Wooster to Welcome Back Diane Jorkasky ’73 as Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow

Highly successful alumna to be on campus Feb. 24-28, will offer expertise on drug development and international medicine

February 21, 2019   /  

WOOSTER, Ohio – Diane Jorkasky ’73, highly regarded as an expert in drug development and international medicine, is returning to The College of Wooster as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and will present “The Complexities of Conducting International Clinical Research,” the fourth in the four-part Great Decisions of Wayne County lecture series, on Tuesday, Feb. 26.

In addition to the public presentation, Jorkasky will spend four full days on campus as part of the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow program. She is scheduled to visit a number of classes, ranging from microbiology to art history to behavioral neuroscience to economic development, and to meet with several student organizations. She will also lead a discussion on the anti-vaccine movement during a life sciences seminar.

Jorkasky’s topics of interest include the science and serendipity of discovering new medicines, history of medical discoveries, industry-academic relationships and conflict of interest, the nature of leadership and women’s leadership challenges, perspectives on being a doctor, ethics in medical research, and transitions in life and career.

A nationally recognized medical scientist and researcher in the pharmaceutical industry with a broad background in research, all phases of clinical development, and every therapeutic area, Jorkasky is currently the executive vice president, chief medical officer, and head of development at Complexa, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on transforming the lives of patients burdened with severe and life-threatening fibrosis and inflammatory diseases. Her 30-plus years in the pharmaceutical industry has included spending time as the vice president of the global clinical research operations group at Pfizer, Inc., and as chief of the renal division at Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia. After graduating from Wooster where she majored in chemistry, Jorkasky went on to earn an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and also completed a nephrology fellowship there.

For more than 45 years, the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program has brought prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders, and other nonacademic professionals to campuses across the U.S. for substantive dialogue with students and faculty members. Through a week-long residential program of classes, seminars, workshops, lectures, and informal discussions, the Fellows create better understanding and new connections between the academic and nonacademic worlds.