Founder, CertiRx Corporation
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
Thomas J. Mercolino, PhD is the founder and interim CEO of CertiRx Corporation, a start-up stage company whose technology will make pharmaceutical products safer from counterfeits. Additionally, he is an Entrepreneur in Residence with NC BioStart, a role in which he advises faculty at the UNC School of Medicine in early stage technology commercialization.
Previously, Tom was Vice President, Business Development at Global Vaccines, Inc., a not-for-profit R & D company focused on diseases prevalent among the world's poor. During a lengthy tenure at Johnson & Johnson, Tom was a Corporate Director in the Corporate Office of Science and Technology, where he developed a model for internal J & J technology incubation, and was a consultant to the National Academies of Science's Drug Development Forum project to create model technology transfer agreements. Tom was also the global head of the pharmaceutical R & D organization responsible for creating "external R & D" capacity through technology access activities; he managed internal diligence and approval for licenses to new uses for marketed products, and support for both compound licensing and strategic collaborations.
The foundations to Tom's career were built in product development management. He headed Johnson & Johnson's Ortho Clinical Diagnostics' Immunocytometry business unit in an internal "start-up" that developed reagent, software, and instrument products that grew from $8 million to >$40 million in sales in just 3 years. He also provided R & D leadership to a management team that proposed and implemented two internal units' merger into a business with combined sales >$200 million. Tom started his industrial career at Becton Dickinson and Company, where he was an inventor of today's most-widely used technology for HIV disease monitoring.
Tom has served on the Board of Directors for CARTHA, a non-profit organization building networks to enhance the positive impact of technological and social innovations. He also served on the Board of Cellatope Corporation, a development stage company focusing on products and services in the autoimmune disease field.
In his spare time, Tom volunteers in entrepreneurship education at UNC as a member of the working group for the Minor in Entrepreneurship, as a coach and faculty advisor to Launch the Venture, and as a judge for the Carolina Challenge. He also enjoys landscape gardening and family meals.
Tom earned his PhD in Microbiology & Immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BS in Chemistry from Fairfield University, and is also a Registered Patent Agent.