Kenneth Custer, PhD, MBA

Kenneth Custer, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Vice President, Business Development and Lilly New Ventures, Eli Lilly and Company

Ken Custer is Vice President of Business Development and Lilly New Ventures 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. 

Ken 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 an MBA in healthcare management from the Wharton School. 

He and his wife, Sara, a faculty member at IUPUI, live in Zionsville, Indiana. They have two children. 

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