Explore By Subject Area   

R&D Leadership Summit

Date: Mar 10, 2025 - Mar 11, 2025

Location: Manalapan, FL

image placeholder
image placeholder
image placeholder

Paying Honor to Dr Philip Needleman

The R&D Leadership Summit Team pays honor to Dr Philip Needleman who was our special VIP guest Keynote at the 2024 R&D Leadership Summit. Dr Needleman recently passed away but his enormous contributions to the life science industry will never be forgotten. Dr Needleman was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis. He had been Chief Scientist and Head of R&D for Monsanto/Searle/Pharmacia, a member of NAS and IOM, Interim President of Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Interim CEO of the St Louis Science Center.

Philip Needleman is credited with discovering the first thromboxane synthase inhibitor, the inflammatory substance known as COX-2 and the cardiac hormone known as atriopeptin. After a career in academia, he joined industry to become VP of Monsanto, then President of Searle, where he oversaw research into COX-2 that led to the development of the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib (Celebrex), which was approved in 1998 by the FDA.

He received the National Academy of Sciences Award for the Industrial Application of Science in 2005 for his work on “metabolism of arachidonic acid in physiology and pathophysiology.” He was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015.
He was an extensive philanthropist with his wife, Sima. The Needleman Program for Innovation and Commercialization at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis supports the urgent development of new lifesaving and life-enhancing therapeutics on the Washington University campus. A $15 million commitment from Philip and Sima Needleman supported two cutting-edge research centers at Washington University School of Medicine: the Philip and Sima Needleman Center for Autophagy Therapeutics and Research, and the new Philip and Sima Needleman Center for Neurometabolism and Axonal Therapeutics.

At the 2024 R&D Leadership Summit, Dr Needleman spoke with Fred Hassan, Director, Healthcare and Consumer, Warburg Pincus, in a wide-ranging conversation revisiting his “10 Commandments for R&D Leaders.” They discussed how current technologies, like AI, and greater amounts of data, were impacting R&D, and what commandments were most important for 2024 leaders. Several attendees commented that this was the highlight of the 2024 Summit. Our condolences and best wishes go out to Dr Needleman’s family.

​​​​​​​It is an honor to share the last recorded interview with Dr Philip Needleman with Fred Hassan, Director, Healthcare and Consumer, Warburg Pincus that took place on March 3, 2024 at the R&D Leadership Summit in Manalapan, Florida.