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Palkowitz named Indiana Biosciences Research Institute President and CEO

Alan Palkowitz IBRI TREAT-AD alzheimer's drug discovery center

A veteran researcher and Indiana University School of Medicine faculty member will be taking on a new role with the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute—a leading industry-inspired applied research institute. 

Alan Palkowitz, PhD, was named the new president and CEO of the IBRI in an announcement on Wednesday, September 2. Palkowitz will spend 80 percent of his time at the IBRI serving in this new position, while maintaining his role at IU School of Medicine as a senior research professor of medicine and leader of the IUSM-Purdue TaRget Enablement to Accelerate Therapy Development for Alzheimer’s Disease (TREAT-AD) Center.

According to IU School of Medicine Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, Palkowitz’s new position as leader with the IBRI will nicely complement the school’s clinical research strategic priority. 

“We are happy to have Alan serving in this important role with the IBRI, and excited for the opportunities to grow our research enterprise through this partnership,” Hess said. “His work with the IBRI will align with the school’s clinical research strategic priority, allowing us to translate discoveries into new diagnostics, treatments and cures faster than ever.”

IU School of Medicine and the IBRI have a longstanding tradition of collaboration. 

“I’m thrilled to join the IBRI at this time in its history,” said Palkowitz. “In addition to moving into Innovation Building 1 in 16 Tech, this is a very exciting time for the life sciences in Central Indiana. The IBRI has an opportunity to emerge as a key strategic partner with industry and regional academic centers to find innovative solutions to some of the most challenging biomedical problems. Working together, I believe we can achieve great results to advance science, benefit patients and grow our entrepreneurial biomedical community.”

Palkowitz said he is eager to use his academic and industry experience to evolve the IBRI mission and strategy. “The talented scientific staff and areas of focus at the IBRI are a great foundation to build from. I look forward to working with the IBRI team to create our unique identity as both a scientific center of excellence and an invaluable partner for pursuing breakthrough innovation,” said Palkowitz.

“The IBRI is built on the foundation of collaboration between industry and academia, as well as government and community,” said Daniel Evans Jr., chairman of the IBRI Board of Directors. “Having spent time in industry and academia, Alan understands the many opportunities for collaboration to improve the lives of Hoosiers. He shares our passion for translational research and our vision to build a world-class organization that catalyzes activities across the life sciences ecosystem.”

Palkowitz joined the faculty at IU School of Medicine in late 2018, as a senior research professor of medicine in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology. He currently leads the IUSM-Purdue TREAT-AD Center, an NIH-NIA funded initiative focused on discovering potential new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. He is also leader of the IU Precision Health Initiative’s chemical biology and biotherapeutics scientific pillar, which broadly seeks to translate genetic-based understanding of disease into new treatment options.

Prior to joining the faculty at IU School of Medicine, Palkowitz served as the vice president of Discovery Chemistry Research and Technologies at Eli Lilly and Company, where he worked for 28 years. In his role as vice president, Palkowitz was responsible for the global small molecule drug discovery strategy and delivery of clinical candidates in disease areas including cancer, diabetes, immunology, pain and neurodegenerative disorders.

Additionally, Palkowitz has served on several prominent advisory committees including most recently the NIH NCATS Advisory Council and the National Academy of Sciences Board on Chemical Sciences and Technologies. He has published numerous research articles and is an inventor on almost 60 U.S. patents. Palkowitz obtained his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley.


About the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute
The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) is an independent, nonprofit discovery science and applied research institute currently targeting diabetes, metabolic disease, poor nutrition and related health data science.  Inspired by Indiana’s leading life sciences companies, research universities and philanthropic community, the IBRI is building a world-class organization of researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to catalyze scientific discovery and its applications, resulting in improved health outcomes for Indiana patients and beyond.

About the IU School of Medicine
IU School of Medicine is the largest medical school in the United States and a national leader in medical research and education. Comprised of five basic science departments and more than 60 academic and specialty divisions across nine campuses statewide, IU School of Medicine offers exceptional training for students wishing to pursue a medical degree.

Precision Health Initiative
Led by the IU School of Medicine, the Precision Health Initiative is IU’s big health care solution, aimed at preventing and curing diseases through a more precise understanding of the genetic, behavioral and environmental factors that influence a person’s health. The $120 million IU Precision Health Initiative launched in June 2016 as the inaugural recipient of IU’s Grand Challenges program, with bold goals to cure one cancer and one childhood disease, and to prevent one chronic illness and one neurodegenerative disease. The initiative also aims to transform biomedical research and education at IU.