Friday, Oct. 15, 2010
Keely Martin, Executive Assistant, Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, 304-696-3830

MIIR seminar series to host MU Alumnus and former
Merck & Co. Executive Director

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The focus of an upcoming program presented by Blair Gibson, former executive director for Portfolio Strategy and Strategic Planning at Merck & Co., will be research and development productivity and opportunities for academic collaboration in the pharmaceutical industry.

The event is to be hosted by the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (MIIR), and will take place Wednesday, Oct. 27, at Marshall University Foundation Hall, Home of the Erickson Alumni Center at 519 John Marshall Dr. in Huntington. A reception will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Gibson, a Marshall University alumnus, has worked for some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world such as Merck & Co., Sanofi Aventis and Pharmacia (now Pfizer Inc.), and has more than 25 years of experience in the industry in both commercial and strategic planning roles.

He headed the global launch of JANUVIA, a blockbuster drug for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. The launch of this drug was praised by the pharmaceutical industry as one of the best launches ever of a primary-care drug. Gibson’s work experience has been largely global in scope and he has even served expatriate assignments in Europe and Latin America. 

“We are very excited about having Blair present the lecture this fall.  He has unique insight into areas of health and technology that affect our daily lives.  Considering the changes ahead of us in health care, the timing of this lecture could not be better,” said Dr. Eric Kmiec, director of MIIR and the institute’s lead research scientist.

Gibson has in-depth experience in the area of tradeoff-decision analysis for portfolios of marketed brands and late-stage clinical studies.  He has published two papers on strategic resources allocation and four portfolios of marketed products on tradeoff-decision analysis in phase IIb-IV.

He currently advises pharmaceutical companies and financial institutions on mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

Co-sponsors of the event include Huddleston Bolen LLP and the Marshall University Foundation.

The program is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested.

For more information or to make reservations, contact Keely Martin at or 304-696-3830.

MIIR was created through the state’s “Bucks for Brains” research trust fund. The institute’s goal is to become a self-sustaining enterprise through entrepreneurship and commercialization of scientific discoveries, while enhancing economic development, advancing intellectual infrastructure and increasing employment opportunities in the state and region.