Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech entrepreneur cited for his thought leadership, innovation, and technological breakthroughs won a distinguished honor for research that could one day transform health care.

Josep Bassaganya-Riera, director of the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory, won the 2017 Innovator Award presented by the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC) during its 18th annual TechNite Awards Dinner April 21.

Bassaganya-Riera has led the NIMML team for 15 years, focusing on precision medicine and health and how it can be customized to the needs of the individual patient. Bassaganya-Riera spoke about his vision for precision medicine during Virginia Tech’s most recent TEDx event.

The team’s resolve to make groundbreaking contributions to health has brought them one step closer to the next generation of human clinical trials that capture human diversity and variation, enabling smarter, faster, more accurate, and more precise decisions for personalized, predictive medicine.

Bassaganya-Riera is an entrepreneur who founded three biotech companies, including BioTherapeutics at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. He has demonstrated a track record of successfully leveraging advanced informatics and computational modeling to accelerate the development of innovative technologies into marketable nutritionals, such as health waters containing abscisic acid or punicic acid, and therapeutics for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as BT-11.

“My resolve to transform health care is the driving force behind the success we achieve in NIMML," Bassaganya-Riera said. "By focusing on a unique iterative integration of large-scale clinical record mining, informatics analyses, and computer modeling, we are making tangible progress toward the personalized treatment of diseases. It is a distinct honor and a privilege to be in the company of so many influential leaders and innovators who strive for progress in their fields and dig to find the answers that improve our society as a whole.”

Chris Barrett, executive director of the Biocomplexity Institute, said, “Forward-thinking innovators, such as Josep Bassaganya-Riera and his team, are the very foundation of the Biocomplexity Institute. His team works tirelessly to uncover the solutions that will lead the transformation of health care in the future. We couldn’t be happier to see his cutting-edge work recognized by the broader community.”

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