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Connect CEO Roth injured in bicycle accident

Duane Roth, CEO of Connect, was injured in a bicycle accident Sunday, said Karen Winston, vice president of programs at Connect.

"There was a bicycle accident and he had a head injury," Winston said. "He's in a hospital in good care."

She did not comment on his condition or details about the accident.

“He was on a bicycle ride with several other people. He headed off the road and got a head injury,” Ted Roth, Duane’s brother, said in a phone interview Monday.

Ted Roth said Duane, 63, was wearing a helmet and he is an “accomplished rider” and always used safety precautions. He said he’s not sure what caused the accident and confirmed that Duane is being treated at a UCSD hospital.

Roth hit a rock embankment near Lake Cuyamaca. His helmet broke on impact and he was flown by helicopter to the UCSD Medical Center, according to David Hale, a close friend and Connect board member. Roth underwent surgery to remove a piece of his skull to relieve pressure on his brain, and was placed in the ICU in a medically induced coma.

Hale said he doesn’t know the extent of Roth’s injury, and he will probably be in the ICU for four to five days.

Roth is a patient within the UC San Diego Health System, said Jacqueline Carr, director of press and media relations-clinical, for UCSD Health Sciences. She did not comment on his condition or reason for hospitalization.

Roth is the CEO and member of the board of Connect, according to Connect’s website. Roth previously founded Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp., where he served as CEO and chairman of the board for more than 25 years. He has held senior management positions at Johnson & Johnson and American Home Products – now Pfizer.

Roth was appointed to the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee for the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine by the governor in 2006 and was elected vice chairman in 2009. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and a member of the board of directors of SAIC-Frederick, Inc., contractor to the National Cancer Institute.

Roth serves on a number of advisory committees and boards of the University of California, including the President’s Board on Science and Innovation, the UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, the UC San Diego Health Sciences advisory board and the UC San Diego Foundation Board of Directors.

He also serves on the San Diego State University College of Business and the Sciences and Engineering advisory boards. Roth is a member of the executive board for the California State University Professional Science Masters Program.

Roth serves as co-chair of the Affordable Housing Working Group, is a member of the Advisory Council for Math for America, a member of the Board of UC San Diego Preuss Charter School, and co-chair of the advisory board to the National Conflict Resolution Center.

Connect assists new business formation of technology and life sciences companies.

Paul Laikind, Ph.D., president and CEO of ViaCyte Inc. and chair of the Connect Foundation board of directors confirmed in a statement Monday that Roth was injured in a solo bicycle accident on Sunday.

The Connect executive committee appointed Tyler Orion, past Connect chief operating officer, as interim president, according to the statement on Connect’s website.

“Our thoughts are with Duane and his family during this trying time. I am confident that the entire San Diego business and civic community joins me in wishing him a speedy and complete recovery,” Laikind said in the statement. “Tyler Orion is one of Connect’s most committed and active supporters and her long-term experience with the organization makes her ideally suited to serve as interim president. We are confident in her ability to work with the excellent Connect team to continue the organization’s important mission to foster innovation and entrepreneurism in our community.”

Orion serves on the Connect Foundation and Association Boards, having retired in 2006 as chief operating officer of Connect. She served as president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Technology Alliance (RTA) from 2001 until its merger with Connect in 2005. Orion has worked in technology business development, defense conversion, manufacturing process improvement and business incubation, and has operated several successful service firms, with an emphasis on emerging and early-stage technology.

She serves on several boards, including the MIT Enterprise Forum Executive Committee and CDC Small Business Finance. She has written and spoken extensively on issues relating to technology entrepreneurship.

“My heart goes out to Duane Roth and the Roth family,” said Orion in the statement, “and I will do my best to work with the connect board and team to ensure that there is strong continuity in maintaining Connect’s programs and services while we await Duane’s recovery.”

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Duane Roth and David Hale on SD's biotech industry

July 11, 2012 -- George Chamberlin speaks with David Hale, CEO of Hale BioPharmaVentures, and Duane Roth, CEO of Connect, about San Diego's biotech industry and innovations that come from this region.