Baltera honored with Penn State's Outstanding Science Alumni Award

The Penn State Eberly College of Science has honored Robert Baltera Jr., who earned a bachelor of science degree in microbiology in 1987 and a master of science degree in genetics in 1990, with the Outstanding Science Alumni Award for the year 2013. He received the award during an event held on the University Park campus Nov. 15. The Board of Directors of the Eberly College of Science Alumni Society established this award to recognize alumni who have a record of significant professional achievements in their field and who are outstanding role models for current students in the college. Baltera is among seven alumni so honored during 2013.

A seasoned biotechnology executive and entrepreneur, Baltera's extensive experience in the biopharmaceutical industry includes executive leadership, mergers and acquisitions, product development and research. His work at Amgen, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in southern California, spanned nearly 20 years, beginning when he was a research associate fresh out of the Penn State graduate program.

His career progressed to treasury analyst, director of business analysis, director of business development, senior director of product, and vice president of corporate and contract manufacturing. Amgen manufactures or distributes more than 12 medications in the United States, including seven that are among the 100 most used, including two antirheumatic medicines.

From 2007 to 2011, Baltera served as chief executive officer of Amira Pharmacueticals, a pharmaceutical company focused on the early development and discovery of new drugs to treat inflammatory and fibrotic diseases, including pulmonary fibrosis, a disease known for scarring and hardening of the lung tissue, leading to shortness of breath. Baltera’s efforts led to the major acquisition of Amira by Bristol-Myers.

Baltera currently serves as a board member of biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies including Panmira Pharmaceuticals, FLAP LLC, Organovo Holdings, Adherion Therapeutics, Ruga Corp. and PBS Biotech. He is a Board of Trustee member for The Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, the only American graduate institution devoted entirely to bioscience education and discovery. He also sits on the San Diego Venture Group board of directors.

In addition to his Penn State degrees, Baltera also holds a master's of business administration degree from the Anderson School at UCLA.

Last Updated February 18, 2014