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About Us

The mission of FDU’s Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is to teach and support entrepreneurship in the academic and business communities. Since 1989, as part of the Silberman College of Business, the Institute has been supporting entrepreneurship and innovation by offering academic and outreach programs on the local, regional and increasingly, global levels.

An outstanding entrepreneurship curriculum taught by an excellent faculty has helped make our academic program one of the finest in the nation. In addition, our expanding outreach programs enable us to help more people to succeed. Rothman programs at a glance


Joseph GulfoJoseph V. Gulfo, MD, MBA, Executive Director

Joseph V. Gulfo, MD, MBA, is the author of Innovation Breakdown: How the FDA and Wall Street Cripple Medical Advances and contributor of Inc.com's Diagnoses from the Trenches column. A faculty member of the GLG Institutehe has more than 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries. In 2012, he received the American Business Awards’ Maverick of the Year Award and was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist. He teaches graduate cancer biology and business and entrepreneurship classes and maintains an educational cancer biology blog.

Dr. Gulfo is Executive Director of the Rothman Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is also a Visiting Scholar at the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, a policy, research, education, and outreach center  focusing on market-based solutions. Prior to this, he served as President & CEO of MELA Sciences (2004-2013), and was Chairman of the Board (2011-2013). While at MELA Sciences, Dr. Gulfo was responsible for:

  • Effecting an IPO in 2005 and consummating 11 public financings totaling ~$160 MM
  • Obtaining FDA approval of MelaFind, a breakthrough PMA smart diagnostic device for early melanoma detection through which he gained national attention for the process that included the issuing of an illegal not approvable letter by FDA, a Citizen Petition filing requesting that the FDA enforce the company’s Binding Protocol Agreement, and a Congressional Hearing at which the FDA admitted the error
  • Launching MelaFind in the US and Europe
  • Placing MelaFind systems within 75 miles of 63% of the US population in the first 12 months on the market

Additionally, he was responsible for the 1998 NDA approval of Valstar (as President & COO of Anthra Pharmaceuticals and Chairman of its UK subsidiary), a drug for superficial bladder cancer, which had sales of $27 MM in 2012, 14 years after its approval. Dr. Gulfo was also instrumental in the development of ProstaScint (Cytogen Corporation), a BLA-approved monoclonal antibody for prostate cancer. He was CEO and Chairman of Antigen Express, an immunotherapy and immunodiagnostics company in the field of vaccines for cancer therapy, antiviral therapy, and asthma, and led its merger.  

A serial entrepreneur, Dr. Gulfo is a leader in biopharma and medtech innovation. He is passionate about removing obstacles to breakthrough innovation, managing start-up companies, cultivating young managers, and developing products that can make a huge difference in the lives of patients and individuals. He received his MD from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and his MBA from Seton Hall University. He is on the Life Sciences Council of Springboard Enterprises.

Timur Pakay, Assistant Director

Timur Pakay is Assistant Director of the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and joins the Institute from the Paris-based International School of Timur PakayManagement at their location in New York. He has experience coordinating business programs for international students, developing strong relationships with companies ranging from start-ups to the Fortune 500 level, advising graduate students on academic and career planning, and working on a rebranding project for ISM. Timur received his BA in French from Boston College and his MA in Government and Politics from St. John’s University.  A member of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, Timur resides in Irvington, NY with his wife and son. Timur is responsible for all outreach and recognition programs such as Veterans Launching Ventures, the CEO Innovation Lecture and other innovation programs, and the Female Entrepreneur Lecture series. In addition, Timur will oversee changes to the programs targeting high school students as the Rothman Institute seeks to deepen its relationship with future Silberman College of Business students.

Gabrielle Zuccaro, Family Business Programs Administrator

Gabrielle Zuccaro headshotGabrielle joined FDU in 2009 as the Administrative Assistant for the Rothman Institute. Since that time, alongside the Executive Director, she has played a pivotal role in coordinating many of the Institute's outreach programs and events, including innovation conferences, summits, and entrepreneurial lectures. She managed the 2013-2015 New Jersey Family Business of the Year Awards, oversaw and organized the 2010-2015 statewide New Jersey Business Idea Competitions, as well as the 2010-2015 Female Entrepreneur LecturesCEO Innovation Lectures, Distinguished Entrepreneurial Lectures, Innovation Summits and Conferences, annual Discover Business Teen Camps, and was a key leader in planning the inaugural New Jersey Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards in 2013 and again in 2014. She was the program administrator for the Veterans Launching Ventures program since its inception in 2010 to 2014, responsible for managing key pillars of the program: applications, marketing, communications, student recruitment and retention, mentor databases, events, fundraising, grant proposals and submissions, web development, research, and statistics. In August 2013 she assumed full responsibility of Family Business Program Administration, including managing the O.Berk Company Family Business Forum and organizing the annual New Jersey Family Business of the Year Awards, working alongside corporate sponsors. Gabrielle manages the Institute's event logistics, website development, program applications, and supports the Institute's community outreach, marketing and collaborative efforts. She played instrumental roles in organizing the Institute's 20th and 25th Anniversaries in 2010 and 2015. She currently works with fellow sponsors and serves on the planning committees for awards and anniversary programs, and also provides colleagues nationwide feedback from her experience with evolving event management and competition platforms. She received her BA in English from Seton Hall University, and is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at FDU. She is a passionate advocate for educational and economic empowerment for young people, particularly at-risk youth. Gabrielle resides in Montclair, NJ with her husband and their two cats.