December 15, 2011 | Staff
Dr. Marrs, CEO of Lucine Biotechnology, Inc., was honored by Athena International, the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Nevada and the National Association of Women Business Owners for her leadership in women’s health and in building the Southern Nevada Biotechnology and Technology communities.
Athena International was founded in 1982 by Martha Mayhood Mertz to support, develop, and honor women leaders and to inspire women to achieve their full potential by creating balance in leadership worldwide. Athena provides programs to communities worldwide that are focused on developing strong successful women leaders.
Dr. Marrs was the recipient of the prestigious Young Professional Leadership Award which recognizes women who give back to their community and foster leadership in other women. She was nominated by the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.
She received the award for her work in leading biotechnology and technology development in Southern Nevada. Dr. Marrs founded Lucine Biotechnology Inc., a women’s health research and diagnostics company in 2009. Faced with few options for economic support, facilities, or infrastructure for biotechnology in Southern Nevada and not wanting to leave the region, Dr. Marrs set about building the infrastructure around the company so that the entire community would succeed.
In addition to being CEO for Lucine Biotechnology, she is the Founder and President of Parallel Innovations Labs (PI Labs), a non-profit, biotechnology incubator facility. PI Labs, when constructed, will provide science-based startup companies, flexible lab space and other facilities currently unavailable in Southern Nevada. Without PI Labs, Southern Nevada scientists who wish to bring laboratory discoveries to market must move out of state to do so. PI labs will keep those discoveries and those companies in Nevada.
Dr. Marrs was also a leading proponent of Senate Bill 75 (SB75). The bill was supported by broadly by Northern Nevada interests and Departments of Education state wide, but garnered limited support from Southern Nevada until Dr. Marrs got involved. Her efforts coalesced the groundswell of Southern Nevada support, largely from small tech business. SB75 passed and led to the formation of the Nevada Capital Investment Corporation (NCIC), which will manage a $50 million private equity investment fund for Nevada technology, biotechnology and clean technology companies. NCIC mirrors what other states have done to build a diverse, successful knowledge-based business community. Again, prior to SB75/NCIC, companies in these sectors were forced to move elsewhere (Utah, California, Texas), creating a huge brain drain of Nevada talent.
Finally, Dr. Marrs co-founded, Southern Nevada Biotechnology Entrepreneurs (SNBE), a group focused on fostering bioscience, medical and health technology related companies. The group meets the first Wednesday evening of every month at the Republic Kitchen. She is also an active member of the downtown technology movement.
Dr. Marrs was surprised and honored to be recognized by her community for such a prestigious award and will continue to provide leadership in the Las Vegas biotechnology community.