Scientist/Entrepreneur Selected to Lead Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute


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Michael A. Foley, PhD

Michael A. Foley, PhD, has been selected to lead the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute, Inc. (Tri-I TDI), a collaboration of Weill Cornell Medical College, The Rockefeller University, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center that is designed to expedite early-stage drug discovery into novel treatments for patients.

Dr. Foley’s title is the Sanders Director of Tri-I TDI and Director of its Sanders Innovation and Education Initiative, in recognition of the $15 million gift from Lewis and Ali Sanders to help establish the Institute.

Dr. Foley is a chemist and entrepreneur with more than 25 years of industry and academic experience. He is scientific co-founder of four companies and one academic institute and has placed 12 single-agent or combination drugs into clinical development. Dr. Foley was most recently the Director of the Chemical Biology Platform at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, which successfully established over 150 high throughput screening development collaborations under his leadership. 

Dr. Foley previously worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb and GlaxoSmithKline, and obtained his PhD in chemistry at Harvard.

The Tri-I TDI was formally launched in October 2013 and formed its first collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd., to develop small-molecule drugs. The Institute, which represents a novel partnership of academic institutions working together to more effectively translate basic research discoveries into the clinic, will focus on the early stages of developing compounds that make possible all-important “proof of concept” studies – those that increase the likelihood that targeting a specific biologic pathway can favorably alter the course of a disease. ■


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