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2017 Forty Under 40: Reza J. Rasoulpour

February 11, 2017

Global Predictive Safety Center Leader
Dow AgroSciences LLC

“I consider myself an environmentalist and a public health advocate” said Rasoulpour, who leads a team developing new tools for farmers while also rasoulpour.jpgensuring that “the human health and environmental safety profile for the new products is always more favorable than the products they are replacing.”

Age: 39

Birthplace/hometown: Hartford, Connecticut

Family: wife, Teresa; children, Julian, 9; James, 6

Education: bachelor’s in molecular and cellular biology, University of Connecticut; doctorate in pathobiology, Brown University

Years with company: 10

Getting here: Rasoulpour so impressed at Brown that he earned the position of director of research operations. From there, he moved to Dow in Midland, Michigan, for a series of jobs leading to his last one there, mammalian toxicology group leader. A move to Indianapolis continued his rise in the company.

Transitional moment: While performing a toxicology study, he was puzzled by some of the results, so he sought guidance from higher-ups. His team leader, however, was on his way to the airport and put the ball back in Rasoulpour’s court. “My stomach dropped. He could tell I was in a sheer panic, so he said, ‘Reza, the lab will look to you on how to react. You need to remain calm and focused to keep them focused on figuring this out. I know it seems impossible right now, but you will get through it and help them through it.’ He showed me that, if I could do that, then the experience would give me the confidence to know next time that anything is achievable.”

Major achievements: “I have had the opportunity to lead and/or spearhead multiple investigative research programs during my time at Dow, such as investigating modes of action for toxicological findings, developing an industry-leading epigenetics research program, leading a team to build a toxicogenomic predictive toxicology platform, and fostering utilization of novel technologies and approaches to create a Predictive Safety Center to help create products with a more favorable human health and environmental safety profile aligned to our sustainability commitments.”

Recent business challenge: To address the industry’s need for special crops products, he helped create the Predictive Safety Center, “which works within our regulatory sciences function in partnership with discovery R&D to design products of the future that surpass even our high standards. There is no regulatory requirement or mandate to do such a thing—it is driven by our commitment to create a portfolio of the future aligned to our commitment to sustainability through science serving the needs of the growing world.”

Music matters: “The music interest came out of trying to understand music at a deeper level, not intellectually but emotionally. I’ve been in different bands for most of my teenage-to-adult life. This is the first time in my life, since age 12, that I haven’t been in one.”•

Read more Forty Under 40 profiles.

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