Education: Ph.D., pharmacology, Temple University; postdoctoral studies, University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University
First job: Research assistant, department of physiology, A.I. Du Pont Institute, Wilmington, Del.
Involvement: Co-chair of BIO 2005; chairman of the BioAdvance Biotechnology Greenhouse Corp.; executive council of the Harvard Division of Sleep Medicine; board of trustees at Temple University and The Franklin Institute; board of directors for the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Eastern Technology Council, NicOx, ViroPharma Inc., Biotechnology Industry Association, Pharmacopeia Drug Discovery Inc., Quaker BioVentures, Pennsylvania Biotechnology Association and Acusphere
Whom do you admire most in business and why?
Early mentors were scientists in post-doctoral programs and in graduate education. In business, you look toward people who have done tremendous things. Bob Swanson, founder of Genentech, led the premiere company in our space, surrounded himself with state-of-the-art scientists and changed the world from a genetic perspective.
What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
When you are 33, every day is a lesson. But the best thing to do for your business is to surround yourself with the best people. It’s more about people and less about technology.
What has been your toughest business challenge?
Drugs can fail our first drug didn’t receive approval from the FDA. We had been developing it for eight years, moving along with just enough resources and scrambling to build a successful business. Now, it’s nice to look back and see how we survived that.