Boston, Mass. November 15, 2022 — The Institute for Protein Innovation (IPI), a nonprofit research organization advancing protein science to accelerate biomedical research and improve human health, today announced the appointment of Kenneth Fasman, Ph.D., as President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Fasman comes to IPI from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), where he served as Senior Vice President for Research.
IPI’s Board recognized that Dr. Fasman’s unique experience in the academic, industrial and nonprofit sectors would facilitate the Institute in fulfilling its mission and ambition. IPI aims to provide protein-based research resources and tools, advance protein science through investigator-driven research and augment the education of life scientists. Specifically, Dr. Fasman will lead IPI in:
- Scaling IPI’s synthetic recombinant antibody platform to widely serve scientific communities through collaboration and antibody distribution;
- Implementing a sustainable model of independent research conducted by IPI faculty and fellows that enhances the platform and applies protein tools and methods to understand human biology and disease more deeply; and
- Developing an education program to promote and disseminate the leading edge of protein science.
“There aren’t many institutions aiming to be both a world-class academic research organization and a sustainable nonprofit provider of resources, tools and services for the life science community,” Dr. Fasman said. “I can bring my experience enhancing the creative partnership between these two components. Our goal is to have the same impact on protein science that institutions like the Broad or Sanger Institutes did for genomics.”
A leader in collaborative scientific research and management of technology platforms for biomedical research, Dr. Fasman directed R&D Informatics and Drug Development Strategy and Performance at AstraZeneca and served as Chief Scientific Officer at the Adelson Medical Research Foundation prior to joining JAX in 2015. Dr. Fasman holds a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a B.S.E in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University.
His arrival at IPI comes at a fortuitous time of growth for the organization. The Institute was founded in 2017 by Harvard Medical School professors Timothy Springer, Ph.D., and Andrew Kruse, Ph.D., and launched by Dr. Springer’s philanthropy.
“Over the past two years, IPI has optimized its technology and more clearly targeted its antibody platform to serve scientific communities in fields like neuroscience, where traditional antibodies are lacking,” said Rob Meijers, Ph.D., Interim Executive Director of IPI and Director of the Antibody Platform. “On behalf of IPI and its Board, I welcome Ken to take us into the next chapter, expanding our faculty and setting us up for distribution of our antibodies.”
IPI Strengthens Board of Directors
To further steer IPI toward development and expansion, IPI named Samantha Singer, M.B.A., as Chair of the Board of Directors and elected Stephen Blacklow, M.D., Ph.D., as a new member of the Board.
Ms. Singer is an experienced biotechnology leader with more than two decades of company creation, corporate development and operations expertise. She currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Abata Therapeutics and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the 5:01 Special Acquisition Corp. Previously, Ms. Singer was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Third Rock Ventures, specializing in company creation across the firm’s portfolio. Her past roles include Chief Operating Officer of the Broad Institute and Vice President for Corporate Strategy and Chief of Staff at Biogen Inc. Ms. Singer holds an M.S. in molecular biology from The Rockefeller University and an M.B.A from Harvard Business School.
“The most important factors in building a biotech, whether nonprofit or for-profit, are having a compelling mission, getting great people behind it and creating an environment where they can thrive and deliver on the vision,” Ms. Singer says. “IPI has that mission. It has Tim Springer’s vision. Now it has Ken’s talent and experience as a top-notch executive. I’m excited to be part of this team.”
Dr. Blacklow is the Gustavus Adolphus Pfeiffer Professor and Chair of the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Department of Cancer Biology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Blacklow is a recipient of the National Cancer Institute’s prestigious Outstanding Investigator Award and was elected to the Association of American Physicians in 2018. Dr. Blacklow holds an M.D. and a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from Harvard University, completed his residency in clinical pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and carried out postdoctoral research at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.
“I believe in the purpose of IPI and its mission,” Dr. Blacklow says. “Going well beyond providing an antibody repertoire to the scientific community, IPI is poised to be uniquely innovative and creative in the protein science space.”
Save the Date
To mark its progress and share its vision for the next phase of development, IPI is pleased to announce it will be hosting its first symposium. The event, entitled “IPI Surfacing,” will be an in-person scientific meeting with talks and discussions from leading scientists worldwide, including Christopher Garcia, Ph.D., from Stanford University, Yvonne Jones, Ph.D., from the University of Oxford, Andreas Plückthun, Ph.D., from the University of Zurich and Junichi Takagi, Ph.D., from Osaka University. The symposium will be held at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, on June 15, 2023. Additional event details will be shared in the coming months.
The Institute for Protein Innovation is pioneering a new approach to scientific discovery and collaboration. As a nonprofit, we provide the biomedical research community with synthetic antibodies and deep protein expertise, empowering researchers to unlock the most elusive mysteries of biology. Our purpose is to advance protein science to accelerate research and improve human health. For more information, visit https://proteininnovation.org/ or follow us on social media, @ipiproteins.