Curriculum vitae of Robin W Spencer February 2019
Robin W. Spencer
13 New London Road
Mystic, CT 06355 USA
spencerrw@alum.mit.edu (perpetual email)
education and experience
retired
2019-
genetic genealogy Mystic, CT
Imaginatik PLC
2010-2019
innovation support Director of Research & software developer
Mystic, CT and Boston, MA
Pfizer, Inc.
1987-2010
pharmaceuticals Research & Development
Groton, CT
2010retired
2006Senior Research Fellow, Innovation and the Idea Farm
2004Executive Director, Exploratory Medicinal Sciences
2001Group Director, Discovery Biology
1998Research Director, Chemistry
1994Assistant Director, Medicinal Chemistry
1990Manager, Medicinal Chemistry
1990Manager, New Leads Exploratory Medicinal Biology
1987Project Leader, Pharmacology
Syntex, Inc.
1981-1987
pharmaceuticals Research Section Leader, Institute of BioOrganic Chemistry
Mississauga, Ontario
postdoctoral
1978-1981
biochemistry University of Wisconsin, Madison, and M.I.T.
Helen Hay Whitney fellow, William H. Orme-Johnson, adviser
Ph.D.
1973-1978
biochemistry Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA
National Science Foundation fellow, Christopher T. Walsh, adviser
B.A.
1969-1973
physics Williams College, Williamstown MA
magna cum laude, honors, Phi Beta Kappa 1972
career synopsis
After college, graduate school, and postdoc, I was a lab supervisor in Syntex doing mechanism-based drug design for 6 years. Moving to Pfizer, I co-invented the discipline of High Throughput Screening (HTS) and led the team that found the first non-peptidic antagonists of Substance P, bombesin, CRH, and many others. I rose through management ranks from Project Leader (1987) to Executive Director (2004), the latter with a 110-person department including all HTS, high-speed chemistry, outsourcing, & computational chemistry for Pfizer's largest research site, and served on numerous local and international management teams, several as chairman and with third-party partnerships. I've received Pfizer Global R&D's highest personal achievement award and the company's Upjohn Innovation award.

In 2006 I chose to make a lateral career move out of management, inventing and taking the unique role of full-time innovation and idea management leader for all of Pfizer's 15,000 person R&D division. As author and facilitator of over 200 business challenges in four years, I have a deep, practical, and diverse base of experience in collective approaches to business needs. My title was Senior Research Fellow, Pfizer's highest non-management position. I was also on the leadership team for Pfizer R&D's Continuous Improvement group, 2008-2010. I retired from Pfizer in 2010 and became Director of Research at Imaginatik PLC, helping to bring scalable collaborative processes to major corporate clients via custom algorithm, code, and visualization development.

I was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Toronto, and have taught in Connecticut College Medicinal Chemistry courses. I have always had a shadow career in computer science, publishing and writing serious, heavily used applications to support my other roles. I've written commercial-grade stand-alone Macintosh applications and many commercial client-side and full-stack applications in Javascript.
skills, passions, aspirations
I have always had a passion for finding patterns in large sets of data and then doing something practical with those observations. I believe that important and useful things tend to be complex and cannot be oversimplified, though that complexity can be layered and managed to help implement solutions at appropriate levels. While I enjoy the academic scientist's approach (explore, discover, synthesize, publish, teach), I am a champion of the private sector as the most efficient, effective, and sustainable place to implement change. I am a micro-and-macro thinker: happy to craft strategy and processes, yet equally happy to dive into spreadsheets, algorithms, and low-level implementation, and have always found that each illuminates the other. I enjoy writing and public speaking as the details below will attest.

In retirement I have found an engrossing hobby in genetic genealogy, and am bringing the same approaches to bear on this burgeoning field where citizen science is very active.

Find me on Google    Genetic Genealogy Website
publications, presentations, patents