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Moving Forward Toward the Future
CHORI Takes on New Executive Director

In August, 2009, CHORI’s long time executive director and director of medical research, Betram Lubin, MD, was offered the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital branch of Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. As Dr. Lubin moves into this exciting new leadership phase, CHORI is entering its own new phase, with CHORI senior scientist Alexander Lucas, PhD, stepping up to CHORI’s helm.
"CHORI is not a top down institute, but a bottom's up kind of place. That means that it's the researchers that are the secret of CHORI's success."

"We're all very excited for Dr. Lubin. I think he'll be a uniter and bring a new sense of purpose to the medical center. But I'm also excited to have the opportunity to help continue advancing CHORI as we move into the future."

A principal investigator at CHORI for the last 20 years, Dr. Lucas brings to the table considerable knowledge and passion, both about research and what it takes to excel in that research.

"I can't imagine a better job in the world than being a scientist," says Dr. Lucas, whose love affair with science and research began a youngster.
"Believe it or not, I can still remember the first science book I ever read. I can remember exactly the pictures of the blood and the cells, and I was hooked from then on."
In fact, Dr. Lucas conducted his first "real" research experiment when he was only a junior in high school, by applying for a competitive lab research position with Variety Children's Research Foundation in Miami, FL. Through that program, Dr. Lucas studied whether or not sharks had immune systems, conducting experiments that landed him his very first publication before he even hit college.

A long journey from there to here, Dr. Lucas has since been writing, winning and managing research research grants for decades and understands firsthand what it takes to maintain a research program. In addition, Dr. Lucas served alongside Dr. Lubin as CHORI's deputy director for the last 9 years.

"It's gratifying to be part of something that isn't just about advancing your own research, but involves making the institution as a whole a better place to do science and research," says Dr. Lucas. "That is the opportunity that administration provides."

The result of Dr. Lucas' passion for science, research experience, and administrative savvy is a winning combination that gives Dr. Lucas unique insight into what makes CHORI tick.

"CHORI is not a top down institute, but a bottom's up kind of place. That means that it's the researchers that are the secret of its success. They are the ones who drive CHORI to be everything that it is," says Dr. Lucas.

"Hopefully, what I have to offer is the ability to provide both the resources and the tools for the scientists here to do what they need to do."

Dr. Lucas’s main goals for CHORI during his tenure as executive director include maintaining CHORI’s current National Institutes of Health (NIH) research portfolio – currently ranked 5th in the nation for NIH funding of pediatric research, finding alternative sources of funds to support CHORI’s research activities, and recruiting early career investigators to sustain CHORI’s future.

“I’m very excited to address these challenges, and in particular look forward to the opportunity to lead CHORI into a strong and healthy future,” says Dr. Lucas.

Click HERE to reach our CHORI Community Connections pages and read a personal letter of introduction from Dr. Lucas.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011 8:19 AM

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