Sachs served as Waltham, Mass.-based Thermo Fisher’s CSO since 2016 and will be succeeded by Nelson as he assumes the newly established CMO position at the company. Both will join the company’s leadership team in August.
“As we continue expanding our capabilities for customers who develop groundbreaking medicines and diagnostics, we have a growing responsibility to support their efforts and serve science overall through our own innovations,” Thermo Fisher chairman, president & CEO Marc N. Casper said in a news release. “With Alan in the newly created role of CMO and Karen joining as CSO, we are reinforcing our commitment to help customers push the boundaries of science and improve patient outcomes.”
Sachs, a physician-scientist, comes in with decades of work with product development and clinical research in both therapeutics and diagnostics, Thermo Fisher said. In the newly created role, he will help identify and promote new technologies that benefit customers in the clinical space while leading Thermo Fisher’s medical affairs program.
“This is an exciting time in our industry, and the establishment of a chief medical office underscores the importance of clinical expertise and leadership to our customers,” Sachs said. “I look forward to leading this effort and to working closely with Karen on the leadership team to ensure our scientific and clinical efforts are well aligned around future customer needs.”
Nelson officially joined Thermo Fisher on July 6, having authored or co-authored more than 220 peer-reviewed publications and edited three books over her career. She currently serves as editor-in-chief of the journals Microbial Ecology and PNAS Nexus.
“Our industry is experiencing a technological revolution, and Thermo Fisher is in a unique position to accelerate progress by working closely with its customers to ensure that R&D aligns with their future needs,” Nelson said. “I am excited to join this talented team and work with customers to develop the next generation of products that will enable even greater discovery and advance science.”
In addition to the executive changes, the company also announced today that, in collaboration with the University of California, Davis West Coast Metabolomics Center, there will be a research partnership to provide the metabolomics community with innovations, best practices and standard operating procedures.
The Center of Excellence in Clinical Metabolomics will be based on the UC Davis Sacramento campus, with an emphasis on enabling targeted and untargeted metabolic profiling for large-scale, population-based cohorts across translational research and precision medicine.
As part of the collaboration, Thermo Fisher is providing its Orbitrap technology so that the center can generate data with the Orbitrap-based mass spectrometers in conjunction with the Thermo Fisher Scientific Vanquish Duo UHPLC system for increased throughput.
“The progress we’ve made in the areas of vaccines and therapy development during the pandemic would have been impossible without ongoing commitments to invest in and share new scientific techniques, and this underscores the importance of our collaboration with UC Davis,” Thermo Fisher EVP & COO Mark Stevenson said in a separate release. “The work we’ll do here serves science by refining basic, but critical scientific techniques for metabolomics so they can quickly become clinically relevant.”