Rory Curtis joins Symeres Business Development Team

Posted on 25 April 2024

We are happy to have such an experienced biologist on board to work with our many American clients. In this interview, our new colleague, Rory Curtis, will introduce himself and talk about the journey that led him from London to the city of Buffalo in New York state.

How did you end up living and working in the USA?
I am from England and did my PhD at Imperial College in London, but I always had a fascination for the USA, to live “the American dream”. This ambition started to come true in 1991 when I started my post-doc at Regeneron, in Tarrytown, NY, famous for its historic music and entertainment. Regeneron was a small neuroscience company then but has now gained fame after its early COVID vaccine development success.

Could you tell us about your personal life? 
As a father of three, residing in Buffalo, NY, I enjoy the snowy weather and like to spend my time skiing. I also enjoy cooking, history and scuba diving. As an enthusiastic supporter of Leeds United and Brentford football clubs, and the American football team Buffalo Bills, I add a unique flair to our diverse team.

Why did you choose to study and develop a career in biology?
My passion for biology has been a common thread in my career. With my PhD in biochemistry, specializing in neuroscience, I was able to gain knowledge and experience in a mix of disciplines, as a biochemist, pharmacologist, molecular biologist, and cell biologist.

After my post-doc at Regeneron, I moved back to UK for a while and started teaching as a lecturer at the University of Bristol to classes of up to 200 students; it helped me practice my public-speaking skills.

In 1997, I moved back to the USA and started as a scientist at Millenium Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA. From 2002 to 2008, I worked at a startup, Elixir Pharmaceuticals, and discovered an inhibitor for the enzyme SIRT1 (EX-527, later licensed and taken into clinical trials). EX-527 is my only J. Med. Chem. paper!

In 2009, I joined Cubist, an antibiotic company, where I led R&D in pain, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and other drug research, and later moved to the CRO space in 2015 when I joined AMRI in Buffalo, NY. At AMRI, I was responsible for opening and running an integrated drug-discovery site, where I ran multiple projects at the same time in a mix of operations and business development. I later delved completely into business development from 2020 onwards.

When and why did you decide to join Symeres?
In September 2023, I joined Symeres through Russ Thomas. He was a former project colleague seeking a biologist in the Business Development Team to oversee the sales of biology services across the USA and Canada (Oncolines, Admescope, and integrated drug discovery utilizing Symeres’ European partners).

I have observed that Symeres stands out in the industry because of its attention to detail, willingness to explore new things, diligent problem solving, never-give-up attitude, and it keeps its promises. Symeres holds a strong track record with its clients and customers and performs to their satisfaction.

From my experience, in business development, it is the team effort that brings success to projects and an organization. I am very proud of the teams I have had the opportunity to work with over the last 20+ years and have immensely enjoyed building and leading them, my pleasure and pride!

Having resided in the USA for nearly three decades, my enthusiasm for America remains as strong as ever.

We want to thank Rory for making time for this interview, and we wish him a great Symeres journey.

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