Shelton man leads national medical charity

A Shelton resident has been appointed as president and chief executive officer of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., will lead the operations of the $300 million cancer patient advocacy organization that is based in White Plains, N.Y. He has served as interim president and CEO of LLS since February.

DeGennaro’s appointment “is in recognition of his vision, leadership and commitment to the LLS mission," said James H. Davis, LLS board chairman.

DeGennaro joined LLS in 2005 and was named chief mission officer in 2009, with responsibility for research, patient access, education, public policy and advocacy.

He is recognized as the key architect of LLS's cures and access agenda to help save lives of blood cancer patients and the LLS Therapy Acceleration Program, in which the nonprofit agency works with the biotechnology industry to support drug discovery and development.

Academic and corporate experience

DeGennaro has more than 25 years of research, drug development and executive management experience in academic and private sector settings.

His previous academic appointments include research group leader at Max Planck Institute in Munich, Germany, and associate professor of neurology and cell biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

DeGennaro's private-sector positions include senior director of molecular genetics at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals; executive vice president for research and development at SynX Pharma in Toronto, Canada; and research manager at Streck in Omaha, Neb.

Federal appointments

He was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services in 2012 to serve as a member of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Advisory Council, and the Cures Acceleration Network Review Board at the National Institutes of Health.

He received his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of California at San Francisco and did his post-doctoral research at the Yale University School of Medicine.

DeGennaro also serves on the boards of BioTheryX, an early-stage biotechnology company, and the Health Research Alliance, an alliance of nonprofit funders of research.

Enuring access and saving lives

Davis, the LLS board chairman, said the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has invested more than $1 billion in blood cancer research.

“Our patient support and advocacy programs help ensure that patients have affordable access to the latest therapies,” Davis said. “Under Dr. DeGennaro's leadership, LLS will continue to advance our mission and help save the lives of blood cancer patients not someday, but today.”

LLS is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. Its mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Learn more at