An executive inspired by the events of 9/11 to join MRIGlobal more than 20 years ago now is chief operations officer at the life sciences nonprofit, joining CEO Ian Colrain as new members of the C-suite. Read more in the Kansas City Business Journal.
Dean Gray was vice president of defense and health the past two years and now will focus on “strategic operating policies” and have three vice presidents report to him, the Kansas City-based nonprofit said in a release.
In the wake of 9/11 and inspired by MRIGlobal’s mission, Gray joined the operation in 2002. He has filled several roles, according to the release: scientist, principal investigator, program manager, resource manager and director.
Gray said in the release that he joined MRIGlobal “because I wanted to make a difference,” pointing to the contract research organization’s contributions to national security and defense, health and energy.
Colrain called Gray “uniquely impassioned” about MRIGlobal’s work and described him as an exceptional scientist. Colrain himself is new to the C-suite: He joined the company in June after more than 20 years in scientific research, most recently at San Francisco-based SRI International, a nonprofit with a mission similar to MRIGlobal.
Gray played a prominent role for the institute during the height of the pandemic. He led the team that designed MRIGlobal’s specialized biocontainment unit — which he described as a “fortress that you can put inside of an aircraft” — to safely transport patients who had tested positive for Covid-19.
In addition, led by Gray, MRIGlobal released new versions of its mobile laboratories during the pandemic. The labs are used worldwide to detect and respond to infectious diseases like Covid-19.
Gray also participated in MRIGlobal’s live Q&A on Reddit in March 2020, which he called “an enjoyable departure” from what the organization typically had done in its previous 75 years. The interactive format allowed Gray and two other MRIGlobal experts to answer dozens of questions, mostly about vaccine development and clinical trial deadlines.