The Senior Fellow of the Boston Cancer Policy Institute, a 503(c)3 Research Institute of new social sciences incorporated in Massachusetts. Dr. Ellie Okada currently serves as the research institute’s Senior Fellow and President. In this role, Dr. Ellie Okada conducts policy-oriented research related to cancers, especially metastasized cancers and rare disease cancers including cancer complications and pain. The focus is on social sciences aspects, such as policy, organization, and governance. Dr. Okada and her team strive to incorporate into their work an understanding of the struggles of cancer patients as well as their families and caregivers with an underlying assumption that accelerating life science innovation and the path towards individualized cancer therapies and diagnostics benefits patients. A former Professor at Yokohama National University in Japan, Dr. Okada conducted groundbreaking studies on intellectual property policy and its effect on business research and development and organizational change capabilities. She submitted a technical paper to the International Symposium of OECD held in Amsterdam in 1999, which was the first OECD initiative publicly held to manage intellectual property assets for corporate growth. Around that time, Dr. Okada began to pursue how intellectual property accumulation affected corporate strategies. She began incorporating intellectual property elements into existing management theories and implemented both theoretical and observational research. In addition to her multi-faceted success in Japan, Dr. Ellie Okada has spent significant time at universities in the United States. In 1993, she was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, where she compared the distribution of market resources and governance structure in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan. Her research, which became the foundation for her doctoral thesis, pointed out needed internal changes within the Japanese market – changes that were manifested later in the 1990s and early 2000s. Beginning in 2008, Dr. Okada spent a year researching at the Columbia Business School. While in New York, she conducted a micro-study of the intellectual property issues surrounding the development of Proanthocyanidin. Her work at Columbia Business School led to the publication titled, “When Intellectual Property Changes Management Perceptions: A Research Note on the Invention of Proanthocyanidins.” From 2009 to 2010, Dr. Okada was an Academic Associate (Visiting Scholar) at Harvard University where she conducted policy-related studies at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. At Harvard, Dr. Okada examined the extent to which policy formation frameworks affect the business decisions and research and development capabilities of transnational pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company. Dr. Okada also facilitated discussions on science businesses with various scientists and economists. These discussions directly affected Dr. Okada’s current research direction at the Boston Cancer Policy Institute.

Work History

Work History
Apr 2012 - Present

Senior Fellow, President

Boston Cancer Policy Institute
Apr 1988 - Mar 2012


Yokohama National University, International Graduate School of Social Sciences


1984 - 1988


Graduate School of Business Administration, Kobe University