From pharmaceutical research to biotech entrepreneur, alumnus takes advantage of science expertiseRonald R. Bowsher | 1977 Alumnus, B.S. Chemistry | Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology For a “how to” on forging a successful career in science or business, School of Science alumnus Dr. Ron Bowsher may be one person worth meeting.
After a 30-year career in research and drug development at the Lilly Research Labs, Bowsher has since spent his “retirement years” starting a handful of businesses – one of which allows him to provide consulting services to firms on what has become his life’s work and passion – biotechnology.
Earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at the School of Science while working full time at Lilly, Bowsher “came of age” during an exciting time in the pharmaceutical industry sparked by new discoveries, innovation and significant growth.
“I was fortunate to be part of the genesis of the pharmaceutical biotechnology field,” says Bowsher. “Working for Lilly – the company that produced the first recombinant DNA drug product – I learned very early what it took my drug development colleagues at other companies some years to experience.”
Giving credit to his work experience at Lilly, Bowsher adds, “I was surrounded by highly talented people who were committed to bringing new innovative drugs to market.”
Following his retirement from the pharmaceutical company in 2003, Bowsher served as vice president and chief scientific officer at LINCO Diagnostic Services, a St, Louis company he helped create with just a dozen people that specialized in regulatory-compliant analytical support for biotherapeutic drug development. Analytical services for this new evolving field were in short supply in the marketplace at that time. Bought and sold by a couple of larger companies, LINCO is today part of Millipore Corporation where Bowsher serves as chief scientist in the company’s BioPharma Services division.
In his work at Millipore and his role as founder and partner of B2S Consulting, Bowsher has emerged as an expert in his field, working on a daily basis with both large pharmaceutical companies, small biotech firms and start ups across the globe. The owner of three patents, Bowsher has published more than 200 manuscripts and abstracts since 1980. In 2004, he was elected a fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) and is past chair of the AAPS BIOTEC Section and the AAPS Fellows Committee. In 2007, he chaired the AAPS Biotechnology Conference in San Diego, California. He is also an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Indiana University School of Medicine.
A strong proponent of K-12 education, Bowsher, a native of Beech Grove, Indiana, served for more than 20 years on the Beech Grove school board. One of his companies, B2S Analytics, helps school corporations with the important tasks of data warehousing and data analysis to aid in their efforts to maximize data driven decision-making and deliver quality education at lower cost.
Bowsher, a grandfather of 11, admits he works harder today than he ever has, but is enjoying every minute of it. He attributes his success to many factors, but primarily to a passion for quality in scientific investigation and seeking out and capitalizing on potential opportunities – lessons he tries to pass along to others pursuing careers in science and business.
“As part of the journey, we have to be perceptive enough to take advantage of opportunities that come our way,” Bowsher says. “If we don’t look around and be open to new opportunities, we may miss the big one.