Big night for life science industry

Invitrogen takes home seven trophies in fourth Life Science Industry Awards

Apr 4, 2006
Jeff Perkel
WASHINGTON, DC ? Some 200 members of the life science community were on hand for a gala reception at the Renaissance Washington Hotel Monday night (April 3) to celebrate the winners of the fourth Life Science Industry Awards (LSIA), presented by The Scientist. The biggest winner of the night, for the second year, was Invitrogen, which won seven of the 18 awards. (See our April issue for complete coverage.)Ira Flatow, book author and host of National Public Radio?s Talk of the Nation: Science Friday, emceed this year?s event, as he did in 2004. ?I appreciate being asked to come as a journalist to speak, because even though I?ve been covering science and technology for 35 years, there?s not a week that goes by that I don?t have to justify my existence as a science journalist,? he said. Flatow explained that he believes listeners are generally interested in science, but he constantly has to convince his editors of the importance of a science story.?I think it?s good that you celebrate [the life sciences industry], and your achievements, because if you don?t do it, nobody else will do it for you,? he told the audience. His remarks were followed by Terry Sharrer, the Smithsonian Institution?s curator in the division of medicine and science, who presented a keynote address on ?The History (and Future) of Molecular Medicine.?Bio-Rad Laboratories? Douglas Henry got the night?s biggest laugh when he said he was accepting an award ?on behalf of the only company in the room that will not be bought out by either GE or Invitrogen.? Bio-Rad received an award for Instrumentation for Protein Analysis, one of three the company won overall. Fisher Scientific won the LSIA for best sales representative. ?Our sales team is one of the best in the industry,? said Jim Shea, head of marketing. This award is ?validation that Fisher has come a long way from selling beakers and test tubes to selling life science products.?Other winners included Applied Biosystems, Ambion, BD Biosciences, Dell Computers, New England Biolabs, and Qiagen. The ceremony was timed to coincide with the American Association of Cancer Research?s 97th annual meeting. ?We?re delighted to have this at AACR, there?s a really good match here,? Richard Gallagher, Editor and Publisher of The Scientist, told the audience. In addition to the meeting?s focus on progress in basic biology and pathology research and on clinical trials, drugs, and new diagnostics, it also, he noted, ?brings [together] the engines of progress and discovery, with [their] customers.? The LSIAs were awarded based on a 34-question survey fielded by the independent research firm, BioInformatics LLC, based in Arlington, Va. BioInformatics polled readers of The Scientist and members of The Science Advisory Board, asking them to select the providers of best-in-class service or products in 18 areas, 12 for product excellence and six for service and marketing. More than 2,400 scientists completed the survey between Dec. 19, 2005 and Jan. 23, 2006. In all, voters selected more than 500 companies as ?best in class,? said Bill Kelly, president of BioInformatics. Companies were ranked based both on the raw number of nominations and a ?customer-value score,? which considers factors such as likelihood to recommend, likelihood to purchase again, and cost-effectiveness. The top three companies in each category were named finalists. Rounding out the 22 finalists were Affymetrix, Apple Computers, Beckman Coulter, Carl Zeiss, Dharmacon, GE Healthcare, Hewlett-Packard/Compaq, Kodak Molecular Imaging Systems, Molecular Devices, Perkin Elmer Life & Analytical Sciences, Pierce Biotechnology, Sigma-Aldrich, and VWR. Jeff Perkel jperkel@the-scientist.comLinks within this articleLife Science Industry Awards http://www.lifescienceindustryawards.comJ.M. Perkel, et al, ?Life Science Industry Awards,? The Scientist, December 6, 2004. http://www.invitrogen.comIra Flatow Sharrer www.gene2drug.comThe Science Advisory Board