Biotech pioneer, New Yorker editor honored

Princeton NJ -- Two Princeton graduates who are leaders in the fields of biotechnology and journalism have been selected for the University's 2002 top honors for alumni.

George Rathmann, chairman of Hyseq Inc., and David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, will receive their awards and deliver addresses on campus during Alumni Day activities on Saturday, Feb. 23.

Rathmann, who earned his Ph.D. in chemistry 1951, will receive the James Madison Medal. Named for the fourth president of the United States and the person many consider Princeton's first graduate student, the medal was established by the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni and is given each year to an alumnus or alumna of the Graduate School who has had a distinguished career, advanced the cause of graduate education or achieved an outstanding record of public service.

Remnick, who earned his A.B. in comparative literature from Princeton in 1981, has been chosen for the Woodrow Wilson Award. The honor is bestowed annually upon an undergraduate alumnus or alumna whose career embodies the call to duty in Wilson's famous speech, "Princeton in the Nation's Service." Also a Princeton graduate, Wilson served as president of the University and as president of the United States.

On Alumni Day, Rathmann will present a lecture titled "Biotechnology: State of the Industry, 2002" at 9:15 a.m. He will focus on the exceptional advances that have affected all human activity brought about by understanding the structure of DNA.

Remnick will speak on "Life at The New Yorker" at 10:30 a.m. He will share anecdotes from his nearly 10 years with the magazine as both the magazine and the country moved through significant changes in leadership and perspective.

Both lectures will be open to the public in Richardson Auditorium of Alexander Hall.

Madison Medalist

Rathmann is considered a pioneer in the biotech industry. He co-founded Amgen Inc. in 1980, and built it from a small start-up into the nation's largest biotech company. He served as the company's chairman, president and chief executive officer until 1990, when he founded the ICOS Corp. He was chairman of ICOS's board for 10 years.

Rathmann


 

In February 2000, he joined Hyseq Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., as its chairman. The company is developing new biopharma-ceutical products, using genomics as a foundation, to treat inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. The company is also conducting preclinical studies of a product to prevent or treat blood vessel blockage that can cause heart attacks and strokes.

Business Week magazine has named Rathmann one of its "visionary entrepreneurs." "I have had the good fortune to be part of the biotechnology industry since its inception," Rathmann said when he joined Hyseq Inc. last year. "Genomics now is providing an unprecedented wealth of opportunities for new drugs."

Rathmann is known for his role in the development of Epogen, a red-blood-cell stimulant that has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of dialysis patients. He also is credited with the development of numerous diagnostic tests while directing diagnostic research and development at Abbott Laboratories. He began his career as a plastics researcher at 3M, where he worked for 21 years before moving on to Litton Industries and Abbott Laboratories. Rathmann received his B.S. degree in physical chemistry from Northwestern University.

The recipient of many scientific and business awards and prizes, Rathmann was named the Gold Medalist Biotechnology CEO of the Year (1987 and 1988), Entrepreneur of the Year for the Los Angeles area (1990) and Entrepreneur of the Year by the University of Southern California (2001). He has received the BioPharm Achievement Award (1992), the Glen Seaborg Medal from the University of California-Los Angeles (1995), the Bower Award for Business Leadership (1997) and the first Biotechnology Heritage Award (1999). He also received, on behalf of Amgen, the Gift of Life Award from the Illinois Chapter of the National Kidney Foundation and was honored with the Annual Recognition Award from the Washington, D.C., National Kidney Foundation.

Since 1982, Rathmann has served as an officer and board member of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and was its chairman from 1986 to 1988. He is also an officer and board member of the National Science and Technology Medals Foundation and is on the boards of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Keystone Center and Zymogentics Inc. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Phi Beta Kappa, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society.

Wilson Award winner

 

Remnick


Remnick was named editor of The New Yorker in July 1998. He had been a staff writer at the magazine since September 1992, and had written more than 100 pieces for the magazine.

Remnick joined The New Yorker after 10 years at the Washington Post. He began his reporting career as a staff writer at the Post, where over the years he covered stories for the Metro, Sports and Style sections. In 1988, he started a four-year tenure as a Washington Post Moscow correspondent, an experience that formed the basis of his 1993 book on the former Soviet Union, "Lenin's Tomb." In April 1994, "Lenin's Tomb" received both the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction and a George Polk Award for excellence in journalism. He was a finalist for a National Magazine Award in 1998 for his piece on Mike Tyson, "Kid Dynamite Blows Up."

Shortly after being named editor, Remnick spoke to the Columbia Journalism Review about the future of the magazine. "I'm aware that some people wonder about whether there is still a need for The New Yorker," he said. "I believe the need is in fact more powerful than ever. Americans are surrounded by a blizzard of information. If you were inclined to lose your mind you could stay on the Internet all day. In the middle of this blizzard The New Yorker should stand as a place of clarity, coverage, intelligence, reliability -- and hilarity. We don't want to forget hilarity."

Since that time, The New Yorker has won eight National Magazine Awards. In 2000, the magazine won three Ellies, for general excellence, public interest and fiction. In 2001, the magazine won an unprecedented five National Magazine Awards for general excellence, special interests, profiles, essays, and reviews and criticism. In addition, Remnick was named Advertising Age's Editor of the Year in 2000.

Remnick is the author of several other books, including "Resurrection," published in 1997. It described the struggle to build a Russian state from the ruins of the Soviet empire, and was the first book to cover the elections in Russia. A collection of his New Yorker pieces, "The Devil Problem (and Other True Stories)," also was published in 1997. His book, "King of the World," on Muhammad Ali, was published in 1998. In addition, Remnick has edited four anthologies of New Yorker pieces, including "Life Stories," "Wonderful Town," "The New Gilded Age" and "Fierce Pajamas."

Remnick is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, and his work has appeared in, among other publications, Vanity Fair, Esquire and The New Republic. He has been a visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and has taught at Columbia and Princeton.
 

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December 3, 2001
Vol. 91, No. 11
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Contents

In the news
Memorial service set for Sept. 11 victims
Friend Center intended as a tribute and a crossroad
Faculty
Princeton tool tops dictionary
Lewis: Strong sense of history compels Muslims
Linguist's goldmine
Inside
Biotech pioneer, New Yorker editor honored
Clark finds volunteer work for local Red Cross rewarding
Campus UW drive continues
People
Miller named to head Alumni Council; Taylor to remain on staff part-time
Seniors chosen for Marshall awards
Spotlight, Brief
Sections
• By the numbers:
Campus building
Nassau Notes
Calendar of events


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