Areas of Expertise: Vice President, Global Head of Medical Affairs
Karin Tollefson received her Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Kansas and has spent most of her more than two-decade career in pharmaceutical research and development with a particular emphasis on oncology research. Through her tenure at Eli Lilly and Company, she has held several leadership positions centered on developing and registering innovative medicines for patients seeking treatment. She was the senior director of oncology medical affairs and clinical development at Eli Lilly and Company, responsible for global medical affairs strategy and portfolio operations; leading global programs through research, development and launch. She recently retired from Eli Lilly and Company and joined Nektar Therapeutics as Vice President of Medical Affairs. In this role she will be able to continue her emphasis in supporting cancer research and bringing standard of care changing therapies to patients.
Her experience with lung cancer research and involvement in the thoracic research community introduced her to the local leadership of the American Lung Association, where she became involved in the inaugural programs focusing on lung cancer research and prevention.
In a natural extension of her professional pursuits, Tollefson's volunteer efforts have focused on advocating for the needs of cancer patients and caregivers through involvement in the state and national advocacy and professional relations organizations that serve them. Currently, Tollefson serves on the National Board of the American Lung Association; the Board of Trustees for the Indiana Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; and serves on several professional women's mentoring networks.
Tollefson resides in San Francisco California and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Outside of her professional and philanthropic commitments, she actively supports educational, service and athletic programs within her community as well as at Colorado State University where her son is currently a student in the Warner School of Natural Resources.