One thing was evident by the 2018 celebration of the Maryland Tech Council's Lifetime Achievement Awards; we live among the greatest minds of our time. Literally. We live among them. They are our neighbors.
No other region in the world is there such a concentration of scientific genius and servant leaders as there is here in Maryland. NIH in Bethesda and the NCI in Rockville are home to many of the worlds foremost experts in their fields of scientific research who have made countless contributions to mankind, and it's right down the road. Thousands of researchers, operating working under a $37 billion budget, make breakthrough discoveries every day at work, then hang up their lab coats and go home to watch their kids lacrosse games at Maryland schools, meet their friends at Maryland restaurants for dinner, and enjoy concerts at Maryland venues. Our neighbors are some of the top minds in the world.
Tonight's awardees represented three of those great minds. Each represented a resume of accomplishments which showed an unparalleled commitment to pushing the boundaries of science to improve human health and to save lives. However, it was the human side for each of them that shined the brightest at this event and inspired the crowd of local business leaders. Their awareness of who sat in the audience before them was also clear by the tone of their acceptance speeches.
NIH Director, Dr Francis Collins, who just 15 years ago first sequenced the human genome as the leader of the human genome project, humbly accepted the award and reflected on the remarkable time and place we live in to produce mind-blowing science and discovery. "We are fortunate at NIH to live in such a vibrant community." Dr Collins said as a proud Marylander, "In such a remarkable place with such talent and such a support system. And to have as colleagues and neighbors all of you in this room who represent such remarkable innovative attitudes within life science, within IT, within health IT, and in cyber, and all that goes on in this state up and down the 270 corridor. The Maryland Tech council does a wonderful job of gluing together all of these great ideas, policies and people who make this ecosystem an even more exciting place."
Dr. Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D. - Director, National Institutes of Health
Dr Collins also gave an energetic rally cry pronounced, "Look out San Francisco, San Diego, look out Boston. Maryland is clearly emerging as a remarkable place to do great science..." What an appropriate time for such a strong claim too, given the fourth annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum less than a week away where 1,000 regional leaders and scientists gather to help grow this region into a top 3 Biotech Cluster by 2023. "The private sector here which is wonderfully vigorous in ways that we (NIH) greatly enjoy as we can work together so closely," regarded Dr. Collins.