Dr. Steven Nichtberger

Senior Fellow, LSM

Adjunct Professor, Department of Health Care Management

Dr. Nichtberger is a serial entrepreneur with 25 years of healthcare industry experience focused on developing and commercializing breakthrough medical advances.  He is managing partner of GBF, LLC investing and providing advisory services to healthcare companies, investors, and leading academic scientists to maximize the value of breakthrough advances. He is chairman of ControlRad Systems; chairman and founding CEO of Hutchison Bio; and co-founder of Limelight Bio.  As adjunct professor at the Wharton School, he leads the Life Sciences & Management capstone course on healthcare company formation, financing, and leadership.

From 2004 - 2011, he was the founding CEO of Tengion, advancing novel regenerative medicine products from early stage research to late stage clinical trials with a focus on urologic, oncologic, and renal diseases.  During his tenure, the company raised $230MM (including an IPO) from leading public and venture investors, as well as strategic investments from J&J and Medtronic.  Novel regulatory approaches, manufacturing facilities, and clinical pathways were created and agreed with FDA under his leadership. 

Previously, Dr. Nichtberger held senior strategic and operating roles at Merck.  As head of global marketing for the company, he was responsible for developing and launching marketing strategy for all Merck brands globally.  In this role, he chaired the human health marketing committee and was the commercial representative on the company's research and development leadership teams. Prior to the global leadership role, he was a member of the senior US operating team at Merck with P&L responsibility for a $3.5 billion cardiovascular portfolio comprised of six products.  His experience in the US market included successful launches in primary care and specialty pharmaceuticals that each met or exceeded plan. He also was a member of the core team on several corporate licensing, divestiture, and product acquisition projects, including the joint venture between Merck and Schering Plough and divestiture of DuPont Merck and Astra-Merck.

From 1984 until 2006, based on a business plan developed while attending Wharton, Dr. Nichtberger founded a profitable, private company that licensed intellectual property in the field of internet-based paperless couponing.

In 2008, Dr. Nichtberger was honored with the prestigious National Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Emerging Company Category. In 2015, Dr. Nichtberger was honored by Wharton with the William Whitney Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Affiliated Faculty.

Dr. Nichtberger is an active and philanthropic leader in the community. He is a long-standing member of the Board of Overseers of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, a trustee on the Board of Governors of Main Line Health, and past member of the national BIO Association Board as well as past Chairman of PA Bio.  He currently also serves on the Board of Governors of the BioAdvance Greenhouse Fund as well as the Board of Advisors for the Israel Biotech Fund. He holds a BA in Biology from Penn's College of Arts & Sciences and a BS in Economics from the Wharton School. He also earned an M.D. from the School of Medicine and Biosciences, SUNY at Buffalo.