Licensing & Ventures Group

lvg news

Standing-Room Only Crowd at the Rotunda Celebrates UVA Innovator of the Year Marc Breton

Diabetes pioneer helped create the world's first artificial pancreas

Feb. 17, 2023


LVG Communications

The 30th annual University of Virginia Licensing & Ventures Group Innovator of the Year event celebrating Marc Breton drew a record crowd on Thursday night at the Rotunda.

The festivities included an inspiring talk from Breton; heartfelt remarks from some of the beneficiaries of Breton's invention; and appearances from previous Innovation of the Year winners, including Boris Kovatchev (Breton's mentor), George Gillies, Karen Ingersoll, Ronald Taylor and Lee Ritterband.

Teaming with Kovatchchev and others, Breton -- an associate professor in psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences in the UVA School of Medicine -- created the world's first artificial pancreas.

Today, the device is helping hundreds of thousands of people with diabetes around the world. The mother of one of those people was in attendance on Thursday and, during the question-and-answer session, told Breton about the impact it has had on her daughter's life.

"It's life-changing," she said. "It's just incredible. I want to say thank you ... this is such a well-deserved honor and I just want to say thank you personally."

For those who couldn't make it to the event, you can hear Breton's entire speech here. You can also check out this report from NBC29 reporter Madison McNamee. Below are some photos from the evening.