About the Blog
Ideas and inventions often spring forth unannounced or unexpected, on the couch, in the shower, on a run or during a commute. But innovation is a laborious thing. An iterative, convoluted reduction to practice that requires a delicate balance.
Follow me as we explore the way people, purpose and possibility drive innovation, because collaboration is our way to offer tomorrow’s patients–like each of us–better treatments and cures.
Throughout Robert’s career, his primary interests and ongoing sources of motivation are the identification, articulation and commercialization of discoveries and technologies into products. Robert’s approach and agenda is to develop winning organizations built from exceptional, cross-disciplinary teams. Priot to retiring in 2018, Robert was the Global Head of J&J Innovation, LLC., the externally facing enterprise-level investment platform for all of J&J and a member of the Research and Development Management Committee.
In 2012 Robert joined the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies from MIT, where he was the founding Executive Director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. Robert worked to build the Koch Institute into new standard for interdisciplinary disease-focused research. During Robert’s tenure, the Koch Institute launched seventeen start-up companies and its technology was the source of over 50 out-licensing transactions.
Robert was recruited to MIT from Acretia Inc. where he was the President and CEO. Prior to this, Robert held a variety of business development and clinical development roles in the pharmaceutical industry. He has worked in the areas of oncology, HPV, anti-inflammatory and infectious diseases. His experience includes clinical product development, operations oversight, licensing and acquisitions, capital fund raising, company creation, and building relationships with key thought-leaders, beginning by co-founding his first biotech start-up out of Harvard.
Robert received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Microbiology and his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Texas system, and was an Irvington Fellow in structural immunology at Harvard University.
Robert’s non-work world is focused on being dad to three boys and husband to an exceptional wife. Running (marathons), climbing (one of the seven summits), deeply enjoying the great outdoors or being immersed in the pages of the world’s best fiction consume the other available time slots.
Robert G. Urban, Ph.D.
Former/Retired Global Head – Johnson & Johnson Innovation