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Biogen Idec appoints Harvard professor as CSO

First major industry role for Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas after rich academic career

Biogen Idec Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas Biogen Idec has confirmed that its interim chief scientific officer Dr Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas has joined the company on a permanent basis.

Dr Artavanis-Tsakonas initially joined the US biotech while on sabbatical from his position as professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School, but he will now lead the company's research strategy, capabilities and discovery platforms full time.

He will also continue to hold his role at Harvard Medical School, where he has been since 1999.

It is Dr Artavanis-Tsakonas' first major industry role in a part of research career that has been rich in academic experience in both the US and France.

This includes a spell as chair of biology and genetics of development at Collège de France; a period as K J Isselbacher- P Schwartz Professor at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center; and professor in the department of biology at Yale University.

He is also a founding director of The Department of Developmental Biology and Genetics at the Curie Institute in Paris.

Dr Artavanis-Tsakonas explained his reasons for moving into industry, as well as the potential for future collaboration between Biogen and universities.

“It's a critical time in history for the biopharmaceutical industry where the potential to make a meaningful difference for patients has never been greater,” he said.

“Moreover, we are at a crossroads regarding opportunities for extensive collaborations with academia so that we can together leverage scientific innovation with the industry's know-how for translation and drug development.”

28th May 2013

From: Research

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