Paul Debbie, M.B.A, named new Director of Research

by | Apr 12, 2018

Headshot of Paul DebbiePaul Debbie, Director of Technology Transfer and Licensing at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI), has been named BTI’s new Director of Research.

As BTI’s new Director of Research, Paul Debbie will work closely with the Institute’s faculty and support staff to advance BTI’s research agenda. Debbie will additionally continue his long-time leadership role in technology transfer.

“Paul’s technical and management backgrounds, coupled with his strong relationships with the faculty and their research groups, make him exceptionally well-qualified for this position” said David Stern, President and CEO of BTI. “Paul has demonstrated his cooperative, innovative values for more than a decade in technology transfer, and we are fortunate to be able to draw on those skills in a broader context,” said Stern.

Debbie has more than 18 years of experience in both scientific and business functions at BTI. Debbie oversaw BTI’s former Center for Gene Expression Profiling (2000-2005) and provided technical support to a variety of projects in BTI’s Martin and Giovannoni Labs. Some of the larger projects related to plant-pathogen interactions and fruit development in tomatoes, while smaller, customized projects were carried out on potatoes, strawberries, Arabidopsis, bacterial pathogens, and other organisms.

Debbie’s interest in science and business sparked his transition to technology transfer in 2005 under the leadership of former BTI president, Dan Klessig. At the time, technology transfer services were overseen by an external law firm, and Debbie brought them back under internal purview where he could focus on strengthening BTI’s technology transfer as an important part of the Institute’s strategic plan.

“As someone with both a technical and technology transfer background, I’m excited about the duality of my role in supporting BTI’s discovery science and applying it to important problems,” said Debbie. “I look forward to expanding and diversifying commercial funding for projects while showcasing the value of BTI’s basic research.”

Debbie received his bachelor’s in Biology/Biological Science from SUNY Potsdam and his M.B.A. from the University of Denver. Prior to joining BTI, Debbie worked as a project leader at Gene Check Inc., a biotechnology company based in Colorado. At Gene Check, his research efforts supported a major development in the detection of alleles associated with sheep susceptibility to scrapie, a fatal and degenerative disease. Outside of BTI, Debbie’s personal passions include spending time with his wife and two sons, downhill skiing and visiting the Adirondacks.

Immediate projects in the pipeline for Debbie include the management of multiple new internally-funded projects supported by the Triad Foundation as well as generating space solutions to accommodate BTI’s expanding consortia, including the BTI Computational Biology Center and planned faculty team hire.

Paul succeeds Eric Richards, former Vice President of Research, who has transitioned back to science full-time at BTI. Debbie officially began his position in January 2018.

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