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Posted: March 9, 2009
X PRIZE Foundation appoints Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong as chairman of the Life Sciences Prize Group Steering Committee
(Nanowerk News) The X PRIZE Foundation, an educational nonprofit prize institute dedicated to fostering radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity, today announced the appointment of Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., as Chairman of its Life Sciences Prize Group Steering Committee (GSC). Under Dr. Soon-Shiong's direction, the GSC will steer the direction of future Life Science related X PRIZEs to ensure that they address the audacious grand challenges where market failures currently exist. The Life Sciences GSC will address such subjects as healthcare, genomics, proteonomics, bionics/human augmentation, rapid disease detection, disease prevention, human longevity and artificial intelligence in medical diagnosis.
Dr. Soon-Shiong, who also serves as Chairman and CEO for Abraxis BioScience Inc., a global pharmaceutical company, will soon expand the group to include other key individuals that represent the breadth of the life sciences areas.
"The need to transform healthcare in our country is a national, moral and economic imperative. Stimulating innovation through nonprofit organizations such as The X PRIZE Foundation is an important catalyst. It is my vision that X PRIZEs will help transform healthcare in the United States," said Soon-Shiong. "This transformation will require the integration of many disciplines both within life sciences and others that encompass math, informatics and energy to achieve accelerated outcomes to solve some of the most complex challenges we face today. My role as Chairman of the Group Steering Committee will be to ensure that the Foundation remains focused on the grand challenges facing humanity and applies X PRIZEs to areas that could have meaningful impact in changing the lives of all."
The X PRIZE Foundation is currently operating a single prize in the Life Sciences area -- the Archon Genomic X PRIZE -- which challenges scientists and bioengineers to be the first to sequence 100 human genomes within 10 days or less. Several others are in development, including a Healthcare X PRIZE in partnership with WellPoint Inc., one of the nation's largest health benefits companies. Other potential prizes include: point-of-care tuberculosis diagnosis, bionics and vision restoration. Life Sciences currently represents the Foundation's most active portfolio of prize development.
"Dr. Soon-Shiong's vision for healthcare, coupled with his extraordinary credentials as a scientist, physician and innovator, makes him ideal to lead the Foundation's Life Sciences Prize Group Steering Committee," said Robert K. Weiss, President, The X PRIZE Foundation. "We're thrilled that he will champion the X PRIZE model for innovation in Life Sciences."
Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman and CEO, The X PRIZE Foundation, adds, "Dr. Soon-Shiong has a breadth of interests and expertise that spans all the areas of Life Sciences prize development that the Foundation is pursuing. The audacity of his vision and his desire to boldly change the future of Life Sciences makes him a natural partner for The X PRIZE Foundation and the best choice for Chairman of our Group Steering Committee. I'm excited to be working with him."
About Patrick Soon-Shiong
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Chairman and CEO of the global pharmaceutical company, Abraxis BioScience Inc. A noted researcher, physician and surgeon, Soon-Shiong developed and co-invented the nanoparticle delivery technology known as Abraxane, which is used in the treatment of advanced metastatic breast cancer. This technology is also being developed for lung, ovarian, prostate, melanoma, head and neck cancers.
Dr. Soon-Shiong's research has received numerous national awards, including: the American College of Surgeons Schering Award, the Peter Kiewit Distinguished Membership in Medicine Award, and the International J.W. Hyatt Award for Service to Mankind. He is the recipient of the Gilda Club Award for the advancement of cancer medicine, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the St. Mary Medical Center Life Achievement Award, the St. John's Health Center Caritas Award, and the Medical Visionary Award from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. His work has also been recognized by such noted organizations as the Association for Academic Surgery and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Dr. Soon-Shiong currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Institute of Transplantation, the Technology Council for the new Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence at Northwestern University and advisory boards for the RAND Corporation, the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy, the RAND Health Board, and The President's Council at RAND. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Saint John's Health Center in Los Angeles, the Advisory Board of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
Dr. Soon-Shiong has turned his attention more intensively onto the widening gap between the rapid advancements in medicine and physicians' cognitive abilities to process and interpret large amounts of information at a rapid pace. As Chairman of the newly formed Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation, Dr. Soon-Shiong is focused on charitable endeavors that will transform healthcare in America.
About The X PRIZE Foundation
The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. On October 4, 2004, The X PRIZE Foundation captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace Ventures, led by legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world's first private vehicle to space twice in two weeks to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. The X PRIZE Foundation has since launched the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE and the $10 million Progressive Automotive X PRIZE. The Foundation will continue to offer new prizes for breakthroughs in the areas of life improvement, exploration, equity of opportunity and sustainability. The X PRIZE Foundation is widely recognized as the leading model for fostering innovation through competition. For more information, please visit www.xprize.org.