2023 #ThanksResearch In Person Gala

#ThanksRESEARCH in person or Virtual Lunchtime GALA
september 21, 2023 @ Noon

NWABR’s 2023 #ThanksResearch Gala is a celebration of people, organizations, initiatives, and communities who have worked to improve trust in biomedical research. Trust is fundamental to everything that we do in biomedical research and at this year's Lunchtime Gala we will be celebrating a unique group of awardees who have built trust in their fields.


Each year the Board of NWABR bestows awards to celebrate progress in biomedical research. 

In 2023 the Board of NWABR will present its Alvin J. Thompson Award to two individuals who through their scholarship, mentoring, and research have made pivotal contributions to advancing their fields of study.  The 2023 Thompson Award awardees are:

  • Dr. Donald E. Low, MD, FACS - Head Thoracic Surgery & Thoracic Oncology, Virginia Mason
  • Dr. Walter J. Urba, MD, PhD - Chief Medical Officer, Providence Cancer Institute

The 2023 Buster and Nancy D. Alvord Award will be presented to Ms. Susan Ashe, who has recently retired from her role at the helm of the Health Sciences and Services Authority of Spokane County (HSSA).  The Award is being given to Ms. Ashe in recognition of her singular contribution which has enabled Spokane to become a core research hub in the Pacific Northwest.

Two long standing NWABR Board Members who stepped down from the Board earlier in 2023 will also be honored at the Gala.  Each of these Board Members have helped to build NWABR’s standing within the biomedical research community.  Each of these emeritus Board Members will be presented with NWABR’s 2023 Edison Award.  The two emeritus Board Members are:

Ms. Ramsey Cox

Dr. John Roll

Recording of the 2023 Gala

How to Register for, and Attend, the 2023 #ThanksResearch Gala

This event will start at Noon on September 21, 2023, and will conclude by 1pm (Pacific time).  Attendees have the option of attending the event in person or attending the event virtually.  

The in person event will be held at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st St., Seattle WA, 98105 (there is plentiful free parking).

For both options you can: Register Here

In Person attendance is $60 per attendee and virtual attendance is $30 per viewing site (that is several people can view one device for just one registration fee).  If you are a current or likely future donor to NWABR then you can register for free with the code SUPPORTER.

NWABR Board Members each have an allocation of seats for the event.  If you would like to join one of NWABR’s Board Members for the event then please contact Ken Gordon (executivedirector@nwabr.org) who will be able to seat you with a Board Member.



Advarra advances the way clinical research is conducted: bringing life sciences companies, CROs, research sites, investigators, and academia together at the intersection of safety, technology, and collaboration. With trusted IRB and IBC review solutions, innovative technologies, experienced consultants, and deep-seated connections across the industry, Advarra provides integrated solutions that safeguard trial participants, empower clinical sites, ensure compliance, and optimize research performance. Advarra is advancing clinical trials to make them safer, smarter, and faster. For more information, visit www.advarra.com.


As a dynamic, progressive and woman-owned independent agency we firmly believe in giving back to our community and welcoming all. We build our relationships for the long haul, delivering the products and services that safeguard you, your family and your business. Our job is to help you prepare for the unexpected, right from the start. We service all of Washington State and are licensed in over 25 additional states nationwide.  For more information visit: dmlinsurance.com


The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, represents the country’s leading biopharmaceutical researchers and biotechnology companies.  Our members are committed to finding tomorrow’s cures and treatments for some of the most serious diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease.


WCG provides the highest quality ethical reviews of clinical research protocols and studies. WCG was created by combining five IRBs with different areas of expertise and geographical reach – Western IRB (WIRB), the world’s first independent ethical review board, Copernicus Group IRB, New England IRB, Aspire IRB, and Midlands IRB. WCG has more than 50 years’ experience and more than 200 members on AAHRPP-accredited boards. Since 2000, WCG has also provided IBC administration and review services to nearly 800 institutions and evaluated more than 400 human gene transfer protocols. For more information, please visit visit www.wcgclinical.com or follow us on Twitter @WCGClinical or LinkedIn.


We Work for Health – Washington brings together patient advocates, life science industry partners, economic development entities, and academic research institutions to advocate for federal policy outcomes that promote new therapeutic discovery and ensure patients are able to access their medications at the pharmacy counter. WWFH-WA works in coalition with state partners to meet directly with elected officials and educate the public through events and media engagement about the importance and impact of the life science industry in Washington state.




The 2022 Gala was recorded and you can view the event with this YouTube link:  Gala Recording

If the work of NWABR inspires you then we also encourage you to visit NWABR’s Giving Page:  Donate Now

If you have questions about the Gala or want to speak to a human being to discuss involvement in future events, please contact Ken Gordon (206 595-2450).  


Past Gala Awardees

Previous Thompson and Alvord Award Gala Awardees


NWABR Distinguished Service Awards (AKA the Edison Awards)

NWABR Distinguished Service Awards are given to NWABR staff, Board and other community members in honor of their personal contributions to the work of NWABR.  These Awards were instigated in 2016 and the past recipients were:


Lee Schoentrup

James Riddle 

Lynn Rose

Judy Fenyk-Melody


William Dernell

Jennifer Hansberry

Royce Morrison

Stephen Rosenfeld


William (Bill) Dale

Todd Myers

Marcia Johnson-Witter and Max Witter on behalf of the Dean Witter Foundation


Cami Gearhart

Cheryl Weaver

Ben Wilfond


Alex Dugdale

Don Wang


No Edison Awards were given out in 2021.  


Dr. Steve Libby

Dr. Kim Stocking


Previous Thompson and Alvord Award Gala Awardees


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