When selecting an Innovator of the Year, UF Innovate considers a researcher’s body of work and selects one who has made significant scientific contributions that have been licensed and taken to the marketplace, sometimes by the researcher launching a startup based on the discoveries.
Dr. Shannon Boye is this year’s Innovator of the Year.
A professor and associate division chief for cellular and molecular therapy in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine, Dr. Shannon Boye, “…is a shining star in the field of ophthalmology and gene therapy…” said Dr. Jackson Streeter, director of UF Innovate | Ventures.
Not only is Dr. Boye a scientist and a dedicated educator, but she is also an entrepreneur. She is the co-founder of Atsena Therapeutics, a UF clinical-stage, gene therapy startup company based on the research conducted in the Shannon E. Boye Laboratory. Atsena Therapeutics has two clinical programs and a pre-clinical program for ocular gene therapy. The company has ongoing clinical trials for a gene therapy product treating one of the most common causes of blindness in children.
“It’s hard to describe Shannon and do her right because she is a very bright, exceptional, dedicated scientist with a charismatic and bubbly, easy-going personality who works hard to bring light to children with inherited blindness,” said Dr. Hera Lichtenbeld, who manages Dr. Boye’s portfolio at Tech Licensing.
Dr. Boye is a visionary scientist whose contributions to the ophthalmology and gene therapy fields are inspiring and open avenues for new, innovative treatment.
“Her unwavering commitment to improving the lives of those affected by retinal diseases stands as a testament to her exceptional character and enduring legacy in the world of medical research,” said Dr. Streeter.