2017 Distinguished Pharmacy Alumni Awardee
Alisa K. Kilgas
Chief Executive Officer
“My Purdue Pharmacy education, then and now—because if you are smart, you never let it end at graduation—took the seeds I’d collected of loving math, science, health, and safety and guided the wise planting of them in the fertile soil of the study of pharmaceuticals and a career in the life sciences.”
- BS 1987, Pharmacy, Purdue University
- MSE 1992, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis
- Working with Purdue Pharmacy staff as a student to integrate interests in pharmacy and engineering and provide critical hands-on industrial and physical pharmacy experiences
- Working with a much larger team at Lilly on the development and commercialization of the first drug for pancreatic cancer, and to repeat the process with more than 30 new drugs
- Mentoring the next generation of scientists and engineers to be themselves and give their best
- Starting up new life sciences companies to solve current problems—NNC for drug recalls; BioConvergence for development, production, testing, supply chain; Kailash for drug repurposing
- Sprouting what she hopes to accomplish—breaking down barriers to rapid drug development to bring more solutions for better treatments
Alisa Kilgas grew up on a small family farm in southern Indiana. More impacting was the fact that she is the daughter of and sibling of entrepreneurs. Her family’s belief in God and that He gives each person a unique purpose and provides both the gifts and opportunities to fulfill their purpose is what led Alisa to a more than passing interest in science starting in the second grade. Her interest expanded into health and safety through her involvement with 4-H at age ten, and ultimately to her attending Purdue University in 1982 to study Pharmacy and Engineering. She received her BS in Pharmacy from Purdue in 1987 and her MS in Engineering in 1992 from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
After graduation, Alisa had the privilege for 30 years to apply her education and passion by working in the life sciences industry for Eli Lilly, NNC, Cook, Baxter, and now Singota Solutions. Her functional responsibilities have ranged from R&D, marketing, sales, project management, regulatory affairs, quality assurance, strategic planning, and business administration. Her roles have included bench level scientist, project manager, business unit manager, president, and most recently Chief Executive Officer. Whether it was with a startup or Fortune 200 company, in R&D or setting organizational strategy, or in an entry level role or as CEO, each of these opportunities resided right in her backyard of Indiana—a state full of opportunities to make a meaningful difference in the life sciences area.
The Purdue College of Pharmacy recognized Alisa with the 2011 Pharmacy Women’s Leadership Award for her significant contributions and exemplary involvement with the College. She was an invited speaker at the 2013 Dean’s Executive Forum, and she remains involved with the College as a current member of the Dean’s Advisory Council.