Ken Adler works in his lab in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Photo by Roger Winstead.

In a career spanning more than four decades, cell biologist Kenneth Adler has had his share of success, from groundbreaking discoveries targeting severe respiratory diseases and cancer to top honors for entrepreneurship and innovation. He’s published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals, scored millions of dollars in research grants, founded a startup and received the O. Max Gardner Award, the university system’s highest faculty honor for advancing the “welfare of the human race.”

In a talk sponsored by NC State’s Office of Technology Commercialization and New Ventures this week, Adler took the opportunity to share some of the disappointments and challenges he’s faced – cautionary tales for younger faculty colleagues and students just beginning the journey.

“It’s been a fun ride with lot of twists and lot of turns along the way,” he told the audience in the Hunt Library. “I’ve learned a lot of lessons. The main thing is to be prepared.”

Starting with a recap of his most recent research discovery, a peptide that inhibits the spread of lung cancer in mice, Adler presented a series of flashbacks from his career illustrating some of the pitfalls he’s encountered.

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Originally published November 2, 2017. Written by David Hunt.

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