You won’t see our name at Walgreens or CVS. That’s OK.”
BioCrossroads presents the Watanabe Award annually to an individual or organization that has made or enabled unique achievements in the development of Indiana’s life sciences and healthcare research, clinical, educational or economic advancement.
Dr. Kissinger joins an impressive list of previous August M. Watanabe Life Sciences Champion of the Year award winners, including:
- Leonard Betley, retired chairman, president and CEO of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation
- Richard DiMarchi, Standiford H. Cox professor of Chemistry and the Linda & Jack Gill chair in Biomolecular Sciences at Indiana University. Co-founder of Ambrx, Inc., Marcadia Biotech, Calibrium and MB2.
- Dane A. Miller, founder of Biomet
- Bill Cook, founder of Cook Group
- Lilly Endowment, under the leadership of Chairman Thomas Lofton
- Phillip Low, Ralph C. Corley distinguished professor of Chemistry and director of the Purdue Center for Drug Discovery—Biochemistry, co-founder of Endocyte and On Target Laboratories
- Bill Eason, founder of Bio-Dynamics, predecessor to Roche Diagnostics
- John Lechleiter, former chairman, president and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company
- John Swisher, founder of JBS United
- Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Department of Public Health
- Anantha Shekhar, former executive associate dean for research affairs at the IU School of Medicine
- Clem McDonald, chief health data standards officer of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health
- Harvey Feigenbaum, “Father of Echocardiography” (Echo), distinguished professor, Indiana University School of Medicine.
BioCrossroads (www.biocrossroads.com) is Indiana’s initiative to grow, advance and invest in the life sciences, a public-private collaboration that supports the region’s existing research and corporate strengths while encouraging new business development. BioCrossroads invests capital and provides support to life sciences businesses, launches new life sciences enterprises (Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, 16 Tech, Indiana Health Information Exchange, and OrthoWorx ), expands collaboration and partnerships among Indiana’s life science institutions, promotes science education and markets Indiana’s life sciences industry.