Donald Taylor, PhD, MBA, CLP
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences Translation
Executive Director, sciVelo
University of Pittsburgh
Donald P. Taylor, PhD, MBA, CLP, is Assistant Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences Translation, Executive Director, sciVelo, Co-Director, Center for Commercial Applications of Healthcare Data and Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh. Don has more than 25 years of life sciences translational research and commercial translation experience. His current responsibilities at the University of Pittsburgh include driving academic commercial translation across the six health sciences schools to accelerate commercial translation of Pitt’s discoveries and inventions.
Prior to the University of Pittsburgh, Don served as Founder, Co-founder, Board Chairman, CEO, and Vice President across six life sciences companies – all of which have been acquired by companies including Hospira and IBM. Dr. Taylor holds a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh, an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, a BS in Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University, and is a Certified Licensing Professional.
What experience do you have working on or with a strategic board of directors?
I've been a board chairperson for one life science company, served on the board of directors for two other life sciences companies, and served on the board for a non-profit hospital. I have also served as a board advisor to several other companies through my Executive-in-Residence role at the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (non-profit economic development firm) over a 6-year period. These board of director roles have involved addressing strategic topics such as financing, licensing, intellectual property, human resources, and acquisitions.
Please include a brief description of your volunteer experiences within AUTM.
I've not yet served as a volunteer with AUTM and look forward to serving AUTM in the board role.
What motivates you to join the AUTM Board of Directors?
My career has been transformed to serve commercial translation and technology management and I want to help AUTM continue to build and grow their reach and influence in this important field.
Have you served in a volunteer leadership role for other organizations? If so, please explain.
Yes, I volunteer at the University of Pittsburgh; for example, serving as the Associate Director of Entrepreneurship for the Center for Medical Innovation. I also volunteer to support our local chapter of Women In Bio.
AUTM has recently changed how the Chair is appointed each year, with the Chair now selected from amongst the sitting Board members each year. If elected by the Membership to the Board, would you further consider serving as Chair of the Board. Why or why not?
No, because I believe it's important for the Chair of the AUTM Board to have had experience serving on the AUTM Board (unless there is a specific desire for an outside perspective in the Chair position).
Please list specific personal strengths that you believe are valuable to the AUTM Board of Directors and/or the strategic direction of the Association?
My strengths include: 1) strategic focus and prioritization, 2) integrity to make the right decisions for the mission of AUTM, 3) diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure all are welcome, and 4) innovation to help AUTM continue to prosper especially during these COVID times.
What special experience do you have in driving and implementing a strategic plan in other organizations?
I have been part of the leadership team of six life sciences companies including serving functions such as Board Chair, CEO, President, and Vice President. Each of these companies required exquisite focus on strategic planning with specific goals, objectives, initiatives, and resource allocation. Vision, leadership, and driving a culture of engagement and inclusion are also important components of implementing a successful strategic plan - these are traits I've honed over the years.
How does the three-year term for the position (both responsibilities and time commitment) fit in with your other responsibilities? Will you have any conflicts of commitment between your full-time position and your volunteer time on the AUTM Board?
I will make the necessary room to serve in this important role and the University of Pittsburgh will support my time serving on the AUTM board. My faculty role at Pitt provides for 20 percent time to devote to related activities to my university service, and this AUTM board role will fall within this framework.
AUTM is committed to addressing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion both amongst the Board and on behalf of our Members. Briefly describe how your experiences can contribute to the Association’s growth in this area
Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been critical aspects of my leadership in industry and academia. For example, the program I founded at Pitt (sciVelo) represents team member compositions that are greater than 50% female, 50% junior-level and early-career, and diverse race and ethnicity. It is of paramount importance to both ensure diversity as well as the equity and inclusion to put initiatives and perspectives into practice.
Is there anything else you would like AUTM members to know about you before they vote?
Serving on the AUTM Board will be an incredible honor and with humbleness and compassion I will serve the AUTM mission to the best of my ability. My goal in serving on the AUTM Board is for AUTM to further grow and to prosper.