Dr. Dennis Stone, who pioneered UT Southwestern biotech development, dies
DALLAS – June 19, 2017 – Dr. Dennis Stone, who led UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Office for Technology Development and launched its BioCenter at Southwestern Medical District to help spur biotech innovations, died this past weekend from glioblastoma. He was 65.
Dr. Stone spearheaded UT Southwestern’s efforts to both translate biomedical discoveries from the lab into patient care and to nurture the establishment and relocation of biotech companies to the 13-acre UT Southwestern BioCenter. He served as Vice President of Technology Development from 1998-2011, became the first Associate Dean for Medical Student Research, and was Professor of Internal Medicine, Physiology, and Biochemistry during his years at UT Southwestern.
He left UT Southwestern in 2011 to become the Chief Scientific Officer of Remeditex Ventures, a position he held from August 2011 to June 2016. He also served as a Director of Reata Discovery, Remeditex Ventures, Eliance Biotechnology, Myogen, miRagen Therapeutics, MacroGenics, Reata Pharmaceuticals, Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, and Menlo Therapeutics. Earlier this year, the region’s nonprofit biotech trade association, bionorthTX, renamed its annual Helix Award the Dr. Dennis K. Stone Life Science Achievement Award in honor of Dr. Stone’s decades of service to the North Texas health care and life sciences community.
“Dr. Stone was an accomplished scientist who was instrumental in fostering early visions of biotech development for UT Southwestern and Dallas, and he was extraordinarily talented in balancing the economics and the science driving these innovations,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern. “On a personal level, he had an infectious enthusiasm and passion for the industry as it began to emerge in Dallas, which helped fuel the confidence of companies and investors.”
Dr. Stone, a nephrologist, was tapped to become the inaugural leader of the Office for Technology Development (OTD), which evolved from a small Office of Technology Transfer as the quality and quantity of UT Southwestern discoveries boomed in the late 1990s. He also was significantly involved in the plans to build the BioCenter, which opened in 2010, and he spearheaded the creation of the Center for Biomedical Inventions to help take research from the idea stage to commercialization before being licensed to outside companies.
Under his leadership, the BioCenter received the Momentum Award and the Technology Catalyst Award from the Dallas Regional Chamber, among other recognitions. In addition, OTD helped generate more than $100 million in revenue for the Medical Center and helped facilitate more than 500 patents naming UT Southwestern researchers as inventors. Today, UT Southwestern’s technology office covers more than 800 licenses in business development, research, and technology management in the pharmaceutical, biomedical, IT, and engineering industries.
Dr. Stone also served as Chairman of the UT Regents’ Technology Transfer Commission and as Vice Chairman of the Board of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund’s Life Science Commercialization Center.
In addition to being a key contributor in Dallas’ biotech arena, Dr. Stone was an accomplished researcher who worked on the molecular analysis of proton pumps and their involvement in osteoporosis. He served as Director of the Division of Molecular Transport in the Department of Internal Medicine, and he held the NCH Corporation Chair in Molecular Transport.
As a faculty member, he served on numerous committees, including the Medical School Admissions Committee, and he held multiple positions, most notably as Director of Acute Hemodialysis at Parkland Hospital, Director of the Graduate Program in Physiology, and President of the University Lecture Series.
Dr. Stone graduated from UT Austin in 1973 and earned his medical degree from UT Southwestern in 1977. After an internship and residency at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York; and postdoctoral work at UT Southwestern and Cornell University, he joined the UT Southwestern faculty in the Nephrology Division of Internal Medicine in 1984. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1989 and became Director of the Division of Molecular Transport in 1990. In 1994, he was promoted to Professor of Internal Medicine and, in 1995, became the first Associate Dean for Medical Student Research.
Dr. Stone was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Alpha Omega Alpha, held a National Kidney Foundation Fellowship, and was a Searle Scholar and an Established Investigator for the American Heart Association. He received a UT Southwestern Teaching Award in 1996. He authored more than 45 publications, reviews, and book chapters, including articles in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and chapters with Nobel Laureate Dr. Thomas Südhof in Methods in Enzymology.
He was a member of the American Society of Nephrology, International Society of Nephrology, American Physiological Society, Association of American Medical Colleges, The American Society for Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians, Licensing Executives Society, and Association of University Technology Managers.
He is survived by his wife, Dr. Helen Hobbs, son Dr. Langdon Stone and his wife, Laurel, and son Dr. Hunter Stone. Both of his sons are current residents at UT Southwestern. Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 22, at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home and Memorial Park.
Media Contact: Russell Rian
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