GIBH Chief Technology officer Micky Tortorella has received Guangzhou Honorary Citizen Awards
On the 1st of Dec 2015, GIBH (Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health) Chief Technology officer Micky Tortorella has been awarded 2015 Honorary citizen of Guangzhou during “2015 Guangzhou Honorary citizen congress”. This is the fist time foreign researchers from GIBH to be honored by this prize since the founding of the institute.
Honorary citizen of Guangzhou is only awarded to overseas Chinese,Hong Kong and Macao compatriots as well as foreign nationals who have contributed greatly to urban economic development, cultural construction,international exchanges and social welfare of Guangzhou city. During the congress, a total of 15 people have been granted the title of “Honorary citizen of Guangzhou”. The winners include Prof Tang Benzhong,academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Mr Fok Kai shan, vice president of Fok Ying Tung Group etc.
Before the congress, the Provincial Standing Committee, Party Secretary of Guangzhou Mr Ren Xuefeng have congratulated the winners and their relatives.Mr Ren hopes that every winner can persevere a true sense of ownership and fully play the leading role in their respective fields as well as acting as a bridge between the world and Guangzhou to make new and greater contributions to the development of the city.
Micky Tortorella is a former senior principal investigator at Pfizer with 15 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to working at Pfizer he had a successful tenure as a research scientist at Dupont Pharmaceutical. His previous work has focused on understanding the biochemical mechanisms involved in the turnover and degradation of the cartilage matrix, which led to the discovery of ADAMTS-4 and -5, enzymes responsible for aggrecan catabolism in arthritic diseases. His current research continues to focus on elucidating the mechanisms that mediate cartilage and bone degradation during the progression of arthritis and developing therapies for blocking these processes using innovative biochemical, biophysical, molecular and cell imaging technologies. Principal investigator Tortorella is regarded as a key opinion leader in the United States as well as internationally in osteoarthritis, metalloproteinase biology and in developing pharmaceutical drugs, with over 50 publications in top tier journals and 10 US patents. He has led and provided direction to multiple discovery teams applying basic biology to drug discovery process, including identification of novel targets, innovation in assay development and the advancement of small molecule inhibitors. Micky Tortorella joined GIBH in 2009 as the leader of the drug discovery pipeline (DDP) and is responsible for creating and leading an integrated drug discovery center focused on developing disease modifying pharmaceutical drugs in the areas of oncology, CNS,infectious diseases and arthritis.
During his time in Guangzhou, Micky Tortorella has taken full advantage of his pharmaceutical experiences to integrate resource,improve drug discovery platform,develop advanced personnel management and result sharing mechanism. This has attracted a great number of international experts to join DDP and established drug discovery partnerships with several pharmaceutical companies from United States, New Zealand, UK etc. In addition, Tortorella has explored new drug research and development model suitable for China’s national conditions and improved the biomedical research standard of Guangzhou. Overall, Tortorella has made a significant contribution to the construction of drug discovery and pharmaceutical industry key technology platform and greatly promoted the upgrading of pharmaceutical industry of Guangzhou.