Southern Research taps industry veteran to lead drug development in Birmingham

Southern Research taps industry veteran to lead drug development in Birmingham
Tim McGrath is Southern Research's new vice president in charge of Drug Development. His chief goal is to help the division reach its maximum growth potential. (Southern Research)

Tim McGrath has been named vice president of the Drug Development division at Southern Research following a national search.

McGrath has more than 30 years of general management and global operations experience. He has worked in both laboratory and commercial settings, most recently with North Carolina-based Q2 Solutions. There, he served as the global head for the company’s Bioanalytical and Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion (ADME) labs, responsible for multiple sites in the U.S. and Europe.

In joining Southern Research, McGrath said his primary goal is embracing market opportunities and maximizing the division’s growth potential.

“Throughout the course of my career, I have had the fortune of leading several highly scientific teams with the mandate of building world-class scalable operations in GLP (Good Laboratory Practices) regulated environments,” McGrath said. “Southern Research is positioned as well as, if not better than, any other organization I have seen in terms of growth potential. The breadth and depth of their work is truly impressive.”

Art Tipton, president and CEO of Southern Research, said McGrath’s new role is important.

“Drug Development at Southern Research is a broad area — our largest division — where we help government and commercial clients develop potential treatments for HIV/AIDS and cancer, as well as Zika, influenza and other infections,” Tipton said. “I am enthused by the growth the division has had in recent years, and even more enthused that Tim will be joining our team to lead and accelerate that growth. His incredible track record, and the strategic direction he brings to the team, coupled with our great scientific depth will add up to a very bright future for Southern Research.”

Tim McGrath has joined Southern Research after 30 years at various high-tech companies. (Southern Research)
Tim McGrath has joined Southern Research after 30 years at various high-tech companies. (Southern Research)

McGrath started his career in Massachusetts with the Foxboro Company, where he spent 18 years in commercial operations working his way up to the position of global director responsible for project support services for Foxboro’s Distributed Control Systems Division. In 1999, he left the multibillion-dollar company to join Biotage, LLC in Charlottesville, Va.

At Biotage, McGrath served as vice president of operations and helped the business grow 12-fold over six years before assisting the company leadership in selling it to the Swedish company Pyrosequencing AB. Following the sale, McGrath joined Ithaca, New York-based Advion Biosciences in 2006 as executive vice president of operations to manage its product and lab divisions.

This move launched a new phase in McGrath’s career. He spent the next decade working to expand the size and capabilities of several scientific companies, product lines and research-based teams. Quintiles Transnational acquired Advion’s laboratory business in 2011 before becoming part of Q2 Solutions in 2015.

McGrath explained his thought process on his new role.

“My job is to lead a team of brilliant scientists, while creating the optimum collaboration between science and operations in order to deliver world-class project execution,” he said. “Southern Research has rightfully earned a solid reputation in the scientific community, and I cannot be more excited to work with the team to determine where we want to be five and 10 years down the road.”

McGrath is married and has three grown sons and a daughter who is in her second year at Georgia State in Atlanta.

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