Dr. Ben Yerxa Executive Vice President & Chief of R&DInspire PharmaceuticalsBen Yerxa, PhD is the Executive Vice President & Chief of R&D at Inspire Pharmaceuticals, where he joined as a medicinal chemist during start up in 1995. He created a unique opportunity for the company to apply its core technology in the field of ophthalmology and is an inventor on more than 50 US patents. He serves on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and Sharefish, and is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Dr. Yerxa is the recipient of the Southeastern Region American Chemical Society (ACS) Industrial Innovation Award for discoveries related to his work with P2Y2 receptors. He has also received the Triangle Business Journal' s '40 under 40' award, recognizing his contributions in business and leadership. Prior to joining Inspire, Dr. Yerxa was a Research Scientist at Burroughs Wellcome Co. Dr. Yerxa also worked at Biophysica, Inc. where he synthesized radiocontrast agents. He developed scale-up procedures for the industrial production of Oxilan, a marketed imaging product. Dr. Yerxa received a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine.