The Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute (HWI), an international leader in structural biology located on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, announced that Rory Curtis, Ph.D. has joined the Institute as Vice President of Business Development.

Dr. Curtis’ primary role with HWI is to lead the commercialization, utilization and business protocols for the new cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) center currently under development at the Institute’s Ellicott Street research facility in Buffalo. The new cryo-electron microscope, which will be operational later this year, uses electrons to image individual proteins that are flash-frozen in motion and high-power computing to determine what these proteins look like. This allows scientists and researchers to develop life-saving therapeutics more quickly and successfully. The HWI center will be the first cryo-EM facility in Upstate New York with this groundbreaking capability.

“The equipment available at HWI’s new Cryo-EM Center will be as advanced as the market currently allows, making our center a destination resource for partners in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, materials science and academia,” Dr. Curtis said. “This technology has become an invaluable tool in unlocking important information that can impact public health on a global scale. Establishing a center with this capability propels Buffalo and HWI into a different echelon within the medical research community.” 

Dr. Curtis joins HWI from Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (AMRI), where he held the position of Vice President, Drug Discovery. In that role, he developed and implemented AMRI’s strategy to support early-stage drug discovery. He managed over 300 personnel across three sites internationally to create an integrated suite of drug discovery services for the contract research organization. In addition to his experience at AMRI, Dr. Curtis was previously Senior Director at both Cubist Pharmaceuticals and Elixir Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for research and pre-clinical development, with two drugs entering human clinical trials. Prior to that, he held positions of increasing responsibility at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Curtis earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and B.Sc. in Zoology from Imperial College London, UK. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed papers and is the holder of 27 issued US Patents. Dr. Curtis also serves on the External Advisory Board of D’Youville College School of Pharmacy.

“Rory has the knowledge, experience, and the respect of his colleagues nationally and internationally, to help us maximize the potential of our cryo-EM center for HWI, our scientists and researchers, our partners, and for Buffalo and Western New York,” said Dr. Edward Snell, CEO, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute. “We are thrilled to have someone with his business acumen and research talents on board.”