July 17, 2014

Nancy Solomon

Center for World Health and Medicine Selects Experienced Board of Advisers

ST. LOUIS -- A new volunteer advisory board met for the first time in June to set goals and help guide the strategic direction for SLU's Center for World Health and Medicine.

Members of the advisory board and SLU community include, from left, seated: Kitty Lohrum, Susan Huber, Joan Magruder and Cyn Wise (business manager for the Center for World Health and Medicine), and from left, standing: Don Joseph, Philip Alderson, M.D., John Pottage Jr., M.D., Pete Ruminski, Mike Higgins (executive director of medical center development), John LaMattina, Ph.D., and Ray Tait, Ph.D. (vice president for research). Board chair Gary Dollar and board members Richard B. White, M.D., and Blake Exline are not pictured. Photo by Kevin Lowder

"While SLU's Center for World Health and Medicine has accomplished so much since we began four short years ago, we know there is more work to be done. By bringing together a high caliber advisory board of global leaders with business expertise in philanthropy, biomedical research and health care, we hope to accelerate the process of finding treatments for diseases in desperate need of therapies," said Pete Ruminiski, executive director of the Center for World Health and Medicine.

Gary Dollar, retired chief executive officer of the United Way of Greater St. Louis, is serving as board chair. Other board members are: Susan M. Huber, vice president of governance and sponsor relationships at Ascension; Don Joseph, chairman of BIO Ventures for Global Health; John LaMattina, Ph.D., senior partner at PureTech Health; Joan Magruder, president of St. Louis Children's Hospital; John C. Pottage Jr., M.D., senior vice president and chief scientific and medical officer of ViiV Healthcare and a SLU medical school alumnus; and Richard White, M.D., executive medical director of SSM Health Care, Clinical Performance Improvement Center. Ex-officio board members from SLU are Philip Alderson, M.D., vice president for medical affairs; Pete Ruminski, executive director of the Center for World Health and Medicine; Kitty Lohrum, development director; and Blake Exline, a SLU student who will also chair the center's student advisory board. 

The Center for World Health and Medicine was founded in 2010 when a team of former Pfizer pharmaceutical scientists with more than 200 years of collective experience developing drugs joined SLU to develop therapies for rare diseases and neglected diseases that primarily afflict children in the developing world. It now collaborates with global partners who are experts in these diseases.

The Center for World Health and Medicine already received funding from the National Institutes of Health to study a promising malaria treatment, has NIH-funded research in collaboration with Washington University researchers to find new medications for tuberculosis, identified a drug being studied to treat sickle cell disease in a clinical trial at SLU, spun off a company to further investigate a potential pulmonary fibrosis treatment the Center first discovered; and received millions of dollars in funding to study a potentially life-saving treatment childhood diarrhea.

"We're on a forward trajectory, and feel optimistic that adding this board of advisors can help us find solutions to deadly health problems even faster," Ruminski said.

Learn more about the Center for World Health and Medicine.

Read about the new advisory board members. 

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