Dennis Willson, JD

Member, Melmark, Inc.

Mr. Willson is the former President & CEO of ITF Pharma, Inc., the U.S. affiliate of the family-owned pharmaceutical company, Italfarmaco. He retired at the end of 2018.


Mr. Willson previously co-founded Cytokine PharmaSciences and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer. He is also co-founder of Hsiri Therapeutics and NP-C Therapeutics (now Ranedis Pharmaceuticals), specializing in antibiotics and rare and neglected diseases, respectively.  


Mr. Willson began his career in the pharmaceutical industry as an attorney with Abbott Laboratories, later training in various marketing and financial positions at Abbott’s Argentine subsidiary. He moved to Rorer International in 1985, where ultimately he held the position of Managing Director of Rorer Spain. Following the merger with Rhone Poulenc, Mr. Willson left Rorer to join Carrington Laboratories in Dallas, Texas, where he served as Executive VP for two years. In 1992, he became one of the founders of Cytokine PharmaSciences (CPSI) and took the position of VP, Business Development. He was appointed President and CEO of CPSI in June 2002.


Mr. Willson graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in psychology and modern languages. He received a juris doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and was an active member of the Pennsylvania Bar until his retirement in 2018.


In addition to his business activities, Mr. Willson is one of the founders of Tredyffrin & Easttown Care, a community non-profit group with a mission to help those in need in and around Tredyffrin and Easttown townships in Pennsylvania, where he was living at the time, and Co-Chair for 13 years of the Hubert J.P. Schoemaker Classic benefiting Melmark. He is also a member of the Board of Thetis Pharmaceuticals, a privately held pharmaceutical company in Connecticut.