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Industrial liaison named for Life Sciences Greenhouse

John Taylor—a globally recognized expert in corporate philanthropy who spent 12 of the past 20 years as executive vice president of The Merck Company Foundation developing internationally acclaimed programs—has been named industrial liaison to the Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania for Lehigh University.

In this role, Taylor will work with Lehigh faculty and corporate partners to help identify and bolster financial support for inventions and discoveries in the life sciences at the university that can be commercialized.

Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania is a $32.8 million state-funded partnership with a primary mission of furthering advances in biotechnology. Formed to accelerate economic growth and job creation through commercialization of discoveries in the life sciences, it is a public/private joint venture with input and resources from government, business, universities, and economic development partners.

Lehigh, Hershey Medical Center, and Penn State form the nucleus of the program, which anticipates creating high-paying jobs in the region.

"My primary responsibilities will include helping to identify cutting-edge, enabling technologies in the life sciences that are being developed here at Lehigh and have the potential for commercial development," Taylor says.

According to David B. Williams, Lehigh’s vice provost for research, Taylor's extensive experience and leadership in the pharmaceutical industry and additional expertise in community relations will make him a huge asset to the Life Sciences Greenhouse effort and Lehigh.

"His reputation as an exceptionally skilled and effective manager, coupled with his proven track record in promoting business environments that support innovation, will help bring the goals of the Greenhouse to reality," Williams says.

Taylor sees his role as extremely challenging with tremendous long-term potential. "Through the Life Sciences Greenhouse, we can lend business development expertise and resources to Lehigh University faculty, and facilitate linkages among emerging life sciences companies, the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and other business support activities in the Lehigh Valley. Eventually this will lead to the creation of life science businesses and jobs in the region."

Before beginning his career with Merck, Taylor received his bachelor's degree in accounting from Penn State University, served seven years on active duty with the U.S. Navy as a naval flight officer and spent five years as a human resources manager at Air Products.

-- Andrew Stanten

Posted on Monday, November 24, 2003

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