Position: President and chief executive, Celsion Corp., a Columbia biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of treatment systems for cancer and other diseases.
Career highlights: Executive vice president, scientific affairs, Forest Laboratories Inc.; vice president, scientific affairs, Forest Laboratories; senior vice president, clinical research and development, Sandoz Pharmaceutical Corp.; corporate vice president, clinical development and medical affairs, Upjohn Co.; vice president, clinical development and medical affairs, Upjohn; executive director, clinical pharmacology, Upjohn; director, drug metabolism research, Upjohn; research physician, Upjohn.
Education: BS, chemical engineering, Tufts University; MS, chemical engineering, Rutgers University; PhD, biomedical engineering, and MD, Case Western Reserve University.
Personal: Commutes from Randolph, N.J., to work in Columbia during the week. Wife, Illene, and their son, Andrew, 15, are to move to the area in a few months. Daughter Rachel, 20, is in college.
How did you get to where you are?
From the beginning, my research centered on the study of novel drug delivery systems. Over the course of this research, I also developed an interest in how drugs work in man and by extension how drugs delivered by novel delivery systems work in man. After appropriate post-graduate training in internal medicine and clinical pharmacology, I took a position at the Upjohn. This provided me the opportunity to both study new drugs for the first time in man and novel drug delivery systems in the laboratory, taking this technology from the bench to the bedside where I directed the early clinical research. After a few years, I was given the opportunity through a series of management appointments at Upjohn and subsequently at Sandoz and Forest Laboratories to take on greater research responsibilities. And for a period of time my focus changed from drug delivery systems to general drug development. But I always had an interest in coming back to the study and development of novel drug delivery systems. This ultimately led to my decision to join Celsion as chief executive and president.
I'm very excited by the opportunity offered here at Celsion to work on a technology [that] may allow for the target delivery of cancer drugs directly to the tumor where it can be selectively activated by the application of focused heat. The first application of this technology involves the study of liver cancer patients where patients receive an injection of a drug carrier called liposome, which is essentially a small lipid package containing a known anti-cancer drug, Doxorubicin. . . . My coming to Celsion was a great fit for both my research interests in drug delivery and oncology with my drug development experience. This is coupled with my desire to grow a company from its earliest beginnings into a viable business capable of marketing drugs and drug delivery systems of real therapeutic value to patients in dire need of effective treatments.
-- Judith Mbuya