An accomplished biotechnology executive and York alumnus with experience in both the laboratory and business communities has been chosen to lead YORKbiotech.
Left: Robert Foldes
Robert Foldes (MBA ’94) was appointed executive director and chief operating officer of YORKbiotech, an Ontario Regional Innovation Network for biotechnology-related industry, on Jan. 19. He brings a unique breadth of experience as a researcher and entrepreneur in biotechnology.
A graduate of York University’s Schulich School of Business, Foldes also earned a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Most recently, he served as president and chief executive officer of Cytochroma Inc., based in Markham, Ont., before founding Cognovie Business Development in 2005. He has a dozen patents or patents pending including three issued US patents related to drug screening technologies.
Stan Shapson, Chair of YORKbiotech and vice-president research & innovation at York, said Foldes’ leadership in the industry and in commercializing new discoveries will be crucial for YORKbiotech, which was incorporated last year.
“YORKbiotech harnesses the power of university and industry research to help drive Canada’s innovative economy by facilitating cooperation between industry, postsecondary institutions, hospitals and associations,” said Shapson. “I am pleased that Dr. Foldes will guide YORKbiotech with his research experience, business-related skills, and ability to attract investment.”
Mark Lievonen, vice-chair of YORKbiotech and president of Sanofi Pasteur Limited, said he is delighted by the progress that YORKbiotech has made in the past year. “With his strong research and industry background, Dr. Foldes is well-positioned to lead YORKbiotech as it acts as a catalyst in growing this important regional cluster,” he said.
YORKbiotech is a growing cluster of public- and private-sector members committed to promoting convergence and commercialization of research and development in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and biomedical technologies. It includes biotechnology-related companies in the region from northern Toronto through York Region to Simcoe County, as well as service providers, industry associations, research and educational institutions, municipalities, hospitals and government. YORKbiotech is one of 11 active clusters in Ontario’s Regional Innovation Network Program, which supports partnerships among business, institutions and local governments to promote innovation.