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Shekhar Honored with Prestigious 2018 'Watanabe Life Sciences Champion of the Year' Award


By Christine Drury

For his vast contributions to research, education and entrepreneurship, Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD, executive associate dean for research affairs at Indiana University School of Medicine, founding director of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, and Distinguished Professor and associate vice president of research and clinical affairs at IU was named the 2018 Watanabe Life Sciences Champion of the Year.

The highly regarded award was a surprise to Dr. Shekhar when it was presented to him Oct. 10 as part of BioCrossroads’ annual Indiana Life Sciences Summit. The Watanabe Life Sciences Champion of the Year award is an honor to the late August M. Watanabe, former chairman of BioCrossroads. BioCrossroads presents the Watanabe award yearly to a person or organization that has made or enabled unique achievements in the development of the state’s life sciences and healthcare research, clinical, educational or economic advancement.

IU School of Medicine Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, said Dr. Shekhar is especially deserving of this award.

“Anantha is a nationally recognized researcher and principal investigator of our IU Precision Health Grand Challenge, which is working to cure diseases prevalent in the lives of Hoosiers and has been filling the research talent pipeline throughout our state,” Dr. Hess said. “His impact is felt across Indiana as he continues to advance research from our laboratories to patients through our partnership with IU Health.”

BioCrossroads President and CEO David L. Johnson said in a statement, “Dr. Shekhar is unique in the scope and scale of his impact on Indiana’s healthcare, life sciences, and academic community as a catalyst, collaborator and contributor.  There is no one, anywhere, who is better at understanding the rigors of academic research, the requirements for success in university-industry partnerships, and the imperatives of better care for patients than Anantha Shekhar—he has and does it all. As a result, Anantha has put IU School of Medicine—and the entire State of Indiana—in an enviable position of collaborative leadership on the national research map through his tremendous efforts.  Along the way, he’s also found the opportunity to be the scientific founder or sponsor of some of our most promising next-generation life sciences companies.”

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.

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