Xconomy Awards 2018

The awards combined laser- and water-cut steel and a 3D-printed base.

The Xconomy Awards

Our awards matched the X-shaped trusses on stage quite nicely.

Xconomy Awards Gala in Boston

The stage is set at the Hynes Convention Center.

Penny Heaton and Rob Perez, Emcees Extraordinaire

A big thanks to Heaton, CEO of the Gates Medical Research Institute, and Perez, founder and chair of Life Science Cares, for being such great emcees.

MIT's Koch Institute

An impressive array of MIT cancer researchers and luminaries: Tyler Jacks, Bob Langer, Sangeeta Bhatia, Susan Hockfield, Angela Belcher, Scott Manalis (left to right).

Lots of Networking Opportunities

Hope the white wine was good!

Innovation at the Intersection Finalists

A great display of talent driving interdisciplinary R&D. Rosalind Picard (left) of MIT and Iya Khalil (center) of GNS Healthcare, both Innovation at the Intersection finalists; Ana Maiques (right), CEO of Neuroelectrics, an award nominee.

A Fun Get-Together

Many laughs were shared.

2018 CEO Finalist Jeff Jonas and His Team

A crew from Sage Therapeutics came out to support their CEO Jeff Jonas (middle of group in blue jacket), who was a finalist in the CEO category.

Long Live the Tie!

This was one of maybe three ties spotted in a room of 400 attendees.

Joanne Kamens and Sara Nochur

Kamens (left) heads up the nonprofit Addgene, which was a finalist in the Commitment to Diversity category. Nochur (right) presented the Diversity awards at the gala. Nochur is Alnylam's chief regulatory officer and co-leads the company's diversity initiative.

Meeting of the Minds

Sangeeta Bhatia of MIT (an Xconomy Awards judge and 2017 award winner) in deep discussion with Akshay Vaishnaw (right), head of R&D for Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.

Two Awards Finalists

Jo Viney (left), chief scientific officer of Pandion Therapeutics (Commitment to Diversity finalist) and Steve Holtzman (right), CEO of Decibel Therapeutics (X of the Year finalist, for Activist of the Year); Julia Byers of Lesley University (middle).

The Unofficial Uniform for Men in Biotech?

So many navy blue checked jackets.

Young Innovator Finalist

Carl Schoellhammer (left), a Young Innovator finalist, with Lisa Ricciardi (right), the recently appointed CEO of Schoellhammer's startup, Suono Bio.

People Came Early to Network

And they stayed late.

Akili Interactive, Digital Trailblazer Finalist

Jeff Bower, Akili's director of scientific development, chats with a colleague.

Xconomy's Bob Buderi

Buderi, Xconomy's founder, introduces the emcees.

Rob Perez and Penny Heaton

The emcees kick off the show.

Penny Heaton

"And the winner is..."

2018 X of the Year Co-Winner

Nina Dudnik, CEO of Seeding Labs, goes to the stage to accept her award.

CEO Winner Gets a Hug

There was a lot of hugging on stage, including with John Maraganore (left) of Alnylam.

CEO Winner, John Maraganore

After a 16-year journey turning RNAi science into an FDA-approved medicine, John Maraganore (left) of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals wins the CEO award, presented by Rob Perez.

One Former, One Current CEO

John Maraganore (left) shows off his CEO Award. Rob Perez (right) is the former CEO of Cubist Pharmaceuticals. Both have a taste for blue checked jackets apparently.

Indigo Ag Accepts the Startup Award

This was a super competitive field.

2018 Innovation at the Intersection Award Winner

Angela Belcher of MIT accepts her award.

The Winner of the Patient Partnership Award Is...

Amir Nashat of Polaris Partners announces the winner of the Patient Partnership Award.

2018 Contrarian Winner

Michael Sherman (right) of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is congratulated for his award by emcee Rob Perez.

MIT's Sangeeta Bhatia

A 2018 Xconomy Awards judge and a 2017 Award winner, Bhatia introduced the Lifetime Achievement winner Nancy Hopkins. "As an MIT professor recruited under policies that [Hopkins] championed, it’s not an exaggeration to say that she changed my life."

Nancy Hopkins Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

MassBio's Bob Coughlin (left) presents Hopkins with her Award. Sangeeta Bhatia (right) of MIT introduced Hopkins as her hero.

Lifetime Achievement Winner, Nancy Hopkins

In her acceptance speech, Hopkins of MIT challenged the audience to do better on gender diversity in biotech.

Nancy Hopkins, Lifetime Achievement Winner

"Perhaps the single most important lesson we learned about social change is: Time alone does not fix this, people do."

Standing O!

The audience is on its feet when Nancy Hopkins receives her Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lights, Camera....

There were many photo-worthy moments.

Ginkgo Bioworks

A team from Ginkgo Bioworks (a finalist in the Big Idea category) takes in the awards ceremony.

Xconomy Awards Gala

Listening to Nancy Hopkins's acceptance speech.

A Full House at the Xconomy Awards Gala

The program did not disappoint.

2018 Young Innovator Winners

James McLaughlin, CEO of Gemini Therapeutics, and Kathleen McCarthy, CSO of Skyhawk Therapeutics.


Young Innovator co-winner, James McLaughlin (right), celebrates. Tom Donovan (middle), who accepted OUTBio's Commitment to Diversity award, thankfully keeps his nose out of the high-five.


Kate Haviland (left), a finalist in the Commitment to Diversity category, celebrates with her team at Blueprint Medicines.

2018 Startup Winner - Indigo Ag

Brett Boghigian, Indigo's head of crop product management (left) and Geoffrey von Maltzahn, Indigo's co-founder and chief innovation officer (right), received the Startup award.

Catching Up

Geoffrey von Maltzahn (left) of Indigo Ag (Startup award winner) catches up with Tim Lu of MIT (X of the Year finalist, as Scientific Founder of the Year).

The Team from Tango Therapeutics

And they have the sign to prove it. Tango, led by CEO Barb Weber (standing, 2nd from right), was a finalist in the Startup category.

2018 Digital Trailblazer Award Winner

Chris Guiffre, CFO and COO of Pear Therapeutics.

Good Old Fashioned Networking

Nice to see people still exchange business cards.

2018 Contrarian Award Winner

Michael Sherman, chief medical officer of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

Blue Checked Jackets Galore

What he said must have been funny. Also, another blue checked jacket!

An Award Winner and Two Finalists

Cigall Kadoch (5th from the left), a Young Innovator finalist, with people from her startup, Foghorn Therapeutics, a Startup finalist. David Liu (4th from right), a winner of the Big Idea award, and others join in.

2018 Innovation at the Intersection Award Winner

Angela Belcher of MIT's Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research

Nimbus Therapeutics

Don Nicholson (2nd from right) represented his company Nimbus, which was a finalist in the Innovation at the Intersection category. Nicholson was Nimbus's CEO at the time of the gala, but recently stepped down.

Nimbus Therapeutics - Innovation at the Intersection Finalist

Hmm, a deal in the works? Nimbus's director of business development, Abbas Kazimi (right).

Gates Medical Research Institute

Penny Heaton (3rd from right), one of the evening's emcees and CEO of the new Gates institute, brought her crew out.

2018 Commitment to Diversity Winners

Tom Donovan of OUTBio, Abbie Celniker and Bob Coughlin of MassBio (left to right). Liftstream was also a winner but couldn't make it to the gala.


MassBio was out in full force at our gala, and took home one of the Commitment to Diversity awards.

Iya Khalil, GNS Healthcare

Khalil (middle, in red/orange top) was a finalist in the Innovation at the Intersection category.

2018 X of the Year Winners

Rhiannon Macrae (left), who accepted the award on behalf of Feng Zhang (Discoverer of the Year), and Nina Dudnik, Founder and CEO of Seeding Labs (right) won for Global Science Supporter of the Year.


Members of the GINGER team from the Broad Institute and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The team was a finalist in the Commitment to Diversity category.

Nancy Hopkins

The 2018 Lifetime Achievement winner (left) relaxes after the program.

2018 Big Idea Winners

David Liu of the Broad Institute; Aviv Regev, also of the Broad and co-chair of the Human Cell Atlas.

Peter Mundel and Anna Greka

Anna Greka of Brigham and Women's Hospital was an X of the Year finalist, for Translational Researcher of the Year. She and Peter Mundel (left) co-founded Goldfinch Bio.

The 2018 Winners!

Well, not quite all of the winners, but the ones we were able to round up after the awards ceremony. Front row, left to right: Tom Donovan of OUTBio, David Liu of the Broad Institute, Rhiannon Macrae (from the lab of Feng Zhang, Broad Institute), Kelly Santomas from Partners Connected Health, Abbie Celniker of MassBio and Third Rock Ventures, Kathleen McCarthy of Skyhawk Therapeutics, Nina Dudnik of Seeding Labs; Back row, left to right: Chris Guiffre of Pear Therapeutics, Kelly Chase of Partners HealthCare, Penny Heaton of the Gates Medical Research Institute, Michael Sherman of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Bob Coughlin from MassBio.

Xconomy Awards 2018 Gala Honors the Best of Boston Life Science: Slideshow

The 2nd annual Xconomy Awards Gala was a who’s who of Boston biotech. About 400 people from across the life science ecosystem came out to Boston’s Hynes Convention Center last month to celebrate the finalists over dinner and drinks, find out who got to take home the awards, and reconnect with friends and colleagues. It was an impressive showing of the city’s top talent.

Nancy Hopkins of MIT accepted her Lifetime Achievement award as the audience gave her a standing ovation. In her acceptance speech, she reflected on her career in genetics and cancer research and on her work advocating for women in science. She reminded the audience how little scientists knew about DNA and gene regulation just a few decades ago, and how much researchers have learned about cancer genetics since then. The retired MIT professor also told the story of how the university increased the number of women faculty over the last two decades—in large part due to her work in the 1990s documenting inequities between male and female professors. But she reminded the audience that much more work is needed on the diversity front, particularly in biotech. Hopkins even called on the venture capitalists in the room to make sure they tap into the full diversity of university life science faculty when building new biotech companies.

We’d like to thank our Platinum Sponsors: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Fish & Richardson, MassBio, Polaris Partners.

Gold Sponsors: Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Amgen, Dragonfly Therapeutics, Merck, Skyhawk Therapeutics, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

Silver Sponsors: Blueprint Medicines, DivcoWest Real Estate Investments, Halloran Consulting Group, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, PRA Health Sciences, Stratacuity.

And thanks to David Fox Photographer for taking the photographs in the slideshow.

Stay tuned for the call for nominations for the 2019 Xconomy Awards!

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