As Interim Director of Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures (DRIVe) at the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) within U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Tyler Merkeley ’05,’06MBA is responsible for Transforming Health Security and working to develop novel public-private partnerships to enhance national security and bring together government and industry to solve our nation’s greatest security challenges.
Originally from Seattle, Wash., Tyler, a biochemistry undergraduate who earned an MBA in finance, came to Iona for an opportunity to continue his Christian Brothers education and to immerse himself in a biochemistry program known for its small class sizes and individual interaction with professors. Participation in events such as Iona Scholar’s Day, with Chemistry Professor Dr. Sunghee Lee, allowed him to develop valuable skills in research and presentation.
“What made Iona special was the tight sense of community! The small campus is always buzzing with vibrant energy which really energizes the students and fosters an environment for education and personal growth,” says Tyler.
Using skills and insights gained during his time at Iona, Tyler recently co-founded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (CARB) Accelerator [CARB-X] initiative to revitalize the antibiotic development pipeline so that “critically needed novel antibiotics were developed to address antibiotic resistant infections.” He adds that CARB-X has received over $500M in non-dilutive funding from USG, UK Government, Welcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support over 30 early Research and Development product candidates and attracted over $800M in follow-on private capital.
Excited by his work, Tyler encourages students to “consider a technical degree in the STEM augmented by a business minor or MBA. This combination of degrees will position you for strong employment in the future.”