Governor McKee Appoints Dr. Chris Thanos to the Rhode Island Life Science Board of Directors

 Governor McKee Appoints Dr. Chris Thanos to the Rhode Island Life Science Board of Directors
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Thanos’ appointment rounds out the Board


PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee today announced the appointment of Dr. Chris Thanos to serve on the Rhode Island Life Science Hub Board. This appointment completes the board and fulfills the statutory requirement that the Governor appoint a senior executive of a Rhode Island-based life science company specializing in bio-manufacturing and design.

“Chris brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table and has the added value of experience developing and working in the life science sector right here in Rhode Island,” said Governor Dan McKee. “I’m excited to add Chris to the Life Science Hub Board, and I’m confident he and the team will make Rhode Island a national leader in this field.”

“Governor McKee’s appointment of Chris Thanos completes the assembly of a distinguished board to lead the newly established Rhode Island Life Science Hub,” said Neil Steinberg, the board’s chairman. “I am excited to work with these experienced, accomplished board members from academia, private industry, and the health sector to lead growth in our life sciences and biotech sectors and begin to realize a return on the Assembly’s investment in our work.”

Currently, Thanos is the Vice President of Engineering Sciences and Providence Site Research Head for Vertex Pharmaceuticals and leads the company’s efforts on device design and translational bioengineering research to develop novel cell and delivery platforms. He is lead inventor of the immunoprotected cell delivery platform used in Vertex’s VX-264 program to treat Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).

Before that, Thanos was a founder of CytoSolv, Inc., a cell therapy company that was later acquired by Semma Therapeutics where he served as vice president of delivery. In 2019, Vertex Pharmaceuticals acquired Semma to commercialize the technology for T1D.

Thanos earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Brown University in 2001 and completed his undergraduate degree at Brown in 1997. He has been an editorial consultant for multiple scientific journals, and his research has been published in more than 50 journals and has resulted in numerous patents for his work.

“I am honored to be selected to the Rhode Island Life Science Hub Board and to work with Governor McKee, Neil Steinberg, and fellow Board members to catalyze innovation in life sciences in Rhode Island,” said Thanos. “From exposure to unparalleled technical expertise to working through local mechanisms that enabled me to start and grow a business, Rhode Island has been instrumental in helping me advance science to the clinic. I am excited to contribute to the life science hub’s effort to expand opportunities in Rhode Island and to establish a framework to help future endeavors in the life sciences to impact patients.”

The appointment of Thanos completes the Life Science Board of Directors:

Neil Steinberg, Chairman (Sr. Exec. Banking, Grant Making & Fundraising)
Secretary Liz Tanner, RI Commerce, Vice Chair (Ex-officio)
Ernest Almonte, Treasurer (Public Member, CPA & member of the RI Society of CPAs)
Director of Economic Development, City of Providence (Ex-officio)
Dr. Christina Paxson, Ph.D., President, Brown University (Ex-officio)
Dr. Jack Warner, Ed.D, President, Rhode Island College (Ex-officio)
Dr. Marc Parlange, Ph.D., President, University of Rhode Island (Ex-officio)
Armand Sabitoni (Representative of Organized Labor/Designee)
Dr. Kerry Evers, Ph.D. (President/Sr. Exec of RI-based Life Science Company/Designee)
Dr. Michael Wagner, MD FACP, President & CEO, Care New England (Ex-officio)
Dr. Mukesh K. Jain, MD, Dean, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University (Ex-officio)
Dr. Patrice Milos, Ph.D. (Life Science Trade Association/Designee)
Dr. Chris Thanos, Ph.D. (Sr. Exec. RI-based Life Science Company specializing in Biomanufacturing/Designee)
Brian Britson (Sr. Exec. RI-based Life Science Company specializing in Biomanufacturing / Designee)
Dr. Kerry Evers, Ph.D. (President/Sr. Exec of RI-based Life Science Company/Designee)

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