Tia Lyles-Williams, MS, MRSc was born in Gary, Indiana, raised in Houston, Texas, attended high school in Marietta, Georgia and completed college/started her career in Washington, D.C.
She is the first African American queer woman to own and lead a biopharmaceutical manufacturing company – 68 years after the first African American man, Dr. Percy Lavon Julian, with his company, Julian Laboratories, Inc. in Chicago, IL. She received her bachelor of science in biology from Howard University, Master of Science in entertainment business from Full Sail University, and a master of science in regulatory science from University Southern California.
She has dedicated her career to bioprocessing biologics – including bioprocessing development, building large-scale bioprocessing facilities, developing/training/leading teams and commercializing proprietary biological assets via global regulatory affairs. She has been working in the biotechnology/biopharmaceutical industry for 21-plus years – including formerly interning at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as a former contractor at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in Silver Spring, MD.
Tia Lyles-Williams is a two-time life science start-up founder. She is founder and CEO of LucasPye BIO, a contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO), and founder and CEO of HelaPlex, the first commercial life science co-working space with a built-in accelerator for seed-level life science start-ups and virtual biotechnology companies. LucasPye BIO is a strategic partner of the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing (JIB).
As a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion within the workplace, STEM education and health care – Tia has made it her mission to lead by example via the following initiatives:
LucasPye BIO’s C-Suite is made up of 50% women & 85% people of color
HelaPlex, LucasPye BIO and IndyGeneUS AI have partnered to remove health inequities by mapping the human genome for the BIPOC community – including researching and developing drugs to improve healthcare outcomes and treatment options for people of color
HelaPlex, along with its strategic partners, including Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing and Steppingstone Scholars, will be piloting the HelaPlex Biotechnology Workforce Development Training Program for Philadelphia 2023 graduating seniors. The program is an alternative career path for students to enter the biotech/biopharma workforce as a bioprocess operator or quality control technician
She is also a board member at LaunchBio and The Prysm Institute (Chicago, IL). As a biopharma executive and pillar of the life science industry, Tia was named “Unicorn” by Philadelphia Magazine (2020); recognized as a 2021 Forbes NEXT 1000 Honoree; and listed as one of Inc. Magazine’s 2021 Female Founders 100.