Press Releases

Dr. Andrew Blight to Receive Purchase Science Entrepreneurship Award

Date Released: 2/18/2010

Dr. Blight is Chief Scientific Officer of Acorda Theraputics, a biotechnology company. Presentation April 26 at Westchester County Association Congressional Luncheon.

Purchase College President Thomas J. Schwarz announced the selection of Dr. Andrew Blight, Chief Scientific Officer of Acorda Therapeutics as recipient of the Inaugural Purchase College Science Entrepreneurship Award.  Nominees for this award were evaluated on criteria proving their scientific excellence, ability to integrate science with business, vision and innovation, social responsibility and providing positive a positive role model for future generations.


The selection was made by a panel of Purchase College science faculty in partnership with the Westchester County Association to recognize a scientist employed by a Westchester company. Acorda Theraputics is based in Hawthorne, New York.


“We are honored to recognize Dr. Blight for his accomplishments as a distinguished scientist in the academic and corporate sectors. His career represents the scientific excellence, vision and innovation which are hallmarks of science programs at Purchase College. With this award we honor an individual who has made significant contributions to his industry,” said President Schwarz.


“At Purchase,” he said “we are proud of the science training we provide in biology, chemistry biochemistry, psychology, computer science and environmental studies and of the many students who go on to earn graduate degrees. Our faculty includes active research scientists trained at leading universities who provide an exceptional education for our liberal arts and science students preparing them for leadership in the Westchester business community.”


“William Mooney, President of the Westchester County Association added, “We are excited to partner with Purchase College on their Science Entrepreneurship Award.  It is clear that the future economic viability of our region will come through the growth in new technology companies like Acorda. We are proud to play a role in recognizing this spirit of entrepreneurship.”


“I am delighted and honored to have been chosen to receive this award,” said Dr. Blight.  â€œAcorda has given me the opportunity to work with an extraordinary team of people, dedicated to bringing science to bear on significant medical needs.  Science is a truly communal enterprise and it is very gratifying to be singled out as a representative in this way.”


Dr. Blight has been the Chief Scientific Officer at Acorda Therapeutics since  2004 and previously served as Executive Vice President for Research and Development from 2000 to 2004 and Vice President from 1998 to 2000. Acorda Therapeutics is a biotechnology company dedicated to the identification, development and commercialization of novel therapies that improve neurological function in people with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis (MS) and other disorders of the central nervous system.


Prior to joining Acorda, Dr. Blight spent six years as Professor and Director of the Neurosurgery Research laboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He held prior academic positions at Purdue University and New York University.  Dr. Blight is a leader in SCI pathophysiology research and has made several important contributions to the field, particularly on the role of demyelination in SCI.  He also pioneered the therapeutic application of 4-AP in SCI animal models and in human clinical trials.  Dr. Blight is a member of the editorial board of the Journal on Neurotrauma and has served as a member of the NIH NSDA review committee.  He was previously Secretary, Treasurer and Vice President of the National Neurotrauma Society.  Dr. Blight received his BS in Zoology and his Ph D. in Zoology/Neurobiology from the University of Bristol, UK.  


The award will be presented at the Westchester County Association’s Annual Spring Congressional luncheon on April 26 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.