The world lost a tremendous advocate for global health with the passing of Dan Stinchcomb, PhD, IDRI’s Chief Scientific Officer, who died Feb. 21 after a brief illness. In a short time, he made a tremendous impact on IDRI’s work with his deep expertise in the field of viral diseases and passion for finding new solutions for those diseases. Dan is well known for his expertise in flaviviruses, having developed a vaccine against Dengue and leading a number of projects at IDRI, including the development of novel RNA-based vaccines.
Dan, who joined IDRI in 2016 as a Senior Vice President before being promoted to CSO in 2017, will be missed in so many ways – from his leadership skills to his mentorship of up-and-coming scientists. Those who knew Dan loved his incredibly positive attitude, deep voice, unique laugh and excitement for new ideas and projects.
Dan received his PhD from Stanford University and his BA from Harvard University. His prolific career in life sciences began with assistant and associate professor roles at Harvard, later moving into senior scientific leadership positions at Synergen Inc. and Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals Inc., where he served as Director of Biology Research. He then moved into the field of veterinary products at Heska Corp., where he led all aspects of product research and development. In 2005, Dan co-founded and served as President and CEO of Inviragen Inc., which he transformed from a virtual start-up to a global clinical state company with sites in Colorado, Wisconsin and Singapore and translated two vaccines from the research bench to human clinical trials.
He authored more than 50 scientific publications, was an inventor on more than 30 patents and served on various boards and committees.
On March 6, IDRI held a celebration of his life with his wife, Judy Boyle, in attendance. Dan’s co-workers spoke up about the impact on their work, with overarching themes of integrity, quality, discipline and teamwork interwoven throughout their words. Dan’s passion for designing novel vaccines and therapeutics that could alleviate the burden of disease, his mentorship of scientists to be creative, rigorous thinkers and his love of IDRI’s mission were recurring topics. He was described as a “scientist’s scientist” – perhaps the greatest compliment of all from his peers.
A gifted listener, Dan was always patient and engaged. He had two questions at the ready at all times: “What are you excited about right now?” and “How can I help?” One co-worker put it quite simply: “He was the great encourager.”
IDRI will honor Dan’s passing by continuing to strive toward our mission of developing new solutions for diseases of global importance. He is with us on our journey and we’ll carry him forward with us.