Dr. James E. Tarver was recently appointed as Chief Research and Academic Officer in the Department of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to this appointment, he served as Chief Research Administrator for the Department of Medicine since 2016. James oversees academic affairs and research operations, including grant and contract administration, and overall financial oversight of university operations for Medicine. He also currently serves as a scientific and business Advisor for NovAliX, a global preclinical drug discovery-focused CRO, and Co-Director of Chemistry for the Mathematical Sciences Institute (MSI), a STEM education organization that seeks enhanced outcomes for the pipeline of students of color in STEM from elementary to beyond graduate school. Before moving to Medicine, James was Executive Director, Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania and served as Chief Executive Officer of Vibe Pharmaceuticals, LLC, a drug discovery company spun out of the University of Pennsylvania.
Prior to joining Penn in 2012, Dr. Tarver spent 9 years at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he began as a research scientist and ended as Associate Director in the Medicinal Chemistry department. He is an experienced research manager with a breadth of knowledge in drug discovery R&D, with particular focus on bone disease and immunology, and is vastly experienced with technical talent recruiting. He is an inventor of several preclinical candidates for osteoporosis and autoimmune diseases and has authored several papers and presentations on the topics.
Throughout his career, Dr. Tarver has played the roles of scientist, problem solver and a translator as both business leader and consultant. James has been responsible for jump-starting innovative small businesses and business units as well as optimizing organizations through design and implementation of people-focused, operational and financial business models. His passion is tackling complex challenges particularly at interface of science and business, developing solutions and sharing learned experiences with colleagues toward a better tomorrow.
James earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania (2003) and B.S. in chemistry and mathematics from Morehouse College (1997). He also holds a M.B.A. from Fox Business School, Temple University (2016).