Life Science Tennessee Board Appoints Ted Townsend as New Board Chairman

Townsend, formerly at TN Department of Economic and Community Development, Brings Deep Experience to Role

Nashville, Tenn. — Life Science Tennessee (LST), a statewide member organization whose mission is to advance and grow the life science industry in Tennessee, today announced that Ted Townsend has been appointed as board chairman effective immediately. Townsend replaces Josh Brown who accepted a new position at Pfizer as the National Vice President for U.S. Government Relations based in New York.

Townsend, the Chief Economic Development and Government Relations Officer for the University of Memphis (UM), has served on the Life Science Tennessee board of directors for six years. Prior to his position at UM, he spent seven years at the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD), with nearly half of that term as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer. While at ECD, Townsend managed the state’s $200M state economic development incentive and operational budget, assisted in procurement of more than $40M in federal grants for community development projects and developed legislative policy.

Townsend is also the co-founder of the Memphis-based arGentis Pharmaceuticals, a diversified growth stage biopharmaceutical company acquiring a portfolio of assets already in clinical development for autoimmune and ophthalmic disorders.

“We are thrilled to have Ted step into a leadership role as board chairman,” said Abby Trotter, executive director of Life Science Tennessee. “Ted is uniquely positioned for this role as he is extremely familiar with our organization and mission and is well versed in the economic benefits of strengthening the life sciences industry in Tennessee.”

More than 40,000 people work in life science companies, research institutions and economic development organizations throughout Tennessee. Life Science Tennessee focuses on expanding the life science industry in the state through education and networking, including through its annual conference LST|CON, economic development and advocacy at both the state and federal level.

“I look forward to bringing my experience starting a biotech company and promoting economic development with the state to Life Science Tennessee during a time of great opportunity,” said Ted Townsend. “I want to thank Josh for his service to this organization and the leadership and staff who are working to elevate the life sciences in our state. Through advocacy and mentorship, as well as continued partnerships with our nationally-renowned research institutions, such as Vanderbilt University and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, we can bring new technologies, new jobs and life-saving innovations in healthcare to Tennesseans. “


About Life Science Tennessee

Life Science Tennessee is a statewide, non-profit, member organization whose mission is to advance and grow the life science industry in Tennessee through advocacy, partnerships and alignment with economic and workforce development. Life Science Tennessee conducts business and economic development activities; advocates on behalf of the industry; educates the public about the benefits of life sciences research and product development; and provides a network for the exchange of ideas, information and opportunities. For more information, visit