Dr. Tom Novak is Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, at Cellular Dynamics International (CDI), the world’s leading supplier of stem cell-derived, terminally differentiated cells. In addition, he is the Program Director on CDI’s $16M grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to reprogram samples from 3000 patients with a variety of multigenic disorders. Prior to joining CDI in 2012, Dr. Novak was Senior VP of Research and Development at Fate Therapeutics, a San Diego-based biotech developing small molecules and biologics to induce proliferation and differentiation of adult stem cells to replace tissue lost to aging or disease. From 2001 to 2010, Dr. Novak held a number of positions at Roche Palo Alto, including Senior Director and Head of Discovery Technologies wherein he had responsibility for all compound screening, cell culture, molecular biology, protein production, and crystallography. In 2009, he was chosen to lead a global team of scientists to evaluate opportunities to utilize stem cells as research tools. This ultimately led to the initiation of three collaborations (CDI, iSTEM, and Harvard Stem Cell Institute) respectively focused on nonclinical safety, neuroscience, and cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Novak earned a BA in biology and chemistry from Amherst College and received his PhD in molecular biology from Caltech. After completing post-doctoral training in immunobiology at Yale, he began his pharmaceutical career in 1994 as a research scientist at Wyeth-Ayerst in Princeton, NJ.