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TAMPA, Fla. – BioFlorida Inc., a statewide association linking more than 8,600 of Florida’s research organizations and establishments in the biopharma, MedTech, digital health and health systems, has named W. Gregory Sawyer, Ph.D., Moffitt Cancer Center’s chief bioengineering officer, its Entrepreneur of the Year. The award was presented Thursday during the BioFlorida Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla., where Sawyer also gave a keynote address on his career and passion for entrepreneurship.  

Dr. Gregory Sawyer receiving award“It is an honor to be recognized by BioFlorida for my entrepreneurial efforts. Bioengineering provides the opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to cancer research, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to develop tools and models to help advance discoveries,” said Sawyer.

The Entrepreneur of the Year award honors individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the state’s life sciences industry. Sawyer, who began his career in surface engineering and interactions, shifted to cancer bioengineering nearly 10 years ago. His focus became finding a way to 3D print cancer and tumors at a microscale to help researchers study how the cells grow and react to therapies.

“We are pleased to recognize Dr. Sawyer as BioFlorida’s Entrepreneur of the Year, honoring his remarkable dedication to the life sciences industry and his impact on countless cancer patients here in Florida and beyond,” said Nancy K. Bryan, President and CEO of BioFlorida. “Dr. Sawyer's visionary work in cancer bioengineering exemplifies the spirit of innovation and discovery, and we applaud his tireless efforts to advance the field. He truly embodies the essence of entrepreneurship and its profound impact on the future of healthcare."

Sawyer, together with his students Jack Famiglietti, Ph.D., and Ryan Smolchek, Ph.D., co-founded the startup Aurita Bioscience, to develop the 3D tools and materials needed to study these microscale tumors. They also invented a wide range of instruments, devices and laboratory infrastructure to work with patient derived microtumors, including Darcy PlatesTM to maintain fluid flow during culture and a micromanipulator, BioPelleTM, to place or remove cells in 3D experiments.

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 56 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s scientific excellence, multidisciplinary research, and robust training and education. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 8,500 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.4 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit, and follow the momentum on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube