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Honors and Awards

Joseph Moskal Receives Top Biotechnology Innovator Award

The iCON Innovator Award recognizes Moskal’s breakthrough contributions to biotechnology

Northwestern Engineering professor Joseph Moskal has received the iCON Innovator Award from the Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO), an industry association of more than 200 companies, academic institutions, and service providers dedicated to making Illinois and the Midwest a leader in life sciences ventures and technology.

Joseph MoskalThe iCON Innovator Award recognizes an active researcher within the ranks of life sciences education who is acknowledged by his or her peers as a leader in the contemporary teaching of, and scholarship in, biotechnology and its related sciences. Moskal will formally accept the award during the iBIO iCON Awards dinner on October 3 at The Field Museum.

“This feels like a lifetime achievement award. We have been in Chicago trying to develop novel therapeutics for brain disorders for almost 30 years,” Moskal said. “Perhaps as important, iBIO stresses education and mentoring, which has been an integral part of our vision. I am truly and deeply honored by this award.”

Moskal is a professor of biomedical engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and a professor of neurological surgery at the Feinberg School of Medicine. As director of the Department of Biomedical Engineering’s Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics, Moskal studies pharmacogenomics, drug discovery, and brain tumor therapeutics to develop novel technologies that help treat molecular biology-based diseases.

Moskal also founded and served as chief scientific officer of Naurex, Inc., a drug discovery company spun out of his research at Northwestern that develops therapies for difficult-to-treat depression and other central nervous system diseases. While at Naurex, his team developed rapastinel, a novel therapy for treatment-resistant major depression that is now in Phase III clinical trials. In 2015, Allergan acquired Naurex for $1.7 billion.

Currently, Moskal is the co-founder and chief scientific officer of Aptinyx, Inc., a Naurex spin-off company that continues his efforts to discover and develop new therapies for brain and nervous system disorders. His past honors include being named to the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s (AIMBE) College of Fellows, and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) 2017 Class of Fellows.

Read more about Joseph Moskal in Northwestern Engineering magazine.