Sanford-Burnham News Archive

Burnham Institute Appoints First Three Recruits to Orlando

LA JOLLA, Calif. , May 14, 2007

Greg Roth, Ph.D, Director of Medicinal Chemistry; Bjorn Par Tyrberg, Ph.D., Assistant Professor; and Mike Dollar, CPA, Vice President, Finance and Chief Finance Officer
Greg Roth, Ph.D, Director of Medicinal Chemistry;Bjorn Par Tyrberg,
Ph.D., Assistant Professor; and Mike Dollar, CPA, Vice President,
Finance and Chief Finance Officer

The Burnham Institute for Medical Research (Burnham) announced today appointment of the first three recruits who will initiate operations in Orlando, Florida: director of medicinal chemistry, an assistant professor focusing on diabetes research, and vice president, finance and chief financial officer. Temporary headquarters and laboratory space are being prepared at Florida’s Blood Centers, which will be home to Burnham until permanent facilities are completed at Lake Nona in early 2009.

“We are thrilled to be underway!” said Dr. John C. Reed, President and CEO of Burnham. “Medicinal chemistry is key to our medical research and drug discovery efforts. In Dr. Greg Roth, we have recruited a formidable talent. Diabetes research is one of the major themes for our Florida expansion, and thus we are pleased to have recruited Dr. Bjorn Tyrberg to initiate this work in Orlando. On the business side, as former controller for our financial team in California, Mike Dollar has a detailed knowledge of our financial systems and business operations. Mike’s relocation to Orlando provides a strong interface as we build our business functions in Orlando. We remain grateful to the State of Florida and Communities of Orlando and Orange County for their partnership and for providing us with this tremendous opportunity to expand our medical research activities.”

Greg Roth, Ph.D., Director of Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Roth has nearly 20 years of post-graduate experience in chemistry. He is the author of more than 40 publications and holds 14 patents. Most recently, Dr. Roth was the Associate Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Abbott Bioresearch Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he focused on immunology and inflammatory disease. Dr. Roth is an adjunct professor at Boston University’s Department of Chemistry and Center for Methodology and Library Development. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Colorado State University, and B.S. and M.S. degrees in that same discipline from State University of New York at Fredonia.

Bjorn Par Tyrberg, Ph.D., Assistant Professor. Dr. Tyrberg earned his Ph.D. in medical sciences from Uppsala University in Sweden. In California, Dr. Tyrberg pursued postdoctoral training with noted diabetes researcher Dr. Fred Levine of the University California at San Diego for several years, most recently as Assistant Project Scientist, and also trained at Burnham with Dr. Barbara Ranscht. Dr. Tyrberg was one of first recipients of a research training grant provided by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Tyrberg was co-leader of research that resulted in discovery of adult stem cells in the human pancreas that are capable of transforming into insulin-producing cells, a finding of considerable importance for devising new approaches to treating diabetes.

Mike Dollar, CPA, Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Dollar will open business operations for Burnham in Orlando as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He joined Burnham in July 2004 as Controller from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in La Jolla, California where he worked as Director of Finance. Mr. Dollar worked for several years with the accounting firm Deloitte and Touche, LLP prior to focusing his career in the non-profit sector. He graduated cum laude from San Diego State University where he majored in business administration.

About Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is dedicated to discovering the fundamental molecular causes of disease and devising the innovative therapies of tomorrow. Sanford-Burnham takes a collaborative approach to medical research with major programs in cancer, neurodegeneration and stem cells, diabetes, and infectious, inflammatory, and childhood diseases. The Institute is recognized for its National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center and expertise in drug discovery technologies. Sanford-Burnham is a nonprofit, independent institute that employs more than 1,000 scientists and staff in San Diego (La Jolla), Calif., and Orlando (Lake Nona), Fla. For more information, visit us at

Sanford-Burnham can also be found on Facebook at and on Twitter @sanfordburnham.

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