Scientist-turned-entrepreneur Bob Gadwood of Kalexsyn is the next speaker in the WMU Entrepreneurship Forum series

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Entrepreneurship was probably not the top thing on the minds of Kalamazoo-based scientists after Pfizer Inc. completed its buy-out of Pharmacia Corp. in 2003 and started to eliminate a lot of the research work done here.

But Bob Gadwood was among several Pharmacia/Pfizer scientists who enjoyed the work they did here, enjoyed living here and decided to take their skill sets and become entrepreneurs.

He became co-founder, president and chief scientific officer of Kalexsyn Inc., a contract research laboratory that specializes in solving chemistry problems for pharmaceutical and biotech companies.It is now considered one of the area's emerging life-sciences companies.

On Friday, Nov. 9, Gadwood will explain his transition into entrepreneurship when he addresses the Haworth College of Business Entrepreneurship Forum at Western Michigan University.

As associate director of medicinal chemistry at Pharmacia, Gadwood supervised a staff of 19 chemists, and worked on multiple projects involving infectious diseases and central nervous system therapeutic areas. But in 2003, he and former Pharmacia executive David Zimmerman started Kalexsyn.

Among other things, it prepares new compounds for pharmaceutical companies and helps assess their safety and efficacy. Located at Western Michigan University's Business Research and Technology Park, it is currently involved in research to find new medicines for use in therapeutic areas such as infectious diseases, cancer and diabetes.

Gadwood's presentation is scheduled for 8 a.m. on Nov. 9, in Room 2159 of Schneider Hall, which is the home of the Haworth College of Business.  The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required by calling 269-387-6059.  The event begins with a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m.

Gadwood joined Upjohn in 1986 and remained with the company until the Pfizer acquisition in 2003. He has a bachelor's degree from Marquette University (1974) and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin (1978). He has 42 publications and 18 patents to his credit.

By Al Jones |
on October 31, 2012 at 5:25 PM, updated October 31, 2012 at 5:26 PM