Frank Douglas

August 21, 2012
President and CEO, Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron

An award-winning industry veteran with almost 30 years of experience as a leader in healthcare, pharmaceutical research, and entrepreneurship, Douglas serves as day-to-day chief strategist for the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA), a new biomaterials institute built on a unique collaboration of five leading medical and educational institutions.

He is University Professor in the College of Polymer Science and Engineering at The University of Akron, Professor of Integrated Medical Sciences at Northeast Ohio Medical University, member of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s Board of Trustees, and senior partner emeritus of PureTech Ventures. Douglas currently is the national chairman of the Value-driven Engineering and U.S. Global Competitiveness initiative, a public-private coalition made up of leaders from industry, academia and the public and private sectors working to retain the United States’ lead in medical device development and innovation.

In addition, Douglas serves as a current member of the Battelle Memorial Institute Board of Directors, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Advisory Council, BioOhio Board of Directors, and Ohio Medical Corridor initiative.

While at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Douglas was the Professor of the Practice in the MIT Sloan School of Management and also held similar appointments in the departments of biology, biological engineering, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and was the founder and first executive director of the MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation.

Douglas was formerly executive vice president, chief scientific officer, and a member of the board of management of Aventis, where he headed drug innovation and approval, with global responsibilities for research, development, and regulatory and marketing support. A leader in innovation in pharmaceutical research and development, Douglas serves on multiple boards of directors, most recently joining that of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and Kauffman Foundation. He has also served as Chief Scientific Advisor of Bayer Healthcare, AG.

Douglas is the recipient of the 2007 Black History Makers Award and has been honored twice as the Global Pharmaceutical R&D Director of the Year, in recognition of his leadership and success in improving innovation and productivity in pharmaceutical companies.  Most recently, Douglas accepted the Award for Outstanding Entrepreneurship at the 18th Annual Caribbean American Heritage Awards. 

Other awards include: Louis B. Russell Memorial American Heart Association Award, the Chicago Heart Association’s Heart of the Year Award, the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest’s Odyssey Award, the National Organization of Chemists and Chemical Engineers – Lifetime Achievement Award, Guyanese & American Business & Professional Council’s 2010 Honoree, and was honored as one of Geoffrey Beene Gives Back® and GQ Magazine's 2010 Rock Stars of Science™.  He was involved in the discovery, development and/or approval of more than 20 drugs and therapies. He also has received the Medal of Honor and an Honorary Professorship from the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany.

Douglas holds a Ph.D. in physical chemistry and a M.D. from Cornell University. He did his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution and a fellowship in neuroendocrinology at the National Institutes of Health.

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