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Life Science Washington Announces 2019 Inductees into the Washington Life Science Hall of Fame

By April 30, 2019No Comments

Life Science Washington today announced its 2019 inductees into the Washington Life Science Hall of Fame, which recognizes innovative leaders and industry pioneers in Washington state who have made significant contributions to the life sciences. The recipients will be honored at a special luncheon April 25 during Life Science Innovation Northwest, the largest annual life science conference in the Pacific Northwest.


“The Washington Life Science Hall of Fame is one of the highlights of our organization’s year,” said Leslie Alexandre, DrPH, President and CEO of Life Science Washington. “It is an opportunity to step back and honor four champions in our industry; people who have made extraordinary contributions spanning basic science research through the commercialization of life-saving technologies for the betterment of patients, science, and industry around the world. We are grateful they live and work here in Washington State, enriching our scientific and entrepreneurial community.”


The 2019 Hall of Fame inductees include:



Colleen Delaney, MD, MSc is Scientific Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Executive Vice President of Research and Development of Nohla Therapeutics, Inc., a cellular therapy company focused on development of universal, off-the-shelf cell therapies for patients with hematologic malignancies and other critical diseases. She is an Affiliate and former Member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Clinical Research Division, where she also held the Madeline Dabney Adams Endowed Chair in AML Research and was the principal investigator of an active, NIH-funded laboratory. In 2006, she established and became the Director of the Cord Blood Transplant Program at the Fred Hutch/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, which has grown to be one of the leading programs in the country and the coordinating center of several multicenter clinical trials.


Dr. Delaney’s laboratory focused on the role of the Notch signaling pathway in the regulation and directed differentiation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells for clinical applications. This work led to several clinical trials investigating the potential of cryopreserved, non-HLA matched “off the shelf” ex vivo expanded cord blood progenitor cells to provide rapid but transient hematopoietic reconstitution in the settings of cord blood transplant and dose-intensive chemotherapy, ultimately leading to the spin-out of Nohla Therapeutics in December 2015. Dr. Delaney received her MSc from Oxford University and her MD from Harvard Medical School and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Damon Runyon Foundation Clinical Investigator Award, the Dr. Ali Al-Johani Award in recognition of exemplary clinical medical care and compassion to patients and families, the Seattle Business Journal’s Leaders in Health Care Award for Outstanding Medical Research and the Seattle American Women in Science’s Award for the Scientific Advancement and Leadership in STEM.


Dr. Christopher Henney came to Washington State in 1978 to lead Immunology at the newly formed Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and to teach and serve as a professor at the University of Washington. Intrigued by the burgeoning opportunities in recombinant DNA technology, he left academia to join what was then a fledgling biotechnology industry. In 1981 Dr. Henney co-founded Immunex, which grew to become a fully integrated pharmaceutical company employing 1600 people. Immunex focused on discovering, developing, manufacturing and selling a new class of gene-derived pharmaceuticals. The company was acquired by Amgen in 2002, and its lead drug, Enbrel, remains a best seller worldwide for the treatment of autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis.


Dr. Henney went on to co-found two more biotechnology companies: Icos and Dendreon Corporation. In both, he brought to life breakthrough drugs in the form of Cialis (Icos) and Provenge (Dendreon). In 2010 Provenge became the first immunotherapeutic vaccine approved by the FDA for the treatment of prostate cancer.


As a senior statesman for the industry, Dr. Henney remains deeply involved in all entrepreneurial aspects of the biotechnology industry – serving as Chairman or board member of several companies, both public and private. He is renowned globally for his many contributions to the field. In 2011, Dr. Henney was elected to the International Biotechnology CEO`s Hall of Fame.


As Chief Executive Officer of Washington Research Foundation for nearly 3 decades, Ronald Howell leads one of the most successful technology transfer grant-making and investment organizations in the nation. He joined WRF in 1989 to execute the Foundation’s licensing strategy on Dr. Benjamin Hall’s platform technology expressing heterologous proteins in yeast. Becoming CEO of WRF in 1992, he led the WRF team through an expansion of the organization and its licensing programs.


As one of the early architects of the WRF, Mr. Howell helped create the licensing programs that have delivered more than $535 million to not-for-profit research institutions in Washington State. Under Mr. Howell’s leadership, the foundation’s venture investment arm, WRF Capital, was formed in 1994 with a mission to invest in early-stage science, engineering, and technology companies in Washington State. The fund has backed more than 98 companies, with more than 60 exits. Today the active portfolio includes 37 innovative companies, about half of them in life sciences. In addition to serving as a very important early investor in life science and tech companies throughout Washington, WRF has created numerous grant programs to support the recruitment, training and development of investigators.


Mr. Howell has served on many prominent boards at the University of Washington, Washington State University, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and The W Fund. A proud Cougar, Mr. Howell holds a degree in biochemistry from Washington State University.

Founder, Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) In 1993, Dr. Steven Reed founded the Infectious Disease Research Institute – IDRI – to apply for advances in immunology to the product development of diagnostics, vaccines, and drugs. IDRI took up this pragmatic approach at a time when few research dollars were addressing global health. The pathogens in his scope still include Malaria, leishmaniasis, tuberculosis, and cancer.


Dr. Reed’s academic appointments include Professor of Medicine at Cornell University Medical College in New York and Research Professor of Pathobiology at the University of Washington. He serves on several editorial review committees, has served as a member of the Tropical Medicine Review Board of the National Institutes of Health, and has served as a member of diagnostic and vaccine steering committees of the World Health Organization. In 1994, he co-founded Corixa Corporation (which was later sold to GlaxoSmithKline, GSK) where he served as Chief Scientific Officer until leaving in 2004. In 2008 Steve co-founded Immune Design Corp. where he served as CEO until 2011.


Steve has more than 250 original publications, 40 book chapters and reviews, and 105 issued patents on diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics of infectious diseases and cancer. He currently serves as a Distinguished Investigator at IDRI focusing on spinning out new companies that will creatively partner with IDRI to advance its global health solutions, and provide opportunities for novel funding mechanisms.


Hall of Fame History Life Science Washington created the Washington Life Science Hall of Fame in 2016 to honor industry leaders and pioneers in the field. Hall of Fame inductees from 2016, 2017, and 2018 include:

  • Donald W. Baker
  • Karl William Edmark, MD
  • Alan Frazier
  • Denise A Galloway, PhD
  • Steven Gilles, PhD
  • Christine Gregoire, JD
  • Leland Hartwell, PhD
  • Leroy Hood, MD, PhD
  • Lee Huntsman, PhD
  • A. Bruce Montgomery, MD
  • H. Stewart Parker
  • Christopher Porter, PhD
  • E. Donnall Thomas, MD and Dorothy “Dottie” Thomas