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Brian McIlroy, PhD

Brian McIlroy is the inaugural executive director of the Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics (BIG). 

Brian McIlroy is a veteran of the life sciences industry with a decade of experience at GE, having served in various roles, most recently as managing director of alliance management for GE Ventures in Albany. 

As executive director of BIG, McIlroy will develop and implement a comprehensive plan for advancing the mission of the institute, with a focus on driving innovation and generating economic impact through industry collaboration. He will lead the team at BIG in engaging industry and other partners on projects that transform genomic research advances into tools for treating, preventing, managing and diagnosing disease.

At GE, McIlroy was responsible for initiatives that included developing strategic partnerships within the company and with external partners to identify opportunities for bringing new technologies to the market. He has expertise in developing these partnerships, managing alliances and creating value propositions that facilitate the development of new products. He began his most recent role with the company — managing director for alliance management with GE Ventures — in 2014. Prior to that, he served as clinical systems platform leader and technology leader in GE Global Research, and commercial development leader in GE Idea Works.

His experience in the life sciences industry began in research — in 1994, completing his doctorate while working as a research assistant in the National Medical Laser Center in London, England. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto from 1998 to 2001 before serving as an assistant professor in radiation oncology and director of science for the photodynamic therapy program in the Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center at East Carolina University.

From there, he was tapped to join a West Coast startup, Light Sciences Corp., where he held successively responsible positions with the company, serving initially as manager for photodynamic therapy science and optics, and rising to become the leader of the ophthalmology division before joining GE. 

McIlroy holds a PhD in medical biophysics from University College London.