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IBRI Science Frontiers
3rd Annual Seminar Series

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Kenneth Custer, PhD

Vice President and Head of Corporate Business Development, Eli Lilly and Company
Kenneth Custer

Kenneth Custer, PhD, is vice president and head of corporate business development for Eli Lilly and Company, where he is responsible for M&A, licensing and partnerships to supplement Lilly's pipeline. Since joining Lilly in 2009 he has held roles of increasing responsibility across sales, marketing and R&D. This includes leading preclinical and clinical development for important programs in diabetes, immunology and COVID-19, as well as guiding Lilly's overall R&D strategy and transformation efforts.

He is passionate about working at the intersection of science, technology and business, and enjoys recruiting and mentoring early-in-career professionals who wish to apply their scientific and medical training to broader careers in biopharma.

Custer earned his bachelor's degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Reed College, and his doctoral degree in neuroscience from the University of Washington. He also holds a MBA in healthcare management from The Wharton School.

He and his wife, Sara, a faculty member at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, live in Zionsville. They have two children.