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‘Bench to Boardroom’ Symposium Honors Memory of Donny Strosberg
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‘Bench to Boardroom’ Symposium Honors Memory of Donny Strosberg

A. Donny Strosberg, the Scripps Florida professor who died unexpectedly last year, was a great believer in basic scientific research and in driving that research into the biotechnology marketplace. He managed to do both in a long career that ended too soon.

To honor his memory, Scripps Florida is holding a one-day symposium—From Bench to Boardroom: Strategies for Building a Thriving Biotechnology Sector—on Thursday, March 21, 2013, at 2 PM in the Rodney B. Fink Pavilion on the Scripps Florida campus, 130 Scripps Way, Jupiter, Florida. Hosted by Susana Valente, an assistant professor on the Florida campus, the event is free and open to the public.

“Donny loved doing research,” said Valente, a close colleague of Strosberg’s. “But it was always with a greater purpose—to bring new therapeutics into the world. The symposium honors him and his life’s work. I wish he was still with us—he would have enjoyed the symposium immensely.”

Born in a Swiss refugee camp in 1945 as his parents fled the Holocaust, Strosberg was no stranger to America. He did a postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, then served as an instructor and later visiting professor at Harvard Medical School. From 1986 to 1990, he was chief of receptor molecular biology at the Pasteur Institute, followed by eight years as director of the molecular immunopharmacology and vice president of the Cochin Institute of Molecular Genetics.

In addition to his scientific achievements, Strosberg had a talent for business, co-founding biotechnology companies including Chemunex SA, Nouveau Marché, Incyte, Praecis and Hybrigenics. He served as chair and chief executive officer of Hybrigenics from 1999 to late 2004, and remained a member of the company’s board of directors.

At Scripps Florida, Strosberg focused on the hepatitis C virus, pursuing a novel approach to attacking the virus, targeting the virus’s core protein. Later, he applied his new approach to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of AIDS, again targeting the capsid protein.

Speakers and their topics at the March 21 symposium include:

  • Moshe Alafi, of Alafi Capital Company, LLC, [Title to be announced]
  • Pierre-Olivier Couraud, PhD, of Institut Cochin (INSERM), “Beta-adrenergic receptors: from turkey erythrocytes to the human blood-brain barrier”
  • Thomas Kodadek, PhD, of Scripps Florida, “Development of Simple Blood Tests For Not So Simple Diseases”
  • Muriel Strosberg of Ideon Advisors, “Donny Strosberg, a serial entrepreneur”
  • Axel Ullrich, PhD, of Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, “Donny Strosberg: A pioneer of biotechnology”
  • Susana Valente, PhD, of Scripps Florida, art presentation and closing remarks
  • Charles Weissmann, MD, PhD, of Scripps Florida, "Remembering Donny—a life cut short" and “The winding path from phage to prion”
  • David Willoughby, PhD, of Ocean Ridge Biosciences, “Boot-Strapping a Start-Up CRO in South Florida”

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 A. Donny Strosberg
(1945 - 2012)