Honorary Degree Recipients- 2017

Mr. Victor Grifols Roura, CEO- Grifols Group

Mr. Victor Grifols Roura

CEO, Grifols Group

Victor Grifols Roura is non-executive chairman and proprietary director of Grifols, S. A., which embraces as its mission to improve people’s health and well-being. The company was founded by Mr. Grifols’ grandfather, father, and uncle in 1940, at the end of the Spanish civil war, in response to their experience helping in the blood bank during the war.

In 1973, after earning a business administration degree from the University of Barcelona, Mr. Grifols joined the company as an Export Manager; he succeeded his father as CEO in 1985. As a result of his strategic vision, Grifols has grown from a local Spanish biologics company into a global biopharmaceutical company which sells a wide range of biologics, diagnostic and hospital products in over 100 countries. On January 1, 2017, Mr. Grifols turned over the day-to-day management of the company to his youngest brother Raimon and son Victor and assumed his current position.

The 2014 outbreak of ebola in Liberia brought MassBiologics and Grifols together because of their shared mission and technology. The old Chinese proverb about giving a poor man a fish vs. teaching him to fish governed Mr. Grifols’ commitment to making technology available in West Africa. Working with UMass to get access to the appropriate government and infrastructure personnel enabled Grifols to take their treatment idea and run with it. Having donated mobile lab facilities, they are training Liberians how to use them and will then hand over the keys and equipment.

Mr. Grifols is responsible for developing the non-commercial activities of the company. The Víctor Grífols i Lucas Foundation is a respected resource on bioethical issues, its main mission being to act as a platform for the exchange of different perspectives on the complicated ethics and bioethics issues that profoundly affect modern society.

Working with local populations, the Probitas Foundation promotes and finances much-needed services, engineering support, laboratory equipment, and other tangible assets and resources to improve healthcare in areas of the world that suffer from a lack of economic and technology resources.

 The primary mission of the José Antonio Grifols Lucas Foundationis to support education and health programs that improve the well-being of individuals who donate their plasma at Grifols' donation centers throughout the United States. 

Patricia K. Donahoe, MD - Dir. Pediatric Surgical Research Lab

Patricia K. Donahoe, MD

Director, Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories

Massachusetts General Hospital

 Patricia K. Donahoe, MD, serves as Director of the Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories and Chief Emerita of Pediatric Surgical Services at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she has worked virtually her entire career, and as the Marshall K. Bartlett Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

 Dr. Donahoe grew up in the town of Braintree where she was an indifferent young student. Her father was a medic in WWII and always had an interest in medicine, but medicine as a vocation didn’t register with her until she was about 12 or 13 and underwent emergency surgery. She got to know her physician well, and it was then she felt her first inkling of interest in medicine.

 In high school, she was more interested in sports than anything else, and subsequently, attained her Bachelor of Science in Physical Education, a discipline which includes many pre-medical courses, from Boston University, where she currently serves on the Board of Trustees. As a result, she became sincerely interested in medicine. After graduating, she taught for two years at Indiana University and took all of the other pre-med courses she hadn’t taken as an undergraduate.

 Dr. Donahoe received her MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, one of 10 women in her class of 120. With her husband and their two children, she moved back to the Boston area where she was fortunate to get a residency at Tufts, trained in general surgery, and was the first woman and chief resident in their surgical program. There were no women in the department of surgery at MGH when she arrived, but with the help of mentors, she became a meticulous surgeon, built a surgical practice and reveled in laboratory work.

 As a pediatric surgeon, Dr. Donahoe deals with birth defects, and she became interested in Mullerian Inhibiting Substance as a potential anticancer agent against human ovarian carcinomas and the genetics of sex differentiation and other congenital anomalies, for which she has been steadily funded by the NIH.

She has trained over 100 fellows who now hold significant academic positions around the world, published over 230 peer-reviewed publications, and holds 12 patents. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine. 

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