Veteran entrepreneur, philanthropist and investor Fred Eshelman will receive the Life Science Leadership Award at the 25th annual CED Life Science Conference in March.

The founder of PPD in Wilmington as well as he fouding chairman of Furiex Pharmaceuticals, a PPD spinout, Eshelman also has donated millions of dollars to UNC-Chapel Hill and now is an investor in life science companies.

“Fred Eshelman’s leadership in our life science community offers great inspiration to emerging innovators, especially as he continues his commitment to invest back into the entrepreneurial ecosystem of North Carolina. We are proud to spotlight his significant impact by presenting this award in front of over 1,000 industry professionals who will share in the celebration of this honor at the CED Life Science Conference,” said Joan Siefert Rose, CEO of the CED.

The conference is set for March 1-2 in Raleigh. The North Carolina Biotechnology Center and trade group NCBIO also support the conference.

“I am honored to receive the 2016 Life Science Leadership Award at this celebrated annual gathering,” said Eshelman in a statement “I appreciate CED’s work with many of the breakthrough companies in North Carolina and I am personally committed to the continued vibrancy of this region as a top life science cluster.”

Eshelman’s background as cited by the CED:

“As founder, CEO and Executive Chairman of PPD as well as founding Chairman of Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Fred Eshelman has played a pivotal role in the development of the North Carolina life science community. Eshelman has served on the executive committee of the Medical Foundation of North Carolina, was on the Board of Trustees for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and was appointed by the NC General Assembly in 2011 to serve on the Board of Governors for the state’s multi-campus university system as well as the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. He also chairs the board of visitors for the School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. One of the top pharmacy programs in the United States, the school was named the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in May 2008 in recognition of his many contributions to the school and the profession. Additionally, Eshelman has demonstrated an incredible commitment to growing and sustaining this community as a generous donor and investor with Eshelman Ventures.”

Eshelman also will be a speaker at the conference.

Conference website: