Meet Your 2023 Leadership Award Finalists for Greater Philadelphia

Nominated by YOU, meet your 2023 Leadership Award finalists for BioBuzz’s inaugural Annual Awards in Greater Philadelphia.

January 25, 2024

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A leader is to its organization as a conductor is to its orchestra. Without the former, there is no successful latter. 

Leadership is a dynamic force that shapes cultures, inspires excellence, and propels collective achievements. It is also a transformative influence and one that we celebrate annually within our Annual Awards where we recognize exceptional individuals who embody the spirit of leadership, contributing to the success of their organization, the industry, and the region.

No words could be more true than for Greater Philadelphia, up two spots on CBRE’s 2023 report, making it the 6th best life sciences market in the US. 

Make no mistake, leadership has everything to do with that. Which is why BioBuzz is thrilled to celebrate these five Greater Philadelphia biohealth leaders whose unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation continues to propel the region and the industry forward.

A Closer Look at Our Finalists

Set to be named this spring, our inaugural Leadership Award for Greater Philadelphia recognizes a servant leader who carries a legacy and lives each day with a passionate pursuit of excellence and innovation in their own work to make a difference in the lives of others. 

Our previous John Holaday Leadership Award winners [for the BioHealth Capital Region which encompasses Maryland, DC, and Virginia] include Dr. Kurt Newman, President & CEO, Children’s National Hospital (2022), Doug Doerfler, CEO, Maxcyte (2021), Marco Chacon, Ph.D., Founder & President, IRAZU Bio (2020). You can check out 2023’s BioHealth Capital Region finalists here.

Without further adieu, it’s our pleasure to [more] officially introduce our 2023 Greater Philadelphia Leadership Award finalists (in alphabetical order). 

Ben Doranz, President and CEO, Integral Molecular

Ben Doranz co-founded Integral Molecular in 2001 and has led all aspects of the company’s growth since its inception, bringing five different technologies from research to market and growing the company into a profitable commercial entity. He is an inventor on over 10 of the company’s patents, the principal investigator on over 30 NIH grants, and an author on over 100 publications, including articles published in Cell, Science, and Nature

Doranz is an established life science entrepreneur, previously responsible for directing the biotechnology program at the Port of Technology business incubator in Philadelphia and helping create startups at the Center for Technology Transfer at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he led the discovery of the coreceptor CCR5 for HIV. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, where he co-founded the Penn Biotech Group and won the Wharton business plan competition, and a B.A. from Cornell University.  

You can vote once per day between now and February 29, 2024 for our Annual Awards. Winners will be selected on the total number of votes and announced at our Annual Awards Celebration this April [stay tuned for more details]. 

Bryan Kim, CEO and Co-Founder, Verismo Therapeutics, Inc. 

Dr. Bryan Kim is co-founder and CEO/President of Verismo Therapeutics. He has over 17 years of experience in building and operating biopharmaceutical companies from start-up to publicly traded biopharmaceutical and revenue-generating CMO companies.

Dr. Kim was one of the starting members at VGX Pharmaceuticals, a spinout from University of Pennsylvania in 2005. He headed the corporate development and brought in Needham & Co. to complete a merger with Inovio Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: INO) in 2009. He led a series of funding that resulted in more than $20M and led to Phase I and II clinical trials for 4 DNA-vaccine pipelines in the U.S. In 2013, Inovio signed a global licensing deal with Roche for its DNA-vaccine-based pipelines. 

Dr. Kim was a co-founder/CEO for GeneOne Life Sciences (former VGX International), a KOSPI-listed biopharmaceutical company in Korea. He orchestrated the public company acquisition and initiated a new drug development division within the company in 2005. As a global leader in DNA vaccine, the company completed the first-ever preventive DNA vaccine Phase 1 clinical trials in Asia. He led a series of public fundings in a total of $38M and structured numerous transactions, including in- and out-licensing of pipelines with the U.S., E.U., and Asian companies.

In 2008, GeneOne acquired a DNA vaccine CMO company in Houston, and as a new CEO, Dr. Kim led the company’s restructuring and expansions, successfully built new marketing teams, and implemented strategies. The company doubled its manufacturing capacity with a series of investments from the partners. In 2010, the revenues were quadrupled (4x) and achieved its first profit. Inovio and GeneOne were at $3.41B combined in market capitalization as of 12/01/2020.

Dr. Kim was named Forbes Korea’s CEO of the year in 2010 and Fortunes Korea’s Best CEOs in 2011. He placed GeneOne in the KOSPI 200 index in 2008. Prior to joining Inovio, Dr. Kim was a clinical associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine. He received a DMD from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine.

You can vote once per day between now and February 29, 2024 for our Annual Awards. Winners will be selected on the total number of votes and announced at our Annual Awards Celebration this April [stay tuned for more details]. 

Jeff Marrazzo, Co-Founder, Spark Therapeutics 

Jeff Marrazzo has led the creation and growth of Spark Therapeutics from a research center within the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to a fully integrated, commercial gene therapy company that is challenging the inevitability of genetic disease by discovering, developing and delivering potential treatments in ways unimaginable – until now. He also serves on Spark’s board of directors. 

Under Marrazzo’s leadership, Spark has received regulatory approval for the first gene therapy for a genetic disease approved in both the U.S. and EU, launched the first gene in the United States, and has established human proof-of-concept of Spark’s gene therapy platform in both the retina and liver. In the six years since founding Spark, Marrazzo has secured more than $1 billion in capital and built an organization of more than 400 colleagues. For two years running, Spark has been named to the top 10 of MIT Technology Review’s “50 Smartest Companies.” It’s also been recognized as one of 2018’s Most Innovative Companies in Biotech by Fast Company. During a career that has spanned the public and private sectors, Marrazzo has consistently championed the potential benefits of precision medicine and healthcare reform for patients. 

Prior to Spark, he helped build the first genetic testing benefit management and pharmacogenomics medicines company up to and through the acquisition of a majority of the company’s shares by CVS Caremark. Previously, Marrazzo served as an advisor to former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, where he led reforms in the financing and delivery of healthcare. Marzano currently serves as a board member of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

Marzano received a B.A. in economics and B.S.E. in systems science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a dual M.B.A. / M.P.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, a program which he founded. 

You can vote once per day between now and February 29, 2024 for our Annual Awards. Winners will be selected on the total number of votes and announced at our Annual Awards Celebration this April [stay tuned for more details]. 

Joseph Truitt, CEO, iECURE, Inc.

Joseph Truitt currently serves as the CEO and Board member of iECURE Inc. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Larimar Therapeutics.

Truitt previously served as CEO of Biospecifics Technologies Corporation and Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he successfully executed strategic transactions for both organizations. Before joining Achillion, he served as Vice President, Product Strategy and Business Development for Lev Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he led the build out of the commercial operation before orchestrating the sale of the company. He also served as Vice President, Sales and Operations at Orapharma Inc. responsible for the build of the company’s infrastructure and the launch of the first product prior to the sale of the company.

Truitt served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. He holds an MBA from Saint Joseph’s University and a B.S. from LaSalle University.

You can vote once per day between now and February 29, 2024 for our Annual Awards. Winners will be selected on the total number of votes and announced at our Annual Awards Celebration this April [stay tuned for more details]. 

Madeline Bell, President and CEO, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

Madeline Bell is the President and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), one of the top-ranked children’s hospitals in the United States and ranked No. 1 on Forbes’ 2022 list of America’s Best Large Employers. 

A bold and visionary leader, Bell champions change with empathy and integrity, inspiring the more than 28,000 employees and other workforce members in the hospital’s $4.1-billion-a-year health system and research institute to create breakthroughs that have worldwide impact.

Bell began her career as a pediatric nurse at CHOP in 1983, later leaving the organization to move into hospital administration. She returned to CHOP in 1995, and has since held a number of leadership positions, advancing from Vice President to Senior Vice President to Executive Vice President to Chief Operating Officer. In 2015, she assumed the title of President and CEO.

Bell has made numerous contributions to CHOP, including the development of one of the largest pediatric ambulatory care networks in the country; the expansion of the 4-million-square-foot Philadelphia Campus; the creation of the 250,000-square-foot Middleman Family Pavilion, an inpatient hospital on CHOP’s King of Prussia Campus; and the development of the Center for Advanced Behavioral Healthcare in West Philadelphia. She has also led the development of many nationally recognized clinical care programs and has secured many philanthropic gifts to help further the organization’s mission.

Bell serves on the boards of Comcast-NBCUniversal and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, as well as on the executive committee of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. She is the former Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Board of Directors and is a fellow of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and a member of The Economic Club of New York. She is also an adviser to numerous international hospitals and frequently lectures on the topics of children’s healthcare and women in leadership.

Bell has received many awards and accolades, including The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Industry Icon Award and the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO Award. Most recently, she was named one of Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” and one of its “50 Most Influential Clinical Executives” and was included on Forbes’ “50 Over 50: Vision” list, Philadelphia Business Journal’s “Power 100 2022” list, Metro Philadelphia’s list of “Power Players in Health Care,” and Philadelphia Magazine’s list of “The 150 Most Influential Philadelphians.”

Bell is the host of Breaking Through with Madeline Bell, a podcast that features interviews with CHOP patients, doctors, and scientists, as well as with philanthropists and innovators who support CHOP’s mission. She holds a bachelor of science in Nursing from Villanova University and a master of science in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania.

You can vote once per day between now and February 29, 2024 for our Annual Awards. Winners will be selected on the total number of votes and announced at our Annual Awards Celebration this April [stay tuned for more details].