September 30, 2019   I   Jola Glotzer

CBC Executive Director Jim Audia stepping down

The Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC) universities’ Provosts, Daniel Diermeier, UChicago, Jonathan Holloway, Northwestern, and Susan Poser, UIC, announce in a letter to the members of the CBC community

The CBC shares a letter from the CBC universities’ Provosts announcing the departure of Jim Audia.

September 30, 2019

Dear members of the Chicago Biomedical Consortium community,

CBC Executive Director Jim Audia

After two successful years of leadership, renowned researcher James E. Audia will step down as executive director of the Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC) to return to work in the private sector, effective Oct. 31, 2019. Audia will remain in the Chicago area and will continue to engage with the community in support of translational research.

The mission of the CBC is to stimulate collaboration among Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago in order to facilitate scientific and medical research beyond the scope of a single institution or discipline and advance and redefine biomedical research. Founded in 2006, the CBC has received $65.5 million in funding to date from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust. So far, researchers and projects funded by the CBC have earned more than $702 million in additional funding, with a total estimated economic impact exceeding $2.5 billion for Chicago’s economy.

In 2017, the CBC shifted its mission toward translational and entrepreneurial impact and Audia was placed at the helm. As a distinguished veteran of the pharmaceutical industry, Audia helped enhance the CBC’s collaborations with the biotechnology industry. Under Audia’s leadership, the CBC introduced three new programs: the CBC Accelerator Network, the Accelerator Award program and the Entrepreneurial Fellows program. These programs help promising researchers move their basic research findings into commercial development.

We are thankful to Jim for his leadership. Over the last two years, he helped the CBC leverage the basic research findings at each institution and begin to translate them into applications that have lasting and significant impact on human health, created programming to increase applications of the exciting basic research discoveries from each of our respective institutions and worked with faculty to realize their commercial potential.

The CBC has named its Northwestern University Scientific Director, Richard Morimoto, as interim executive director, effective Nov. 1. Morimoto is the Bill and Gayle Cook Professor of Biology in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and director of the Rice Institute for Biomedical Research at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. One of CBC’s founding directors, Morimoto is a world expert on the mechanisms and consequences of protein misfolding in neurodegenerative diseases.

“I am very honored to be asked to serve as the steward of the CBC during this transition,” Morimoto said. “I believe this consortium is stimulating collaboration among Chicago-area scientists that will transform research at the frontiers of biomedicine, and I look forward to continuing that collaboration with faculty across Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago to maintain the momentum of the CBC.”

The CBC will announce its plans concerning a search for Audia’s permanent successor in the near future.

Daniel Diermeier
The University of Chicago

Jonathan Holloway
Northwestern University

Susan Poser
Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
University of Illinois at Chicago

Download the Provosts’ announcement FROM HERE.