Jeffrey Aronin Receives the 2019 Northern Illinois University College of Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award


Jeffrey Aronin, Chairman and CEO of Paragon Biosciences, has built a series of groundbreaking biopharmaceutical companies over the past 25 years to find therapies for serious (and often rare) diseases that did not yet have effective treatments. It’s a journey inspired by his experiences at Northern Illinois University’s (NIU) College of Business, where Aronin graduated in 1989.

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Jeffrey Aronin is now having a multiplier effect on drug development by leading Paragon to innovate, invest in, build, and advise a growing portfolio of bioscience companies, each with its own therapeutic focus.

NIU’s business school recently presented Aronin with its 2019 Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award in recognition of what NIU College of Business Dean Balaji Rajagopalan called Aronin’s “exemplary track record of building and transforming organizations through innovation.”

In accepting the award, Jeffrey Aronin credited Rajagopalan for “the work NIU and the College of Business are doing in innovating new entrepreneurial ideas,” including the business school’s partnership with MATTER, the nonprofit healthcare incubator Aronin founded in 2015.  

Jeffrey Aronin added that NIU gave him the foundational training that would spark his interest in becoming an entrepreneur. “The education I received at the NIU College of Business gave me the skills to build businesses in a field that, while exceptionally challenging, creates significant good.”

Aronin: An appreciation for ‘balance’ began at NIU

In a video preceding his remarks, Jeffery Aronin credited his time at NIU with teaching him the importance of balancing goals in work and life.

“One of the most important lessons I learned early on at NIU was balance and how it carries on through life,” Aronin said. “While building companies, while building your family, a lot of things pull on you, time and pressure. I was fortunate to learn that lesson at NIU.”

One more important element of a balanced life — giving back.

Today, Jeffrey Aronin contributes significant time to civic and philanthropic pursuits with wife Lisa Aronin through the Aronin Family Foundation – centered on innovation in health, education, community and economic development.

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