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Michael J. Rosenberg, MD, MPH

Michael J. Rosenberg, a physician and entrepreneur honored for innovations that speed availability of improved medicines and medical devices to patients with unmet medical needs, died on December 8 in an accident while en route to a meeting at the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Rosenberg was 66 years of age.

Dr. Rosenberg founded Health Decisions, Inc., a Clinical Research Organization, in 1989 and led the company until his death. Health Decisions, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014, conducted more than 300 clinical trials of new drugs and medical devices under Dr. Rosenberg’s leadership. Dr. Rosenberg not only served as Chief Executive Officer of Health Decisions, but also played a leading role in strategic planning of clinical development programs, protocol design and scientific publications. From 1996 to present, Dr. Rosenberg served as Co-Principal Investigator of Health Decisions in its role as Statistical and Clinical Coordinating Center for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a unit of the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Rosenberg received the 2014 Award for Innovation in Clinical Research from the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, the world’s largest organization for clinical researchers. In 2014, Dr. Rosenberg was honored by the Triangle Business Journal as Life Sciences CEO of the Year and separately as CIO of the Year. In 2013, Triangle Business Journal named Dr. Rosenberg a Health Care Hero Innovator / Researcher. He was the author of more than 200 articles in medical journals and industry publications. Dr. Rosenberg’s book, The Agile Approach to Adaptive Research: Optimizing Efficiency in Clinical Development (Wiley 2010), received awards from the Journal for Clinical Studies and the Journal of Clinical Research Best Practices.

Born on April 29, 1948, in Pasadena, California, Dr. Rosenberg grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and completed his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley. He went on to receive his MD from the University of California Medical School, Davis, in 1975 and an MPH degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1978. He served as Chief, Reproductive Health Activity at the Centers for Disease Control; Director, Reproductive Epidemiology Division at Family Health International; and Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the American Social Health Association.

Dr. Rosenberg is survived by his wife, Alicia Paladin and four stepchildren; his children, Zachary and Caroline Rosenberg; his father, Allan J. Rosenberg and his wife, Jeanne Kennedy; his siblings, Marjorie Devon, Kenneth Rosenberg, and Nancy Yeomans and her husband Rick; many nieces and nephews; and by his beloved dog Sage.

A celebration of Dr. Rosenberg’s life will be held Saturday January 3 at 4 p.m., at Castalia at Meadowmont, 301 W. Barbee Chapel Road, in Chapel Hill.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to his favorite organizations, Planned Parenthood, Kramden Institute, or National Public Radio.

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