Matt Winkler, PhD, Honored with 2019 PTV Star of Texas Healthcare Award


Dr. Matt Winkler accepts the 2019 Star of Texas Healthcare Award at the PTV Investor Meeting Wednesday.

Austin, TX – October X, 2019 – PTV Healthcare Capital announced today that Dr. Matt Winkler, molecular biologist and founder of three Austin biotechnology companies, has been awarded the 2019 Star of Texas Healthcare Award. Dr. Winkler accepted the award last month at PTV’s 2019 Investor Meeting in Austin, Texas.

For the past twelve years, the Star of Texas Healthcare award has honored healthcare professionals and outstanding members of the Texas community for their commitment to healthcare improvement and innovation through either professional achievement or outstanding philanthropic service. Previous recipients of the PTV Star of Texas Healthcare Award include Dr. Andrea Natale, a dedicated clinician, innovator, and researcher in the field of electrophysiology; Dr. Charles Stasney, a world renowned clinical otolaryngologist of Performing Arts Medicine; Dr. Stephen Slade, a pioneer in the field of LASIK and refractive eye surgery; On-X Life Technologies, a leading manufacturer of mechanical heart valve replacements; Mack Brown, Former Coach and Co-Founder of MJ&M, a joint fundraising effort focused on empowering kids; John Mendelsohn, MD, Ex-President of the MD Anderson Cancer Center; Steven McKnight, PhD, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Texas Southwestern; Francisco G. Cigarroa, MD, Chancellor of the University of Texas System; James T. Willerson, MD, President and Medical Director for the Texas Heart Institute; Julio C. Palmaz, MD, inventor of the first commercially successful coronary stent; and Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, former Commissioner of the US FDA for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“Dr. Winkler is a visionary in the field of molecular biology and has contributed a tremendous amount to the medtech community here in Austin,” said PTV Founding Managing Director Matt Crawford. “The work his companies have pioneered in the fields of molecular diagnostics, genetics, and oncology have and continue to impact countless patients’ lives. We are honored to be able to recognize his outstanding contributions to healthcare innovation here in Texas and beyond.”

Congratulations to Dr. Winkler on this well-deserved recognition!


About Matt Winkler

Matt Winkler, Ph.D. is a molecular biologist and the founder of three biotechnology companies in Austin, Texas: Ambion in 1989, Asuragen in 2006, and Mirna Therapeutics in 2008.  Dr. Winkler received his B.S. in Genetics and Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of California, Berkeley.  In 1983 he joined the faculty of the Zoology Department at The Univeristy of Texas at Austin.   In 1988, while still an Associate Professor, using seed money from friends and family, he started Ambion, a molecular biology reagent company.  Ambion grew from its humble beginnings into what became known as ”The RNA Company”.  In 2006 Dr. Winkler sold Ambion to Applied Biosystems Corp., retaining about 100 employees and diagnostic and therapeutic rights to various Ambion technologies to form Asuragen. The impetus for doing this was Ambion’s discovery that miRNAs could be both powerful cancer diagnostic and therapeutic entities. When miRNAs proved to have limited diagnostic utility, Asuragen pivoted to use other analytes to develop cutting-edge diagnostics products in the fields of human genetics and oncology. Today, Dr. Winker is Chairman of Asuragen and serves on the boards of a number of non-profit and for-profit companies. He is the author of more than 30 publications and has 19 issued patents.


About PTV

PTV Healthcare Capital is an Austin, Texas based venture capital and growth equity firm dedicated to enabling healthcare entrepreneurs and global innovation. Founded in 2003, PTV is comprised of a highly collaborative team of professionals, deeply experienced as investors and operators of life science companies. PTV focuses on mid-to-late stage companies with comparatively low technical, regulatory, and financial risk that are “with the grain” of healthcare economics – improving patient outcomes while decreasing costs – in markets with significant unmet clinical needs. To learn more, please visit