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From 1992 to 1999, Dr. Poste was Chief Science and Technology Officer and President of Research & Development for one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, SmithKline Beecham. In an industry where bringing a single drug to market makes careers, Poste oversaw the registration of 31 drug, vaccine and diagnostic products. In addition to his academic post, he serves as Chief Executive of Health Technology Networks, a consulting company that specializes in the application of genomic technologies and computing in healthcare.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and the UK's Academy of Medical Sciences, a Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and is a member of the Council for Foreign Relations. In the wake of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, Poste’s expertise was tapped extensively to aid national security. He served as chairman of the task force on bioterrorism for the U.S. Department of Defense, a role he completed in May 2004, and currently serves as a member of the Threat Reduction Advisory Committee for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
He also serves as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Working Group on Biological Weapons, the Forum on Microbial Threats of the Institute of Medicine Board on Global Health and the Institute of Medicine Committee on Advances in Technology and Next Generation Biowarfare Threats. He is Non-Executive Chairman of Orchid Biosciences in Princeton and has served on numerous boards, with current appointments on the Board of Directors for both Monsanto and Exelixis.
The son of an auto mechanic, Poste was raised in a rural area south of London. Poste said the setting in which he was raised instilled a respect for science and nature. Encouraged by a high school biology teacher, he became the first member of his family to attend college. His first doctorate was in veterinary medicine from the University of Bristol, England, where he graduated first in his class. He also holds a doctorate in virology and a doctorate of science.
Dr. Poste has received honorary doctorates in law and science for his contributions to international health policy and is board certified in pathology.