Southern Research Selects Chief Operating Officer

May 9, 2024

May 8, 2024 Birmingham, Ala. – Harry C. Ledebur, Jr., Ph.D., is joining Southern Research as Chief Operating Officer, bringing to the role more than 25 years of experience across the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and contract-research industry.

In his new position at Southern Research, Dr. Ledebur will lead the preclinical drug discovery and development business — the stage of research when potential new treatments are vetted for effectiveness and safety before being tested on people.

“Harry’s operational experience and deep industry knowledge will be a differentiating asset for Southern Research,” said Josh Carpenter, Ph.D., the CEO of Southern Research. “He offers a compelling vision and energy for capitalizing on our historic strengths to better serve our clients in a fast-changing biotech market. Harry can take what we do to a whole new level.”

Dr. Ledebur’s career has centered on the discovery, characterization, and development of novel therapeutics. He recently held executive positions in the contract research industry serving as Vice President and General Manager of Contract Research Organization Operations at AmplifyBio and Vice President of Life Sciences Research The Battelle Memorial Institute. He has also held key leadership positions at several biotech companies including Axonia Medical, NanoMed Pharmaceuticals, Chromos Molecular Systems, and Caprion Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Ledebur earned his B.S. in Biochemistry from The Ohio State University and his Ph.D in Molecular and Cell Biology from Pennsylvania State University.

“We look forward to bringing Harry onboard to align our business with the best opportunities for the future, streamline our operations, and grow our partnerships,” Carpenter said.

Dr. Ledebur said he is excited to join Southern Research and be a part of Birmingham’s future to become a Southeastern biotech hub. “Southern Research has a long history of drug discovery and remains on the cutting edge of science,” Dr. Ledebur said. “It’s a great time to be a part of this team, working together to build and expand our business to create a thriving space for the advancement of transforming medicines and the improvement of human health”.


About Southern Research: Founded in Birmingham in 1941, Southern Research is a non-profit scientific research organization. In its 80-year legacy of moving science, the organization has helped shape modern cancer treatment practices, including developing seven FDA-approved cancer drugs and testing more than half of active chemotherapies in the United States. Southern Research has conducted more than $30 million in coronavirus research since 2020, including collaborations on a COVID-19 vaccine currently in clinical trials, conducting thousands of PCR tests and refining the underlying chemistry of critical treatments. The organization is among the highest NIH-funded non-academic research centers in Alabama and has a $220 million annual economic impact. Visit for more information.