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2018 Research Park Awardees

Distinguished Leader 

Hon. Steven Abrams

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Steven L. Abrams has been a member of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners since 2009, winning re-election twice. Commissioner Abrams has a lengthy record of public service.  He is the former mayor of Boca Raton, elected in 2001 and re-elected in 2003 without opposition.  In the 2005 election, Abrams received the most votes in city history and was later named mayor emeritus when he stepped down in 2008 due to term limits.  As mayor of Boca Raton, Abrams gained national exposure and local respect during the first bioterrorist attack in American history when anthrax was discovered at the AMI building in Boca Raton in 2001.  He received the Distinguished Service Medal from the Israel National Police for his leadership during the ordeal and testified on national television on the government’s response at the invitation of a United States Senate subcommittee. Abrams’ work in regional transportation has been instrumental in the success of the Research Park at FAU’s access to Tri-Rail and the new I-95 interchange at Spanish River Boulevard, making the Research Park at FAU the only research park to have a direct on-ramp to an interstate.



Distinguished Researcher  

Dr. Gregg Fields


Dr. Fields is Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. He is also the Director of the Center for Molecular Biology & Biotechnology. Dr. Fields applies chemistry in novel ways to answer important biological questions, many of which assist in the diagnosis and treatment of major diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis and cancer. Dr. Fields is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a renowned researcher who holds six U.S. patents and has one application being reviewed. The technology developed by Dr. Fields has resulted in three commercial products, currently sold by five different companies. He has authored or coauthored more than 260 scientific publications and has presented more than 190 invited lectures. Most recently, Dr. Fields is working with several spinouts of Scripps Florida as well as a company of his own.



Distinguished Entrepreneur 

Daniel Cane

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Joining the Research Park at FAU in 2012, Modernizing Medicine has grown to over 650 employees and has raised over $332M in total investment. Modernizing Medicine is frequently recognized both nationally and regionally for its achievements under Daniel’s leadership. Daniel has received numerous personal accolades during his tenure at Modernizing Medicine. In 2016 the South Florida Business Journal included Daniel as a South Florida Ultimate CEO. In 2015 he was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year®. In 2014 the Sun Sentinel announced that Daniel earned Excalibur Award for Palm Beach Small Business Leader of the Year for 2013. He was also named a Palm Beach County Ultimate CEO by the South Florida Business Journal and a CEO of the Year by CEO World.

An entrepreneur, started a small company while an undergraduate at Cornell University. Later he helped take Blackboard public on the NASDAQ (BBBB). In 2011, it was sold for $1.6B, and Daniel moved back to South Florida to create new companies in the Research Park at FAU before co-founding Modernizing Medicine. Throughout his work at Modernizing Medicine, Daniel has been a champion of the Research Park at FAU, touting its links to the FAU faculty and student body, and its ability to make invaluable connections between researchers and entrepreneurs, helping to enhance the Research Park’s reputation. Recently, he and his wife Debra donated $1 million to the A D Henderson University School for STEM education initiatives, leading by example.



Distinguished Organization

Small Business Development Center at FAU

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Serving Palm Beach and Broward counties, the Florida SBDC at Florida Atlantic University Region delivered substantial consulting and training services in 2016 that resulted in a significant return on investment, including delivering over 13,000 hours of consulting to 1,360 entrepreneurs – at no cost. The SBDC’s services resulted in the creation and retention of almost 6,000 jobs in our region, and generated almost $700 million in sales. The SBDC’s role in Florida’s economic development by assisting entrepreneurs in every stage of the business life cycle is invaluable, and an important complement to the greater FAU family.