Peter Tolias, Ph.D.

School: Schaefer School of Engineering & Science
Department: Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Building: McLean Hall
Room: 515
Phone: 201-216-8253
Fax: 201-216-8196

  • B.S and Ph.D in microbiology and immunology from McGill University (Canada)
  • Post-doctoral training in cellular, molecular and developmental biology at Harvard University
  • Executive training in management at the Wharton Business School of University of Pennsylvania

Professor Tolias's personal research interests are focused on discovery and translational development of biomarkers, drugs and new technologies and their integration into clinical practice.  He performs research in Center of Healthcare Innovation state-of-the-art biotechnology and preclinical drug discovery facilities staffed with 12 researchers formerly from the pharmaceutical industry along with graduate and undergraduate students.  His team explores therapeutic disease targets of interest and identifies model compounds that are used as structure/activity entry points and scaffold platforms in drug discovery projects. Current research is focused on discovery and development of inhibitors of key cancer genes.

General Information
  • Canadian citizen by birth
  • American citizen by naturalization
  • Fluent in English, French and Greek
  • Enjoys skiing and ice hockey 
  • Composes, performs and produces music



Dr. Tolias is Director of the university-wide Center for Healthcare Innovation and Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at the Stevens Institute of Technology.  He is the recipient of over 40 grants, contracts, awards and honors, the co-founder of several diagnostic and biotechnology companies and has held board and scientific advisory memberships on scientific journals, corporations, non-profit organizations and universities. He was formerly the Executive Director of the Institute of Genomic Medicine, Research Director of the Autism Center and Professor of Pediatrics at the New Jersey Medical School.  Previously, he served as Worldwide Vice President of Advanced Research and Technology Assessment in the Dignostic division of Johnson & Johnson and Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at Rosetta Genomics.  Earlier in his career, he was an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the New Jersey Medical School, an Associate Member of the NY Public Health Research Institute and earlier as an Assistant Member.



Institutional Service
  • Member, Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS)
  • Member, Intellectual Property Committee (IPC)
  • Member, Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC)
Professional Service
  • Editorial Board, Personalized Medicine (2008-present)
  • Editorial Board, TheScientificWorldJOURNAL (2011-present)
  • Member, Science Advisory Board, Rider University (2003–2014)
  • Member, Medical Advisory Committee, Board of Trustees, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, New Jersey Chapter (2003-2014)
  • Member, NIH Study Section Grant Review Panel, National Cancer Institute (1999-2003)


Consulting Service
  • Founder & President, BioConsulting FSS LLC (2006-present)
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Board, BioSample Solutions Inc. (2010-2012)
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Board, PharmaSeq Inc. (2000-2002)
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board of Directors (2009-2010), Chief Scientific & Business Advisor (2010-2012), CGC Genetics Inc.
  • Co-Founder and Science Advisor, Sundance Diagnostics Inc. (2010-present)
  • Co-Founder and Science Advisor, NanoMedica Inc. (2001–present)
Honors & Awards
  • New Jersey R&D Council 2007 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for Emerging Technologies
  • Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC) Centennial Fellowship. (Ranked 4th on list of top Canadian MRC-sponsored junior research faculty) (1990-91)
  • MRC  Fellowship (1989-90)
  • MRC Fellowship (1987-89)
  • Ph.D conferred from McGill University with ‘Distinction’/Dean's Honors list (1987)
  • Recipient of the 1987 McGill Dept. of Microbiology &  Immunology W. Yaphe Award  (top graduating Ph.D student)
  • MRC Studentship (1988-87)
  • Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postgraduate Scholarship (1984-85)
  • NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship (1983-84)
  • Quebec Provincial FCAC Studentship (declined and accepted another) (1983-84)
  • McGill University Faculty of Medicine Internal Award (declined and accepted another) (1982-83)
  • NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship (1982-83)
  • McGill University Graduate Faculty Summer Research Fellowship (1982)
  • B.Sc conferred from McGill University with ‘Distinction’/ Dean's Honors list (1981)


  • Director, Center for Healthcare Innovation, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Stevens Institute of Technology


  • Executive Director, Institute of Genomic Medicine, New Jersey Medical School (2007-2012)
  • Professor, Department of Pediatrics, New Jersey Medical School (2007-2012)
  • Research Director, The Autism Center, New Jersey Medical School (2008-2012)
  • Executive Vice President, Global Corporate Development, Rosetta Genomics Ltd. (2006-2007)
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics, Microbiology & Immunology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (2004-2012)
  • Vice President, Worldwide Advanced Research, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics - a Johnson & Johnson company (2003-2006)
  • Director, Center for Applied Genomics, Public Health Research Institute (2000-2003), Member, Board of Directors, (1997-2003), Associate Faculty Member (1996-2003), Assistant Faculty Member (1991-1996)
  • Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, New Jersey Medical School, (2000-2003)
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Federated Department of Biological Sciences, Rutgers University Newark and New Jersey Institute of Technology (2000-2003)
  • Visiting Scholar, Department of Biology, New York University (1991–2000)
  • Associate, Department of Cellular & Developmental Biology, Harvard University (1990-1991)
Professional Societies

Recent Invited Public Lectures & Panel Discussions

  • 9th Annual TTS North America (13-14 July 2016, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey). “Industry Academia collaboration in the context of greater pharma engagement; the benefits to institutions and the increasing standard of expectations”
  • The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, March 25, 2015, Edison NJ.  “Advances in Healthcare Technology and Delivery”
  • Workshop on Nanomedicine and Tumor Engineering, Sept 29, 2014, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken NJ.  Panel discussion moderator, “Clinical and Industrial Perspectives”
  • Symposium on Innovation in Healthcare Technology and Delivery, March 10, 2014, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken NJ. “Opening Lecture”
  • Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association: Healthcare Reform-Innovation Required, June 5, 2013, Ernst & Young, New York NY.
  • The 2nd Conference on Bacteria-Materials Interaction, June 5-6, 2013, Hoboken NJ. “How Can We More Quickly Bring New Materials-Based Infection-Control Strategies to Clinical Practice?”
  • International Conference on Genomics in the Americas, Sept 27-28, 2012, Philadelphia PA.  “Drug Selection and Assessment Based on Whole Genome Sequencing and Microfluidic 3D Culturing as a New Paradigm for Personalized Therapeutics”
  • Omics Evolution Summit: Genomic, Proteomic and Metabolomic Drug Discovery, May 30-31, 2012, Boston MA.  “Microfluidic 3D Culture as a Model for Personalized Therapeutics”
  •  Partnerships in Personalized Medicine for Diagnostics, July 11-12, 2011, San Mateo, CA.  “Enablement of Personalized Medicine Through Partnerships With Academic Medical Centers”
  • 3rd Annual UMDNJ Technology Symposium. Advances in Imaging and Genomics: Innovative Research Technologies to Bridge Bench to Bedside, April 12, 2011, Piscataway NJ.  “Genomic Technologies Used In Molecular Diagnostics”
  • NextLevel Pharma, Commercialization Strategies and Market Access for Personalized Medicines and Companion Diagnostics, Feb. 9-10, 2011, Miami FL.  “Models of Academia/Industry Partnerships Enabling Personalized Medicine”
  • CHI Co-Development of Drugs and Diagnostics, Aug 25-26, 2010, Washington DC.  “Adoption of Companion Diagnostics by Industry and Academia”
  • Partnerships in Personalized Medicine for Diagnostics, Apr 12-13, 2010, San Mateo, CA.  “Biomarker Development Supporting Personalized Medicine”
  • IQ Saude, March 25-26, 2010, Coimbra Portugal.  “Role of Diagnostics in Healthcare Reform”
  • Biotech 2009, Nov 16-17, 2009, Philadelphia, PA. “The Evolving Role of Diagnostics in Bioscience Technology and Health Care: Perspective from an Academic Clinical Lab”

Symposium Organizer

  1. Organized the “Workshop on Nanomedicine and Tumor Engineering” (Sept 29, 2014, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken NJ) and served as panel discussion moderator. This workshop brought together clinicians, scientists and engineers in a uniquely interdisciplinary environment to address the multi-faceted challenges of nanotechnology and oncology. The theme of the workshop was the exploration of approaches and designs for novel cancer nano-based diagnostic modalities and therapeutics based on high-fidelity engineered cancer models, as well as better understanding of integrated pathophysiological processes that modulate human tumor functionality and growth.
  2. Organized and chaired the “Symposium on Innovation in Healthcare Technology and Delivery” (March 10, 2014, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken NJ), whichhighlighted multidisciplinary advances in medical technology, work force development and healthcare delivery in the era of the Affordable Care Act. This symposium featured two sessions, each of which included keynote lectures, short presentations by 14 faculty and external collaborators, and panel discussions. The session entitled “New Models for Drug Development and Personalized Therapy” highlighted advances in personalized models for preclinical and clinical drug development as well as therapy selection. The second session entitled "Healthcare Delivery in the Era of the Affordable Care Act" underscored challenges facing healthcare providers in delivering affordable healthcare with examples of business models, workforce development and technologies that facilitate the process. I gave the introductory lecture, was responsible for developing the program and identified and invited the speakers.
  3. Organized and chaired New Jersey’s first International Symposium on personalized medicine entitled “Symposium on Human Variation:  A Driver of Personalized Medicine.”   This two-day symposium (Jan 29-30, 2009 at NJ Medical School, Newrak NJ) featured lectures, panel discussions and poster presentations from 18 influential academic and industry scientists and policy makers across North America working at the forefront of translational R&D and the enablement of personalized medicine.  The audience included basic and clinical research scientists, clinicians, genetic counselors, graduate students, medical residents and postdoctoral fellows.  I gave the introductory lecture, was responsible for developing the program and curriculum (9.75 CME Credits) and identified and invited the speakers.
Grants, Contracts & Funds


Support as Principal Investigator (PI):

  • $1,732,659 (1/10/15-9/30/22) from Cepter Biopartners for Cloning, expression and purification of therapeutic proteins, assay development and drug screening
  • $46,800 (2/1/15-12/31/15) from M1T Capital Partners for development of Kiosk interfaces for transferring electronic medical records to service providers
  • $10,000 (1/1/15-12/31/15) from Pfizer Undergraduate Research Endeavors for Structural analysis of hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) and human host cell protein DNA damage binding protein 1 (DDB1)
  • $260,779 (1/10/13-9/30/15) from Cepter Biopartners for cloning, expression and purification of recombinant proteins, assay development and screening
  • $284,000 (2010-2012) from CGC Genetics for developing and offering CLIA approved genetic tests
  • $244,479 (10/31/10) Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project (QTDP) grant from the US Department of the Treasury for Whole Genome Sequencing for Diagnostic Test for Suicidal Ideation
  • $240,000 (10/08-10/10) from Advaxis Inc. for microarray gene expression profiling of patients in a phase II study to determine the safety, efficacy and immunogenicity of vaccination with Listeria monocytogenes expressing Human Papilloma Virus type 16E7 for the treatment of Intraepithelial Carcinoma Stage 2/3
  • $194,400 (2008-10) from Genewiz Inc. for development of CLIA approved clinical diagnostic DNA sequencing tests
  • $240,000 (2008-12) from BioArray Solutions, a subsidiary of Immucor Inc., for development of CLIA approved blood-typing tests
  • $50,000 (2008-9) from Bioscience Development Inc. for development of a mass spectrometer immunoassay to detect Lyme Disease
  • $80,050, (2008-2009) from Siemens Corporate Research, Inc. to develop a PCR assay that detects a pathogenic strain of Staphylococcus aureas
  • $231,463 supplement to grant  #R33 CA83213, National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), (5/2/02-8/31/03)
  • $1,200,000 from the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology (NJCST) R&D excellence Program: Grant # 00-2042-007-21.  Support for the Center for Applied Genomics from 1/1/00-12/31/04. 
  • $50,000 from the Hyde and Watson Foundation (1/1/00-12/31/00)
  • $2,144,870 from NIH, NCI, Grant R21/33 CA83213, (09/27/99-08/31/03)
  • $320,475 from NIH, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Grant # R21HG01783, (4/15/98 -3/31/00)
  • $38,000 from the Markey Charitable Trust-Sponsored PHRI New Initiative Program (10/1/96-9/30/97)
  • $355,000 from the National Science Foundation, (NSF) Developmental Mechanisms Program: Grant# IBN-9418722, (3/1/95-2/28/98)
  • $300,000 from the NSF Developmental Mechanisms Program: Grant# DCB-9117180 (1/1/92-12/31/94)

Support as Co-PI:

  • $160,450 (9/08-9/09) to Schwalb (PI) from The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey:  Application of MSIA Technology and Protein Variation Testing as a means to characterize cardiac risk in African-Americans
  • $37,500 (2008) to Vitale (PI) from UMDNJ Office of Patents & Licensing Technology Commercialization Fund Grant Awards: Identification of Risk Alleles for Multiple Sclerosis
  • $634,486 (9/1/03-8/31/06) to Chang (PI) NSF Grant # DBI-0243302 to develop SmartPin technology with a $300,000 subcontract from New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • $2,334,000 (9/10/01-7/31/06) to Smith, (PI) from NIH, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: Grant# RO1 HL68513
  • $2,263,000 (1/1/01-12/31/03) to Welsh, (PI), New Jersey Commission on Higher Education, High Tech Workforce Excellence Grant for a Graduate Program in Bioinformatics with a $159,050 subcontract (01/01/02) from UMDNJ.
  • $2,875,432 (09/29/01-10/31/03) to Ellner (PI), Dept. of Defense USAMRMC Grant #DAMD17-01-1-0787, Use of DNA Microarrays to Identify Diagnostic Signature Transcriptional Profiles for Host Responses to Infectious Agents with a $1,830,298 subcontract from UMDNJ-NJMS.
  • $1,594,450 (9/30/99-10/01/02) to Tyagi, (PI) from NIH, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS):  Grant #RO1 ES10536
  • $100,000 (6/1/00-11/30/00) NIH, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Phase I SBIR grant # R43 AI47528 to Little (PI) with a $10,000 subcontract from Sequenom Inc.


  • $19,050 book value of lab equipment from Merck in 2018
  • $85,000 from Cepter Biopartners in 2017 to support CHI graduate and postdoctoral fellowships
  • $32,250 book value of lab equipment from Merck in 2017
  • $6,000,000 raised from a Stevens alumni in 2014 to support the Center for Healthcare Innovation, an effort led by the University President and Office of Development 
  • $251,500 book value, ($617,500 original purchase value) of equipment from Merck in 2014 to establish the Biophysical Chemistry Laboratory of the Center for Healthcare Innovation
  • $524,500 book value, ($1,602,641 original purchase value) of equipment from Roche in 2013 to establish the Biotechnology and Drug Discovery Laboratory of the Center for Healthcare Innovation
  • $400,000 of supplies from Roche in 2013 for the Biotechnology and Drug Discovery Laboratory of the Center for Healthcare Innovation
  • $25,000 from various corporate sponsors to support the “2009 Symposium on Human Variation:  A Driver of Personalized Medicine”
Patents & Inventions
  • T. Chang, P. Tolias (2006). Delivery of Metered Amounts of Liquid Materials.  Patent # 7,097,810
  • W. Lee, J. Zilberberg, D.S. Siegel, P. Tolias, H. Wang, W. Zhang (2016). Ex Vivo Human Multiple Myeloma Cancer Niche And Its Use As A Model For Personalized Treatment Of Multiple Myeloma.  Patent # 9,267,938
Selected Publications
  1. Agresti, C.A., Halkiadakis, P.N. and Tolias, P. (2018). "MERRF and MELAS: Current Gene Therapy Trends and Approaches", J Transl Genet Genom 2018;2:9. .
  2. Wilson, C and Tolias, P (2016). "Recent Advances in Cancer Drug Discovery Targeting RAS", Drug Discovery Today, 21 (12), 1915-1919.
  3. Wenting Zhang; Yexin Gu; Qiaoling Sun; David S Siegel; Peter Tolias; Zheng Yang; Woo Y Lee; Jenny Zilberberg. (2015). "Ex Vivo Maintenance of Primary Human Multiple Myeloma Cells through the Optimization of the Osteoblastic Niche", PLoS ONE 10 (5): e0125995. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0125995.
  4. Wenting Zhang, Yexin Gu, Qiaoling Sun, David S. Siegel, Peter Tolias, Zheng Yang, Woo Lee and Jenny Zilberberg (2015). "Downregulation of osteoblastic N-cadherin decreases primary multiple myeloma cell - osteoblast interactions. ", AACR 106th Annual Meeting 2015; April 18-22, 2015; Philadelphia, PA. DOI: 10.1158/1538-7445.AM2015-344 Published August 2015.
  5. Jingmao Chi, Thet Zaw, Iliana Cardona, Mujtaba Hosnain, Neha Garg, Heather R Lefkowitz, Peter Tolias, and Henry Du (2015). "Use of Surface-enhanced Raman scattering as a prognostic indicator of acute kidney transplant rejection", Biomedical Optics Express 6, (3) |DOI:10.1364/BOE.6.000761.
  6. Tolias, P. (2014). "A Possible Future for the Pharmaceutical Industry.", Personalized Medicine. 11 (8), 723-725.
  7. Zhang, W., Lee, W.Y., Siegel, D.S., Tolias, P. and Zilberberg, J. (2014). "Patient-Specific 3D Microfluidic Tissue Model for Multiple Myeloma.", Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods. doi:10.1089/ten.tec.2013.0490.
  8. Healy, D., Bechthold, K., and Tolias, P. (2014). "Antidepressant-Induced Suicidality: How Translational Epidemiology incorporating Pharmacogenetics into Controlled Trials can Improve Clinical Care", Personalized Medicine, 11 (1), 79-88.
  9. Toruner, G.A. and Tolias, P. (2013). "Highlights from the Latest Articles in Disease Association Using Array Comparative Genomic Hybridization", Personalized Medicine . 10 (1), 17-18.
  10. Tolias P. (2012). "The need to assess drugs selected from cancer genomic data prior to patient treatment ", Personalized Medicine . 9 (5), 463-466.
  11. Toruner, G.A. Dermody, J. and Tolias, P. (2012). "Chromosomal microarrays: Influential players in the diagnosis of developmental disorders ", Personalized Medicine . 9 (2), 167-169.
  12. Toruner, G.A. and Tolias, P. (2011). "Highlights from the latest articles on the genetics of autism.", Personalized Medicine . 8 (5), 509-511.
  13. Tavares P, Dias L, Palmeiro A, Rendeiro P, and Tolias P. (2011). "Single Test Parallel Assessment of Multiple Genetic Disorders", Personalized Medicine. 8 (3), 375-379.
  14. Tolias, P and Toruner, G.A. (2010). "The Clinical Utility of DNA Testing", Personalized Medicine . 7 (5), 461-464.
  1. Jaffe M, Hammond W, Tolias P, Arinzeh T. (2013). Characterization of Biomaterials, Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge UK.
  • PRV 301 Research in Healthcare Innovation I
  • PRV 302 Research in Healthcare Innovation II