When the time came for Stephen Hoffman to retire, rocking chairs and golf clubs weren’t in the picture. The 52-year-old former leader of malaria research efforts and vaccine development for the US Navy served for 21 years, long enough to retire with full benefits, according to Navy policy. Rather than find a condo in Florida, Hoffman joined Celera in the new position of senior vice president of immunotherapies.
Celera has professed an interest in moving toward drug discovery since early last year, and Hoffman sees his appointment as “the beginning of the actualization of [that] direction.” His mission is to enable Celera to capitalize on its genomics experience and information database. His tasks will include helping to characterize proteomes as well as developing new therapeutics, preventatives, and diagnostics.
Hoffman says cancer will be the first focus. “We’ll be developing therapeutic monoclonal antibodies,” but he will also work on vaccination strategies. “We’ll be very happy in the next few years if we can develop a series of new products based on our discovery technology.”
Asked whether he has found any differences between working for the Navy and for Celera, Hoffman says, “Not yet.”
— Meredith Salisbury