Southfield, Mich. – Michael W. Long was named the third annual Grant Thornton Leader and Innovator of the Year, with many additional weekly honorees from the past 12 months among those in attendance at a special reception at Lawrence Technological University on May 1. All Leader and Innovator participants were recognized for their proven, successful leadership of Michigan companies, community organizations and enterprises.
The “Leader & Innovator” award recognizes and rewards leaders and innovators in the state of Michigan who have demonstrated or created unique ideas, products or abilities that generate a better quality of life in our communities. Long was chosen from among 44 award nominees profiled almost weekly since March of 2007. The award is also sponsored by Lawrence Tech and WWJ News Radio 950. Last year’s winner, Jim Croce of NextEnergy, was on hand to present the 2008 award to Long.
“Life sciences and biotechnology are strongly growing fields in Michigan and will provide novel therapies and medical devices to cure diseases,” Long said. “It’s a very exciting time to be in the field.” His acceptance speech included comments focusing on the foundations of innovation in Michigan: the environment needed to make innovations flourish; the role of entrepreneurs and leaders in translating innovation to commercial reality, and the intellectual and human resources needed to sustain innovation into the future.
“Grant Thornton LLP believes the strength of Michigan is dependent on people in communities across the state that show their leadership through innovation, perseverance and professionalism – traits found in all the nominees,” said Paul Wolber, managing partner at Grant Thornton LLP. “For these reasons we are blessed to be able to publicly recognize all their efforts and hard work, and we especially congratulate Dr. Long for being selected the Grant Thornton Leader & Innovator of the Year.”
Long is a former professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan. He led the development of 15 patents at U-M, as well as three recent patents from Velcura. In 2003, Dr. Long left the university to lead Velcura.
During his career, Long has served on multiple national grant review committees at the National Institutes of Health and other national organizations. He has been a reviewer for Science, Nature, Nature Biotechnology, and some 25 other scientific publications. He is a frequent speaker at scientific conferences and author of over 70 published articles.
Long received his undergrad degree in biology and master’s and doctoral degrees in human physiology from Wayne State University’s School of Medicine. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center and sabbatical training at one of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute laboratories.
Today, his company, Velcura Therapeutics, is developing highly differentiated therapies for bone diseases. Bone diseases worldwide strike over 250 million individuals. These diseases have an overall 18.5 percent growth rate and the market for their treatment is expected to reach $65 billion by 2030.
“The importance of these men and women to Michigan’s future cannot be overestimated,” Lewis N. Walker, Lawrence Tech president, said about the 44 nominees. “These profilees and their innovative accomplishments prove that our state continues to be a global source of technological and societal advancement. We are delighted to join with our partners WWJ and Grant Thornton LLP to help recognize the successes of this remarkable group.”
The awards reception kicked off Lawrence Tech’s 75th anniversary open house featuring special displays and demonstrations by the University’s students – results of applied research, community studies and other solutions they’ve advanced to solve a variety of real-world problems.
Anyone can make nominations for future Leader & Innovator award honorees by going to www.ltu.edu/leaders. Each spring a Grant Thornton Leader & Innovator of the Year will be selected from among those honorees profiled during the preceding 12 months.
Weekly Leader & Innovator honorees considered for the 2008 award, who were nominated and have been featured in co-sponsor WWJ News Radio 950’s Great Lakes IT Report by Editor Matt Roush, are listed in order of most recent with information as of the date of their profile:
Lawrence Technological University, ltu.edu, offers over 80 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,500-student, private university pioneered evening classes 75 years ago, and today has a growing number of weekend and online programs. Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus is in Southfield, with education centers in Lansing, Livonia, Clinton Township, Traverse City and Petoskey. Lawrence Tech also offers programs with partner universities in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.