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In LoBosco’s World, All Software Is Enticing

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For Rob LoBosco, it seems there’s no IT problem that isn’t intriguing. His latest challenge comes in the form of Seattle-based Life- Span BioSciences, where he’s the new chief information officer. He’ll be in charge of building the IT infrastructure for the company, as well as choosing “the right technologies and platforms” to keep it heading in a positive direction while anticipating the growth in the pharma and biotech industry.

LifeSpan, which currently has about 150 employees, sells various versions of its drug target database. According to LoBosco, 35, smaller biotechs usually buy a portal that includes GPCR targets, while pharmas get a more comprehensive package that also has gene families and antibodies.

LoBosco’s pharma experience comes from a few years at Merck’s IT department. “The Merck experience introduced me to a very large company dealing with a global environment and a very large IT budget,” he says. He left in 1999 “to work on some of the dot-coms that were starting at the time,” he says — including HotJobs — ruefully adding that one or two “became dot-bombs.”

Previously, he worked on satellite programs for NASA. But LoBosco’s software engineering career began at Sikorsky Aircraft, which he joined as a junior in college and stayed at after graduation. He primarily worked on helicopter simulation programs: “much like very large, very expensive video games,” he says.

— Meredith Salisbury

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