Birmingham, Ala. – Southern Research Institute today announced that Arthur J. Tipton, Ph.D., has been selected by its Board of Directors to serve as president and CEO of Southern Research effective July 8, 2013.
Tipton replaces John A. “Jack” Secrist, III, Ph.D., who served as president and CEO of Southern Research Institute for seven years. Secrist announced his retirement earlier this year after 34 years of service at Southern Research.
“The Board is extremely pleased that Dr. Tipton will lead Southern Research Institute, and I look forward to working with him,” said Ray L. Watts, M.D., president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and chairman of the Southern Research Board of Directors. “This is a critical time for research, with both opportunities and challenges, and his experience and strategic vision are ideal to grow the organization’s portfolio of contract research in biomedical science, drug discovery and advanced technology/engineering.”
Tipton previously served as senior vice president and general manager of Evonik— Birmingham Laboratories in Birmingham, Ala. During his career, he has helped lead the growth of three pharmaceutical/biotech companies and launched four commercial products. He holds 31 U.S. patents with numerous foreign equivalents, and he has more than 70 publications, presentations and invited lectures to his credit.
In 2004, Tipton joined Southern Research to lead the formation of a new, wholly-owned drug-delivery company—Brookwood Pharmaceuticals—which was launched with Tipton as president and CEO. When Brookwood Pharmaceuticals was acquired by SurModics in 2007 for about $50 million, Tipton oversaw the most significant payment to Southern Research in its history. The SurModics business was then acquired by Evonik Degussa Corporation in 2011.
“A Birmingham native, I know and have great respect for the record Southern Research Institute has in research initiatives and the impressive history of innovation,” Tipton said. “I am familiar with the Institute’s great people; I look forward to leading this exceedingly talented and dedicated team capable of pushing research and development in a range of science and engineering markets. I am equally excited to work closely with UAB and look forward to making this close relationship even stronger.”
Tipton served as executive vice president at Durect Corporation, a California-based, publicly traded drug-delivery company, and held a variety of positions in Southern BioSystems, including vice president and chief scientific officer, where he led all efforts on biodegradable technology from 1993-2001. At Southern BioSystems, Tipton invented the SABER Delivery System and led its development into multiple clinical campaigns. He was a member of the negotiating team for the acquisition of Southern BioSystems by Durect. Prior to joining Southern BioSystems, Tipton was with Atrix Laboratories (now part of QLT) from 1988-1993.
Tipton holds a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Spring Hill College and a Doctorate in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has served on the boards of the Society for Biomaterials, American Institute of Biological and Medical Engineers, Brookwood Pharmaceuticals, and Southern BioSystems, and he serves on the boards of the Biotechnology Association of Alabama, Birmingham Venture Club, and the Controlled Release Society. He chairs the external advisory Board for UAB’s Biomedical Engineering Department.
About Southern Research
Southern Research Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) scientific research organization that conducts advanced engineering research in materials, systems development, environment and energy, and preclinical drug discovery and development. Southern Research has more than 520 scientific and engineering staff that support clients and partners in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, defense, aerospace, environmental and energy industries. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., Southern Research Institute has facilities/offices in Wilsonville and Huntsville, Ala.; Frederick, Md.; Durham, NC; Houston, TX; and, Washington, DC. Learn more at southernresearch.org.