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Patrice Milos selected as interim president for RI life science agency • Rhode Island Current

An early leader in Rhode Island’s emerging life sciences industry and the driving force behind the creation of the Rhode Island Life Science Hub will take on a new role as interim president of the agency under a contract unanimously approved Tuesday by the board of directors.

Patrice Milos will begin her temporary job July 1 as administrative leader of the quasi-public state agency as the 15-member volunteer board continues its national search for a permanent president. Milos will be paid $25,000 per month for the job, with an initial three-month contract that will be extended for 30-day increments as necessary until the permanent president role is filled, board chairman Neil Steinberg said during Tuesday’s board of directors meeting. .

“Patrice Milos is the perfect choice to lead the Hub at this early stage of its development and has the confidence of our board,” said Neil Steinberg, chairman, in a statement. “Her vision, energy and experience are exactly what we need to maintain the Hub’s initial momentum and continue charting a path forward to realize the tremendous potential here in Rhode Island.”

Milos, a Cranston resident, brings more than 30 years of relevant research, business and advocacy experience to the new state agency, including as a founding member of RI Bio, a regional trade group. RI Bio is credited with helping convince lawmakers to create the state life sciences agency based on its role in a 2019 crisis. report commissioned by the state which recommended ways to make the Ocean State competitive with more established life science hubs in Cambridge and Worcester, Massachusetts.

Patrice Milos will serve as interim president of the Rhode Island Life Science Hub under a contract approved by the board of directors on Tuesday. (Courtesy of Rhode Island Life Science Hub)

Milos was one of the seven board members appointed by Governor Dan McKee to the new agency established as part of the state budget 2024. The remaining eight board members were chosen based on legal requirements for representation from various private, public and education sectors.

Milos will continue to serve as a member of the hub’s board of directors after assuming the title of interim president, but will relinquish the board’s secretary duties. She will also give up her title as co-chair of RI Bio – although she will remain on the board herself – and take a leave of absence from the board of directors of the nonprofit seed financing group Slater Technology Fund.

As interim president of the Life Science Hub, Milos will oversee the agency’s day-to-day operations, including oversight of a $250,000 grant fund that opened to applicants last week and provides $10,000 each for projects and programs that advance life science industry support.

“It is an exciting time to take the interim helm of the Hub and I am thrilled to be in this position positioning the organization for future success,” Milos said in a statement. “Rhode Island has all the elements for success in the life sciences – a commitment from our state and academia leaders, early-stage investors and industry experts with energy, vision and innovative ideas.”

Meanwhile, the board will continue its nationwide search for a permanent president with the help of hired consultant Korn Ferry.

Steinberg had hoped to find a permanent president before the 2024 legislative session ended — as the board’s choice requires review and approval by the Rhode Island Senate — but the process took longer than expected due to delays in planning and review of filing information from applicants, Steinberg previously told Rhode Island Current.

Hiring an interim president allows the agency to ramp up operations without legislative approval; The plan now is to find a permanent president next year and submit it for Senate review.

“Given how important it is to select the right person as CEO of the Hub, the board takes great care to ensure that whoever is chosen is the best fit for the position,” Steinberg said in a statement. “We will continue to look for someone with the tools to collaborate with academia, private sector and government to realize a vision for the Hub that maximizes Rhode Island’s tremendous potential in the life sciences.”

According to a statement from the agency, Milos is not eligible for the role of permanent president.

Milos received her master’s and doctoral degrees in biology Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, before working as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard and Brown Universities. She spent the first 14 years of her career at Pfizer Inc., rising to executive director of molecular medicine and later returning to lead the company’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation in Boston.

She co-founded Rhode Island-based startup Medley Genomics in 2016, a company focused on data analytics for diseases, including cancer. She has held several other senior positions in biotechnology and investments, including as former executive director of Providence-based Cherrystone Angel Group, and CEO of Claritas Genomics, spun out of Boston Children’s Hospital.

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