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Peter Tolias, Ph.D., brings decades of leadership experience, serving a variety of public and private academic institutions, as well as industries in the greater New York City area, to his role as dean of the School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, where he is also appointed as professor in the Department of Biology. Previously, Tolias was professor and chair, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and director, Center for Healthcare Innovation, at Stevens Institute of Technology. Prior to that, he was executive director, Institute of Genomic Medicine, research director, Autism Center, and professor, Department of Pediatrics, at New Jersey Medical School (Rutgers University). From 2003 to 2007, he was in the private sector as executive vice president, Corporate Development, at Rosetta Genomics, and, formerly, as worldwide vice president, Advanced Research and Technology Assessment, at the Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics Division of Johnson & Johnson. Earlier in his career, he was associate professor, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, at New Jersey Medical School, and associate member at Public Health Research Institute of New York, where his independent research career began as an assistant member.
Tolias is a naturalized American, born in Canada to Greek immigrant parents, and is a strong proponent of social mobility. He began his higher education at Marianopolis College (Westmount, Quebec), receiving a health sciences associate-level-equivalent degree before moving to McGill University (Montreal), where he earned a B.Sc and later a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology. In 1987, Tolias came to the United States as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology at Harvard University. Throughout his career, Tolias has made significant scholarly contributions to a variety of scientific disciplines, including molecular, cellular, and developmental biology; microbiology; immunology; chemistry; genetics; genomics; proteomics; and tissue engineering, as an author of peer-reviewed scientific publications and editorials, issued patents, and books. His recent research focused on understanding MAPK signaling in cancer, and discovery and development of drugs against key targets in this biochemical pathway.
Tolias has received over 40 research grants, contracts, awards, and honors totaling $8 million as a principal investigator (PI) and $10 million as a co-PI. He has participated in philanthropic fundraising initiatives totaling $11 million. He has also developed dozens of FDA-approved and CLIA-certified clinical products and services in industry and academia. In addition to his scientific career, Tolias has made significant contributions in the arts as a composer of five albums of original music and as a professional cover-band guitarist.
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