INC Research has named Gregory Rush to become the Raleigh contract research organization’s new chief financial officer.

Rush brings to INC more than 20 years of accounting and finance experience in both public and private companies working most recently as CFO of Tekelec, which was acquired by Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) earlier this year. Rush worked at Tekelec for eight years. He has also held senior financial roles at Siebel Systems, Inc., and Durham CRO Quintiles (NYSE:Q) Quintiles Transnational Corp. Rush, a certified public accountant, earned his bachelor’s degree in business and his master’s degree in accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“INC Research is well positioned for future expansion as a top-tier CRO,” Rush said in a statement. “ I am excited to join the Company at a pivotal point in its growth and look forward to contributing to its future success through continued strong financial leadership and a balanced profitable growth strategy to create shareholder value.”

Rush, who succeeds former CFO David Gill, will be based at the Company’s headquarters in Raleigh and will report directly to CEO Jamie Macdonald.

In other life sciences executive changes in the region:

  • Regenerative medicine firm Tengion (OTCQB: TNGN) has promoted Brian Davis to the position of chief financial officer and senior vice president, finance. Davis, who played a key role in the Winston-Salem company’s recent effort to secure $33.6 million in financing to support the company’s R&D, joined Tengion in 2010 as the company’s CFO.
  • Aerie Pharmaceuticals has named Thomas Mitro the company’s president and chief operating officer. Aerie, a New Jersey company with R&D labs in Research Triangle Park, is developing a new glaucoma treatment. Mitro comes to Aerie from Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ:OMER), where he was vice president of sales and marketing. Before joining Omeros, Mitro was vice president of sales and marketing at ISTA Pharmaceuticals, which had grown to become the third largest branded prescription eye business in the United States when it was acquired by Bausch & Lomb last year.
  • Merz North America has appointed John Donofrio the chief financial officer and head of business development, North America. Greensboro-based Merz North America is a division of German company Merz Pharma. Donofrio comes to Merz from Stiefel, a GlaxoSmithKline subsidiary, where he worked as vice president, Stiefel Global Finance.