Moffitt Cancer Center to present Momentum Award to Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller

March 17, 2016

TAMPA, Fla. – Startup companies poised to make a significant impact in cancer therapy and patient care will showcase the latest technologies at Moffitt Cancer Center’s tenth annual Business of Biotech Conference. The free event will be from 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 18 in Moffitt’s Vincent A. Stabile Research Building.

One goal of the conference is to honor leaders who have championed Moffitt and cancer research. Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller will receive this year’s Moffitt Momentum Award, which was created to honor public servants whose tireless efforts benefit individuals battling cancer in Florida. 

“The Moffitt Momentum Award recognizes outstanding public servants who are committed to fighting cancer and helping patients brave this battle,” said Dr. Alan List, President and CEO of Moffitt Cancer Center. “This year’s recipient has a long history of supporting legislation that has helped to grow cancer research at Moffitt.”

Previous recipients of this award include Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, and Governor Rick Scott.

“As a cancer survivor himself, Chairman Miller understands just how important cancer research can be to making improvements in patient care,” List adds. “It doesn’t happen overnight, and his persistence has allowed us to increase our research operations over the years.”

Chairman Miller also fought for Moffitt to receive a small percentage of the state’s sales tax on tobacco. Those funds helped create Moffitt facilities now used for research and patient care.

This year’s keynote address at Business of Biotech will feature Arie Belldegrun, M.D., F.A.C.S., CEO and founder of Kite Pharma. Belldegrun boasts a distinguished tenure in the life sciences field and is closely involved with the founding and advancement of successful biopharmaceutical companies. Following an interview-style format, Sam Donaldson, former ABC News correspondent and Moffitt Board of Advisors member, will lead Belldegrun through a conversation about the exciting immunotherapy field for cancer treatment.

In addition to the keynote address, the conference will include breakout sessions on fundraising trends, Immuno-Oncology, emerging trends in collaborations and an investor forum.

Business of Biotech is partially supported by a grant from Hillsborough County’s Economic Development Innovation Initiative (EDI2).

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. One of the three largest cancer centers in the United States based on patient volume, the Tampa-based facility is one of only 45 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the top-ranked cancer hospital in Florida and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer care since 1999. Moffitt devotes more than 2 million square feet to research and patient care. With more than 5,000 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $1.9 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.