At the 2018 annual Founders Dinner, IPI will be honoring two individuals who have contributed greatly to innovation in the life sciences sector. The dinner will honor Robert Coughlin and also posthumously honor Owen Aurelio.
As President and CEO of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, Bob’s mission is to advance Massachusetts' leadership in the life sciences to grow the industry, add value to the healthcare system and improve patient lives. Over the last decade, Bob has truly become a champion for patients by ensuring innovative companies have the best environment possible to research, develop, and commercialize breakthrough therapies and cures for people around the world who need and deserve them.
Before joining MassBio, he served as the Undersecretary of Economic Development within Governor Deval Patrick's administration, where he prioritized both healthcare and economic development issues and was a strong advocate for the life sciences industry in Massachusetts. Prior to that, he was elected as State Representative to the 11th Norfolk district for three terms. Bob has also held senior executive positions in the environmental services, capital management and venture capital industries. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Bob is a past board member of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, and is currently serving on the board of directors for The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare and Aridis Pharmaceuticals. He also is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at Boston Children’s Hospital, and has served as the honorary chairman of the Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis Walk since 1996. In years past, he co-chaired the Children’s Hospital Boston signature event, Champions for Children’s and the Schwartz Center’s Compassionate Healthcare Dinner.
In 2011, the American Diabetes Association honored Bob with their Father of the Year Award. In 2012, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation honored Bob with the CF Foundation Volunteer Leadership Award and in 2013 he received the Boston Irish Business Award from the Boston Irish Business Association. In 2014, he was awarded for his leadership in Biotechnology by the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research. He received the NTSAD advocate of the year in 2015 and was named to the Boston Business Journal’s Power 50, Top 50 Most Influential Bostonians. In 2016, he was honored with the Boston Biotech CEO Lifetime Achievement Award. His latest honors include the first-ever awarded Governor Paul Cellucci Fatherhood Award from the Children’s Trust and the Breath of Life Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (2017).
Owen had a long career in hospital administration, including Washington Hospital, El Camino Hospital, Alameda General Hospital, and most recently Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, from which he retired as VP of Clinical Services. Prior to his current tenure at Stanford Children's Health, Owen served as Chief Operating Officer both at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, CA and Washington Hospital in Fremont, CA. After retirement, he remained active on the boards of IPI and the International Society for Pediatric Innovation. He provided leadership and support to IPI as principle representative of Stanford Children’s Health since 2007. He also served as a U.S. Naval Officer in the Medical Services Corps on the administrative staff at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va. Owen was a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a past president of his Rotary Club.
His positive outlook and steadfastness has been instrumental in building a culture of collaboration amongst our stakeholders. His deep knowledge of hospital operations has been essential in developing the focus for our Catalyst program. As chair of our Board for the last two years, his calm yet forceful presence has helped us navigate our direction. He articulated a vision of how IPI can align itself with other major pediatric coalitions to expand our impact nationally. He leaves a huge gap in this latter area that we will work very hard to fill.
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