Dr. Tolomiczenko serves as the Executive Director of the Merkin Institute for Translational Research at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena. His interdisciplinary experiences in Canada and the United States as a clinician, researcher, professor, and senior administrator inform his inclusive approach toward fostering inclusive cultures in academia and the non-profit sector promoting innovations that improve health and healthcare delivery. In Canada, in a role with the Health Systems Research Unit of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, he served on several boards including the Ontario Foundation for Mental Health and the Community Resource Consultants of Toronto to promote mental health and to address the needs of homeless/unhoused persons. Since designing and running an academic program focused on training innovators in medical technology in Los Angeles, he has maintained strong links to Canada by serving on review committees and advisory boards with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Translating research advances to improve healthcare requires navigating barriers and tailoring iteratively customized solutions to sustainably address identified healthcare needs and vexing problems. Throughout his career, Dr. Tolomiczenko has always worked with diverse sets of stakeholders to create new paths to cures and improved access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. His focus on Parkinson’s disease began while he was academically based in the department of Neurology at USC and intensified following a family member’s diagnosis. He has contributed to efforts to build awareness and works to help find and fund technologies and therapeutics to manage symptoms, change the course of illness and, eventually, chart paths to cures.