PITTSBURGH, Dec. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG), the economic development engine behind western Pennsylvania's life sciences sector, announced Diana Cugliari will be the organization's next president and chief executive officer as it prepares for a new era.
Cugliari succeeds James F. Jordan, who became CEO in 2016. Mr. Jordan initiated and helped facilitate the recently announced strategic collaboration between PLSG and LifeX Labs. The collaboration meets the needs of the changing life sciences environment in western Pennsylvania and is intended to allow the organizations to provide innovators a one-stop shop for educational resources, company acceleration activities and networking opportunities.
"I have had such a positive experience as a member of this start-up community," Jordan said. "I am grateful to our board, the foundations, the state and our other economic development partners for their strategic guidance and support during this transition."
"It will be hard to imagine PLSG without Jim, but we're grateful for all he's done for the organization," Cugliari said. "This new partnership is an exciting time for our team and for our friends at LifeX, as well as a fantastic opportunity for the great startups we each work with and for those we will meet in the future."
Cugliari, formerly vice president of finance and director of PLSG's Accelerator Fund, will also take on the new role of managing director of the Accelerator Fund. The Pittsburgh native holds an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh's Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and has served in various roles with PLSG over the past nine years, bringing knowledge of the community, entrepreneurial acumen and non-profit management experience.
Alan West, an executive-in-residence with PLSG, will serve with Cugliari as managing director of the Accelerator Fund. He has more than 25 years of experience in leading medical device startup companies and was the founding CEO of Carmell Therapeutics.
Under Jordan, who came to PLSG in 2005 and became vice president and chief investment officer in 2007, the organization has made a significant impact in the region's life sciences sector. In nearly two decades, PLSG has empowered 88 companies with $22.4 million in direct and indirect investments, helping to commercialize 152 products, which led to nearly 16,000 direct and indirect jobs in the area.
"As Jim moves on to a new chapter, his influence at PLSG and in the greater life sciences community will be felt for years to come," said John Kuzmishin, PLSG board chairman. "Not only did his guidance assist promising pioneers and their companies to get a foothold, his work in establishing our new partnership ensures that those innovators will continue to receive the vital support they need. We cannot say 'thank you' enough for his efforts the past 15 years."
The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG) is a comprehensive life sciences economic development organization. We are dedicated to advancing life sciences in western Pennsylvania by building on the region's strengths in research, clinical care and life sciences entrepreneurship. We serve our community by providing knowledge, connection and capital to help companies grow, create jobs and improve the health of all humanity. For more information, please visit www.plsg.com.
SOURCE Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse