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Former Postdoc Joins Biotech Management Team

By Eddy Ball
February 2009

Nuwaysir in his office at NIEHS (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

In December 2008, Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) of Madison, Wis. announced the appointment of three new executives, including former NIEHS Postdoctoral Fellow Emile Nuwaysir, Ph.D., to lead the company as it attempts to industrialize stem cell technologies after raising $18 million in venture capital. Nuwaysir, who is the company's chief operating officer and one of its vice presidents, will be responsible for product development, manufacturing and quality systems.

Founded in 2004, CDI ( Exit NIEHS describes itself as a leading developer of next-generation stem cell technologies for drug development and personalized medicine applications. CDI harnesses the power of pluripotent stem cells and their ability to differentiate into any cell type for world-class drug development tools.

Nuwaysir was a postdoctoral researcher at the National Human Genome Research Institute and the NIEHS, where he helped establish the laboratory that became the National Center for Toxicogenomics. Before leaving NIEHS in 2000, Nuwaysir worked with then Scientific Director Carl Barrett, Ph.D., and Cynthia Afshari, Ph.D., to develop the ToxChip ( Exit NIEHS in the NIEHS Microarray Center, now directed by Rick Paules, Ph.D., who was co-director during Nuwaysir's tenure at the Institute.

Prior to joining CDI, Nuwaysir served as senior vice president of Program Management and Business Development and chief technology officer within Roche Diagnostics at the Roche NimbleGen business unit. He was responsible for overall management of the R&D portfolio and product life cycle, as well as outward-facing licensing and business development activities.

While at NimbleGen, Nuwaysir served in various scientific and managerial roles at the biotech startup, including Vice President of Business Development, Marketing, and Product Development, and R&D Group Leader. He was the first employee hired at NimbleGen and a key member of the management team that built the company and eventually sold it to Roche Diagnostics.

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