On November 12, the Society of Skeptics welcomed Kyle Kolaja, PhD, senior director and head of investigative toxicology and cellular therapy at Celgene Corporation. His presentation on the realities of cell therapies took place at 7 p.m. in the Chiang-Elghanayan Center for Innovation and Collaboration.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Kolaja (father of Luke ’20) has worked at a number of cutting-edge companies, including Cellular Dynamics International, where he served as vice president of business development and cell therapy, and Roche, where he was leader and global head of predictive toxicology screens and investigative toxicology. During his time at Roche, he oversaw laboratories in the United States and Europe that conducted all safety screening assays, provided toxicology support to projects, and applied stem cell derived tissues to safety. Prior to joining Roche, Dr. Kolaja served as vice president of chemogenomics and toxicology at Iconix Pharmaceuticals and project toxicologist and site head of investigative toxicology at Searle/Pharmacia.
Dr. Kolaja is active in a number of medical organizations. He has served as president of the Society of Toxicology’s (SOT) specialty sections for drug discovery toxicology and stem cells and toxicology, on the board of directors of the American Board of Toxicology and on the board of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences. He has also edited a number of trade publications, including the SOT’s Journal Toxicological Sciences. A member of the HESI Cardiotoxicity Steering Committee, Dr. Kolaja is a fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences and a diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology. Since completing his undergraduate work at Michigan State University in 1992 and his doctoral work in toxicology at Indiana University in 1996, Dr. Kolaja has published or reviewed nearly 70 articles. He completed his post-doctoral research at the University of Kansas and now works in Summit, New Jersey.
The History of Skeptics
The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.
The program was an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon.’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please click here.