Dr. Ruffolo is currently the Chairman of Aragen Biosciences, Inc. and Managing Director of Ruffolo Consulting, LLC, a consulting company for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He is the retired President of Research and Development for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and Corporate Senior Vice President of the Wyeth Corporation (now Pfizer). In that role, he managed an R&D organization of 9,000 scientists with an annual budget in excess of $5 billion. Prior to joining Wyeth, Dr. Ruffolo was Senior Vice President and Director of Drug Discovery Research Worldwide at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals (now GlaxoSmithKline) where he was responsible for approximately 1,700 scientists with an annual budget in excess of $1.2 billion. Prior to that, he was Chairman of the Cardiovascular Research Committee at Eli Lilly and Company.
During his career in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Ruffolo played a significant role in the discovery and development of a number of products that are marketed globally, including carvedilol (Coreg®, Dilatrend®, Kredex®, Dimitone®, Eucardia® and Cardiol®) for the treatment of congestive heart failure, ropinirole (Requip®) for Parkinson's disease, dobutamine (Dobutrex®) for the management of acute congestive heart failure and eprosartan (Teveten®) for hypertension. In addition, the research and development groups that Dr. Ruffolo supervised during his career brought 32 new medicines to the market.
Dr. Ruffolo has authored over 500 full-length publications and more than 200 abstracts, and he has edited 15 books. He was the Editor-in-Chief of four international pharmacology journals. He has received many honors throughout his career. Recently, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) elected Dr. Ruffolo as a Fellow of ASPET (FASPET), which is an honor bestowed only on its most distinguished members. In addition, ASPET established an annual award in Dr. Ruffolo’s name, the Robert R. Ruffolo Career Achievement in Pharmacology Award (Medal), to honor the contributions made by Dr. Ruffolo to biomedical research and to drug discovery and development. This Award is presented annually to the most prestigious scientists in the world at the height of their careers.
Dr. Ruffolo received two Lifetime Achievement Awards and two Honorary Doctorates. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) awarded its most prestigious award, the Discoverer’s Award, to Dr. Ruffolo for the discovery of carvedilol (Coreg®) for the treatment of congestive heart failure. Carvedilol has saved the lives of tens of millions of patients around the world who suffer from this devastating disease. The American Society for Information Science and Technology designated Dr. Ruffolo as a Highly Cited Scientist for being among the top 100 most-cited pharmacologists in the world for over two decades.