Faculty & Staff

ICC Alum Blazing Trails in Medical Innovations on West Coast


Category: Alumni, Fun Stuff, ICC Educational Foundation

ICC graduate Kim Blickenstaff is blazing trails within the biomedical community on the West Coast. The central Illinois native graduated from ICC in 1972 and was named the college’s Distinguished Alumnus in May 2009. He currently is President and Chief Executive Officer of Tandem Diabetes, based in San Diego, and serves as Chairman of the Board of Medivation. Both of these organizations released breaking developments in fields of pharmacology and medical research in recent months.

First, Medivation announced positive results from a chemotherapy drug (MDV3100) during a Phase III trial for men with advanced prostate cancer. The announcement in November led to positive performance of Medivation on NASDAQ as well as considerable nationwide news coverage for the company and the findings.

Then, a couple of weeks later Tandem Diabetes announced it had received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market t:slimTM Insulin Delivery System (t:slim). The pump is the first-ever with a color touch screen and is also the smallest insulin pump system currently available.

Blickenstaff grew up in Spring Bay and graduated from East Peoria High School. He admits to being “sort of an average student.” He says he was unsure if he was “college material” and nonchalantly enrolled at ICC. He credits ICC with giving him the confidence to continue his education after receiving his associate’s degree in political science from ICC. He transferred to Loyola University where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He worked in the healthcare industry and gained experience in finance, marketing and management, before co-founding Biosite in 1988. The small company focused on medical innovations.

From its humble beginnings with a just a handful of employees, Blickenstaff guided the start-up to a leader in developing new biomedical markers used in the diagnosis of heart conditions. In 2007, Biosite had more than 1,200 employees and annual revenues of $325 million when it was acquired for $1.9 billion by Inverness Medical Innovations.

ICC congratulates Kim Blickenstaff on his career success and contributions to medical innovations!

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