RPCI Appoints Two New Directors to Top Posts

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

BUFFALO, NY — Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is pleased to announce the appointment of two directors to key positions in our clinical and business administrative staffs. Kara Eaton-Weaver has been promoted to Executive Director of Roswell Park’s Patient/Family Experience Department, and Harl Tolbert is the new Director of Technology Transfer and Commercial Development.

Eaton-Weaver will oversee the ongoing transformations throughout the Institute aimed at enhancing patient-centered care and the Roswell Park experience for all our patients and their families. Eaton-Weaver joined Roswell Park in 2008, working first as a Patient Advocate, and became Manager of Patient Relations in 2010. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Pennsylvania at Slippery Rock. Before coming to Roswell Park, she worked at Mellon Financial Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pa.; Sisters Hospital in Buffalo; the New York State Department of Health; and Goodwill Industries of Western New York.

“This position is an essential and critical part of Roswell Park’s quest to become a top 10 cancer center,” says Joyce Yasko, PhD, Chief Clinical Operations Officer. “Ms. Eaton-Weaver has the educational qualifications, experience, commitment and drive to achieve success in this role. We are fortunate to have a person with these characteristics as our Executive Director.”

As the new Director of Technology Transfer and Commercial Development, Tolbert will oversee the commercial development of research discoveries made at Roswell Park. Tolbert comes to Roswell Park from the University of Rochester, where he was Associate Director of Biological Sciences in the Medical Center’s Office of Technology Transfer. He brings extensive experience in licensing vaccines and therapeutics; developing and managing academic and industry collaboration; and soliciting, building and sustaining relationships with large pharmaceutical and biotech companies, start-ups, investors and research foundations.

Tolbert earned a master of science degree in animal sciences and a master of business administration degree from the University of Illinois. His past experience includes positions with Abbott Labs, in Chicago, and Pierce Biotechnology, one of the leading suppliers of antibody and protein research tools, in Rockford, Ill. He was Associate Director of Tulane University’s Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development prior to moving to Rochester.

“Mr. Tolbert has devoted his entire career to the biotechnology development industry,” says Michael Sexton, Esq., Roswell Park General Counsel and Chief Institute Operations Officer. “He served in leadership roles in the technology transfer offices at both the University of Rochester and Tulane University, both highly successful licensing institutions. We are fortunate to have an executive of Mr. Tolbert’s background and experience in charge of Roswell Park’s efforts to bring research discoveries to the clinic and the bedside, where they can have meaningful and far-reaching impact on patient lives.”


The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, Roswell Park is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit www.roswellpark.org, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email AskRoswell@Roswellpark.org. Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact: 

Tara Yates, Director of Public Affairs
716-845-5747; tara.yates@roswellpark.org