Aubry WatkinsROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, Oct 18, 2020 The Board of Directors of BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) unanimously approved the appointment of Aubrey Watkins III, Ph.D., M.S. as a new board member. Aubrey Watkins III is a Senior Director, Corporate Development, Scientific Affairs, with Emergent BioSolutions Inc. in Gaithersburg, Maryland; where he leads due diligence and technical evaluations to facilitate mergers and acquisitions that supports the company’s growth strategy. BHI would also like to congratulate Board of Directors members Jarrod Borkat as he takes a new role at CareDx as Vice President Corporate Development, and Bob Silverman in his new role as Chief Business Officer with Rejuveron Life Sciences.

 “I am delighted to welcome Aubrey to our Board of Directors,” said Richard Bendis, BHI President, and CEO. “BioHealth Innovation and Emergent BioSolutions have had a long and productive relationship. We look forward to having Aubrey as a part of this Board to share his experience and perspective.”

Dr. Watkins was an integral member of the Corporate Development team that resulted in the company’s two largest acquisitions of PaxVax, Inc., and Adapt Pharma, Inc., maker of the opioid overdose rescue drug, Narcan®.

“Emergent is committed to providing solutions that address public health threats through its specialty products and contract development and manufacturing services.   In the short term, we are committed to helping the BioHealth Capital Region become a Top 3 BioHealth hub by 2023, said Aubrey Watkins III, Ph.D., Senior Director, Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. “I look forward to joining the BHI Board as Emergent’s representative and helping to foster job growth, innovation and economic development in the region.” 

Dr. Watkins previously held the position of Director, Business Development & Licensing at Merck Sharp & Dohme, Inc.  in Kenilworth, NJ, with responsibility for both preclinical and clinical transactions for the growth of Merck's Oncology drug pipeline. His most notable transactions were for the launch of Keytruda® a breakthrough immuno-oncology drug (monoclonal antibody) used for the treatment of over 12 different types of cancer with sales exceeding $11 Billion dollars in 2021.

As Associate Director in Global Procurement at Merck, Dr. Watkins led vendor selection, negotiated contracts, and managed a budget in excess of $150M per year on behalf of Merck Research Laboratories and Merck Manufacturing Division.

Dr. Watkins worked as a Biochemist for 11 years in cancer research at Merck where he developed in vitro and in vivo assays and co-discovered MK-2206, an anti-cancer drug candidate studied in over 50 clinical trials. Prior to joining Merck, he held the position of Molecular Biologist at The DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company in the Applied Biotechnology and Molecular Biology Department (Wilmington, DE). 

Dr. Watkins holds a Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Science degree (M.S.) in Pharmacology from Thomas Jefferson University, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) in Molecular Pharmacology and Structural Biology from Thomas Jefferson University as a selected participant in the distinguished Merck Research Laboratories Doctoral Study Program. In addition to his academic and professional career, Dr. Watkins proudly served in the United States Army Reserve as a (12B) Combat Engineer and supported the 101st Airborne Division during Operation Desert Storm.

Key leadership roles include his post as the President of the League of Employees of African Descent (L.E.A.D.) at Merck and as International Chapter Leader for Merck's Business Insights Roundtable. He was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board and The Leadership Council at The Wistar Institute (Philadelphia, PA, 2008-2018). Dr. Watkins also served on the Jefferson College of Biomedical Sciences Alumni Board (TJU, 2016 – 2018).  He is currently the President of the Montgomery County Public Schools Biotechnology CTE program advisory committee in Maryland and is the proud father of three sons (Aubrey, Andre, and Christian). He has been married to his lovely wife Teresa for 16 years and enjoys weightlifting, cycling, and riding his motorcycle.

About BioHealth Innovation, Inc.

BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) is a public-private nonprofit organization focused on accelerating biohealth (therapeutic, diagnostic, medtech, and health IT) commercialization in the BioHealth Capital Region (Maryland, DC and Virginia). BHI’s team of expert Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, in-house venture analysts, and other professional staff work in the region to:

  • Facilitate technology commercialization,
  • Raise the profile of the industry cluster and individual organizations,
  • Increase access to capital for early stage and growing companies, and
  • Expand the pool of talent with commercially relevant experience.

BHI’s early stage company support includes market research and commercialization plan development; non-dilutive funding application assistance; a jobs board;  event calendar; and introductions to investors, strategic partners, business advisors, and potential clients. BHI also manages wet lab space and provides referrals to other space for early stage companies, offers soft-landing support for international companies, and works with partners to co-host the annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum and an annual BioHealth Capital Region investor partnering conference. For more information:

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Media contacts:
Rich Bendis
Phone: 301-637-6439, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.