Trudeau Institute’s Board Chairwoman Patricia Y. Tsien has announced the appointment of Robert A. Curtis, Pharm.D., to the position of Executive Chairman of the Trudeau Institute. The position was created to complement that of Ronald H. Goldfarb, Ph.D., President, Director and Chief Executive Officer as the institute moves towards aligning more closely with Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.
Tsien commented, “New York State is investing in a strategic partnership between Trudeau and Clarkson University, whereby the alliance will emphasize the new discipline of immunoengineering, allowing the institute to apply engineering sciences to the study of the immune response to jointly develop new and improved immunological strategies for applied and translational projects. Ron and Bob will work together closely to ensure a successful collaboration with Clarkson.” Curtis and Goldfarb will share executive responsibilities as lead officers of the institute and will both report to the full board of trustees.
According to Tsien, Goldfarb will continue in his role as president, director and CEO, as well as fulfill the duties of chief scientific officer, while continuing to drive Trudeau’s fundraising and development activities. Curtis will assume responsibility for leading the strategic partnering and alliance-implementation efforts with Clarkson University. He also will work directly with Empire State Development, New York State’s chief economic development agency, to ensure all demands of the contract between the organizations are satisfied.
Curtis will also continue in his role as CEO of the Trudeau Institute Contract Research Organization (TICRO), to which he was appointed in January 2014, and will be responsible for overseeing the Institute’s financial management. Curtis noted, “Ron and I are a great team, and I am very pleased to be able to assist the Trudeau Institute during this transitional time. I’m looking forward to working closely with Clarkson University, with whom we share an exciting future.”
Curtis joined the Trudeau Institute board of trustees in 2012 and served as vice-chair from 2013 until August 2014. A resident of Mashpee, Mass., he is principal of Curtis Consulting & Communications LLC. From 2007 until 2012, he served as CEO of Regional Technology Development Corporation of Cape Cod, where he led efforts to identify early-stage technologies developed by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Marine Biological Laboratory using a proactive model for technology transfer and business development. Curtis has extensive experience raising venture capital and leading commercialization efforts to bring new technologies to market through his involvement in the launch of multiple biotechnology companies. He holds degrees from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy (B.S.), the University of Missouri-Kansas City (Pharm.D.), and Columbia University (M.B.A.).
Named president, director and CEO of the Trudeau Institute in October 2012, Goldfarb received his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. Following postdoctoral work at SUNY Downstate and the National Cancer Institute, he became a staff fellow in tumor immunology at NCI. In 1982 Goldfarb was appointed manager of Pfizer Inc.’s department of immunology and infectious disease. From 1986 until 1992, he was a full member of and also held various leadership positons at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, including: program director of experimental therapeutics, program director of cell biology and cancer metastasis, and associate director of the basic research. From 1992 until 1997, Goldfarb served as deputy director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and professor of pathology and neurosurgery in the School of Medicine, as well as on the faculty of biomedical engineering in medicine program at Carnegie-Mellon University. In 1997 he moved to the University of North Texas Health Science Center to assume the roles of professor and chairman of the molecular biology and immunology department and director of the Institute for Cancer Research. Most recently, Goldfarb served for more than 10 years as president and CEO of Sopherion Therapeutics, a biotechnology/biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes anticancer agents.
Goldfarb commented, “Bob’s backgrounds in biotechnology and business strategies are strong assets for strengthening the Trudeau management team. We have enjoyed working closely together and look forward to our continued efforts on behalf of the institute.”