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Meet Our Immunology Leadership Team

Immunology

Immunology

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Leaders in Immunology

 

DAVID M. LEE, M.D., PH.D.

GLOBAL THERAPEUTIC AREA LEADER
IMMUNOLOGY

David M. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., is Global Immunology Therapeutic Area Head for the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson where he leads a team focused on end-to-end pipeline and a portfolio of treatments for immune-mediated disease. Under his leadership, Immunology researchers are working to build on the success of our current portfolio, which includes STELARA® (ustekinumab) and REMICADE® (infliximab), two of Johnson & Johnson’s largest products. 

Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson in September 2018, David was based in Basel, Switzerland, where he served as Global Head, Immunology, Inflammation and Infectious Disease Discovery and Translation Area for Roche, and prior to that, as Global Head of Autoimmunity, Dermatology, and Transplant Translational Medicine at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. In each of these roles, he led on the strategic approaches that fed those companies’ pipelines, prioritized assets, and accelerated their development. His ability to develop external collaborations and to lead and develop his teams was central to his success in each organization.

Before transitioning to the pharmaceutical industry, David was a faculty member at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. While there, his research laboratory focused on disease mechanisms in Rheumatology and he also practiced Rheumatology. As a precursor to his career in industry, while at Harvard, he also participated in co-founding multiple start-ups. Ultimately, one – a biotech – was acquired by a major pharmaceutical company.

He is an active author and speaker, having completed more than 80 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and more than 100 lectures/seminars.

David earned his undergraduate degree at Stanford University, where he discovered his fascination with the intricacies of the immune system. He subsequently earned his M.D. and Ph.D. in Microbiology/Immunology from the Duke University School of Medicine. His passion for developing new medicines is rooted in his experiences treating patients as a practicing rheumatologist. 

David M. Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

Global Therapeutic Area Leader

Immunology

TERI L. LAWVER

GLOBAL COMMERCIAL STRATEGY LEADER
IMMUNOLOGY

Teri Lawver is the Global Commercial Strategy Leader, Global Vice President, for the Immunology Therapeutic Area with Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Together with the Immunology R&D Therapeutic Area leader, she has end-to-end responsibility for the Janssen Immunology portfolio and pipeline.

Teri has more than 25 years of global healthcare and business leadership experience spanning three continents, three healthcare sectors, and dozens of disease areas. Since joining Johnson & Johnson in 2002 at Centocor, Teri has held several leadership and executive positions across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies. She is a values-driven leader who has delivered above-market performance in each of the five Johnson & Johnson business units she has led. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Teri was an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company and a leader in the Firm’s Global Healthcare practice. She began her career as a Derivatives Analyst at Bloomberg Financial Markets, LLP. 

A multi-faceted leader, Teri is adept at delivering both transformational strategies and operational excellence. She is a vocal champion of diversity and inclusion, and has a proven track record of building new businesses, creating sustainable innovation-based growth, identifying exceptional talent, and developing high-performance teams. 

Teri holds a Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude, from Georgetown University in Washington D.C., and an MBA from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Teri L. Lawver

Global Commercial Strategy Leader
Immunology

MARK CURRAN, PH. D.

VICE PRESIDENT
HEAD OF DATA SYSTEMS
IMMUNOLOGY

Mark Curran, Ph.D. is Vice President, Head of Data Science for the Immunology Therapeutic Area at Janssen Research & Development, LLC. In this role, Mark is responsible for building an analytical group that will mine for and provide data that can inform and drive clinical trial design and pipeline decision-making. Mark’s work will generate and synthesize data across areas such as target identification, target validation, engineering of therapeutic molecules, and identification of selection and response biomarkers.

Mark joined Janssen in 2008, and was most recently Vice President, Systems Pharmacology and Biomarkers, where he was responsible for incorporating emerging science and human genetics into new programs to create more personalized treatment approaches predictive of response.

Before joining Janssen, Mark was Director of Biomarker Biology at Bristol-Myers Squibb where he worked across multiple therapeutic areas and led Early Development Teams conducting phase 1, 2 and experimental medicine trials for numerous development assets. Prior to that, Mark had roles of increased responsibility at DNA Sciences, ICAgen and Sequana Therapeutics/Axys Pharmaceuticals.

Mark earned a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the University of Utah and his undergraduate and masters’ degrees from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Mark Curran, Ph.D.

Vice President
Head of Data Systems
Immunology

PAUL DUNCAN

SENIOR DIRECTOR
EXTERNAL INNOVATION
IMMUNOLOGY

Paul Duncan is Senior Director, External Innovation for the Immunology Global Commercial Strategy Organization of Janssen Global Services. In this role, Paul is responsible for leading the overall external innovation strategy and operations for Janssen Immunology, partnering closely with the Immunology Research & Development and New Business Development teams.

During his 28-year tenure with Johnson & Johnson, Paul has made significant contributions across a number of therapeutic areas and brings extensive commercial experience to his role. Prior to his current role, Paul served as the National Sales Director, Rheumatology, where under his leadership, the Rheumatology franchise successfully launched SIMPONI ARIA® (golimumab) and STELARA® (ustekinumab), while navigating the challenges of managing a portfolio and accelerating the performance of growth assets in a complex access environment. Paul played a key role in the advancement of the Janssen customer engagement model, integrating real world evidence, quality, and outcomes-based data. In addition, he led the harmonization of the Janssen sales competency model and contributed to the evolution of the strategic talent approach across Janssen North America.

Prior to his leadership in Sales, Paul was a Group Product Director supporting the Rheumatology franchise where he led the Professional Marketing effort. During his tenure, SIMPONI® (golimumab) experienced market leading growth in the anti-TNF category. Additionally, he was Regional Marketing Leader, Asia Pacific within the anti-infective and urology franchises, where he led the successful launch of DORIBAX® (doripenem) in eight countries and PRILIGY (dapoxetine) in two countries. Paul has held positions of increasing responsibility in marketing and has a long track record of success as a sales leader with previous experience as both a District Manager and Region Business Director for Janssen.

Paul earned a B.A. in Chemistry and a B.S. in Biochemistry from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.

Paul Duncan

Senior Director
External Innovation
Immunology

ALBERT LEE

VICE PRESIDENT
DISEASE AREA COMMERCIAL LEADER
GASTROENTEROLOGY

Albert Lee is Vice President, Disease Area Commercial Leader, Gastroenterology for the Immunology Therapeutic Area of Janssen Global Services. In this role, he is responsible for developing and executing the end-to-end strategy to discover and develop new therapeutics for disease areas within Gastroenterology.

Albert has spent more than 20 years at Johnson & Johnson, in roles of increasing responsibility including sales, marketing and general management across different geographies and franchises.

Prior to his current role, he was the Managing Director for One J&J Singapore and he led and executed on the growth strategy for four years across Pharm, Medical Device and Consumer sectors for the enterprise. This included building new capabilities in key account management, government affairs and market access. In 2012, he led the integration of the DePuy Synthes across six countries (Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines) as the General Manager of Southeast Asia.

From 2010 to 2012, he was the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Franchise Director for DePuy and Country Director of Singapore. In 2007, he was selected to participate in an International Development Program in the US and UK, before moving to Thailand in 2008, as Franchise Director.

In recognition of his leadership and passionate involvement in the healthcare industry, Albert was elected Chairman for Medical Technology Industry Group by Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF MTIG), where he has served since 2014. Albert is also on the Board of Directors of Singapore Association of Pharmaceuticals Industries (SAPI) and on the Alumni Advisory Board of Nanyang Technological University Business School. He is also a Member of Medical Devices Industry Policy Review Working Group, Health Sciences Authority (HSA).

Albert holds a Bachelor of Business degree in Marketing from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and earned his MBA from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Albert Lee

Vice President
Disease Area Commercial Leader
Gastroenterology

PASCALE MARTY-ETHGEN, PHARM.D., PH.D.

VICE PRESIDENT
INNOVATION AND PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT AND EXTERNAL INNOVATION

Pascale Marty-Ethgen, Pharm.D., Ph.D. is Vice President, Immunology Therapeutic Area Portfolio Management and External Innovation Leader for Janssen Research & Development, LLC. In this role, Pascale is responsible for implementation of the Immunology portfolio strategy, and for all aspects of portfolio management. She also leads the development and implementation of the external innovation strategy, ensuring that Janssen Immunology has access to cutting-edge, transformational external innovation, while promoting excellence in the evaluation of external assets and oversight of alliance management for the pre-clinical external portfolio.

Pascale joined Janssen in January 2015 as Vice President, Compound Development Team Leader for STELARA® (ustekinumab) where she had accountability for all research & development and lifecycle management activities for the drug. Most notably, Pascale led the team that delivered the global submission and approval in two new indications, as well as the progression of a third indication to a global Phase 3 program.

Pascale has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry in roles spanning portfolio strategy, commercial strategy, research & development and business development in biotechnology, consulting and multi-national companies in France, the United Kingdom and the United States. She has a proven track record of leading global, matrixed teams developing new medicines through to product registration and launch. She also possesses extensive business development experience, including due diligence and management of strategic alliances and virtual drug discovery partnerships.

Prior to joining Janssen, Pascale spent 12 years at GlaxoSmithKline where she held several positions of increasing responsibility across a broad range of therapeutic areas.

Pascale received her Pharm.D. from the University of Bordeaux, France, and her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Marseille, France.

Pascale Marty-Ethgen, Pharm.D., Ph.D.

Vice President
Innovation and Portfolio Management and External Innovation

DAN PETTITT

VICE PRESIDENT
MARKET ACCESS

Dan Pettitt is Vice President, Market Access, Immunology for the Global Commercial Strategy Organization, Janssen Global Services. He is responsible for developing product access strategies and corresponding evidence generation programs to optimize utilization and revenue. For more than seven years, Dan and the Immunology Access team have successfully secured access and exceeded time to reimbursement metrics for STELARA® (ustekinumab), SIMPONI® (golimumab) and TREMFYA® (guselkumab) in multiple indications.

Prior to working at Janssen, Dan spent 15 years in market access and reimbursement at Bristol-Meyers Squibb (BMS), Pfizer, and Amgen. While working at BMS, Dan led access and health economic activities for three top-selling drugs. After BMS, Dan led reimbursement activities for 10 years at Pfizer and helped his organization to win multiple U.S. managed care best partner awards. Dan was also a key contributor to a real-world evidence generation program that was able to successfully differentiate the company’s lead anti-inflammatory treatment from its competitor to prevent license removal. 

Dan’s professional objectives and career aspirations have played a key role in developing viable business models and strategies that will endure as healthcare systems evolve globally. He has a strong background in commercial, clinical development, evidence-based medicine, epidemiology, and health economic disciplines. In addition, he has extensive relationships with academia and an impactful academic publication history.

Dan earned his MBA from Columbia University and a M.S. in Epidemiology and D.V.M. from the University of Guelph.

Dan Pettitt

Vice President
Market Access

MICHAEL PLOTNICK, M.D.

VICE PRESIDENT
GLOBAL MEDICAL AFFAIRS
IMMUNOLOGY

Michael Plotnick, M.D. is Vice President, Global Medical Affairs for the Immunology Global Commercial Strategy Organization of Janssen Global Services. In this role, he leads a team of Global Medical Affairs leaders responsible for the clinical-commercial optimization of product development and life cycle management strategies and plans for both approved products, and products in clinical development for the industry-leading Janssen Immunology portfolio.

Michael joined Janssen in 2004 where he served as the Medical Director for the Dermatology disease area stronghold supporting the launch of REMICADE® (infliximab) for psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis in the United States. Most recently, Michael served as the Global Medical Affairs Leader for STELARA® (ustekinumab) and TREMFYA® (guselkumab).

Prior to joining Janssen, Michael served on the medical faculty of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine for 11 years. He was an attending physician at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Veterans Administration Hospital and ran a National Institutes of Health-funded laboratory studying the structure-function, kinetics and molecular mechanisms of serine protease inhibitors and their interaction with serine proteases. 

Michael earned his M.D. from the New York University School of Medicine in New York City. He completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, and clinical and research fellowship training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  

Michael Plotnick, M.D.

Vice President
Global Medical Affairs
Immunology

PEARL PUGH

VICE PRESIDENT
DISEASE AREA COMMERCIAL LEADER
RHEUMATOLOGY & DERMATOLOGY

Pearl Pugh is Vice President and Rheumatology & Dermatology Disease Area Commercial Leader for the Immunology Therapeutic Area at Janssen Global Services. In this role, she is responsible for developing and executing the commercial strategy to support the discovery, development, and launch of new therapeutics for disease areas within Rheumatology and Dermatology. This involves leading a team of global commercial strategy and analytics professionals to develop deep insights to inform differentiated development plans and lifecycle management approaches.

Pearl also provides leadership to global commercial teams to establish effective partnerships with cross-functional and regional stakeholders to ensure worldwide launch readiness for new products and line extensions, and to maximize current in-market assets worldwide.

Prior to this role, Pearl served as the Director of Marketing, Prostate, at Janssen Oncology U.S., responsible for leading and building the prostate cancer franchise in the United States. Of note, Pearl played an instrumental part in leading a turnaround in the performance of ZYTIGA® by repositioning the product and prioritizing resource investments. This strategy led to a reversal in market share erosion and not only helped to maintain, but also grow share leadership in the highly competitive, metastatic Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer market.

Prior to joining Janssen in March of 2015, Pearl spent more than 20 years at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in roles of increasing responsibility across different functions and therapeutic areas, including Sales, Market Research, Payer, Marketing, and Business Development. She began her career in an international leadership development program and has lived and worked in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Before her first role at Janssen, Pearl worked in Worldwide Business Development at GSK in the Research and Development organization, where she was Head of Business Development for Rare Diseases.

Pearl graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Economics and Business Management.

Pearl Pugh

Vice President
Disease Area Commercial Leader
Rheumatology & Dermatology

JENNIFER E. TOWNE, PH.D.

VICE PRESIDENT
IMMUNOLOGY DISCOVERY

Jennifer E. Towne, Ph.D. is Vice President, Immunology Discovery at Janssen Research & Development, where she applies her scientific expertise to generate an industry-leading Discovery and Early Development Immunology portfolio. Her oversight spans rheumatology, gastroenterology, and interleukin (IL)-23-related diseases, as well as the scientific pillars of innate and adaptive immunity and tissue mechanisms.

In her previous role at Janssen Research & Development, Jennifer was responsible for Discovery efforts in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) on the West Coast and, shortly after, took over global responsibility for IBD Discovery.

Prior to joining Janssen, Jennifer served in various roles at Amgen where she led the development and implementation of Amgen’s IBD research strategy. She has extensive expertise in the IL-23, IL-17 and IL-1 family of proteins and has supervised both large and small molecule programs in both IBD and psoriasis.

Jennifer completed her doctoral degree in the Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, and Microbiology at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship at Immunex where she investigated the role of novel IL-1 family members in physiology and pathophysiology.

JENNIFER E. TOWNE, PH.D.

VICE PRESIDENT
IMMUNOLOGY DISCOVERY

Jennifer E. Towne, Ph.D. is Vice President, Immunology Discovery at Janssen Research & Development, where she applies her scientific expertise to generate an industry-leading Discovery and Early Development Immunology portfolio. Her oversight spans rheumatology, gastroenterology, and interleukin (IL)-23-related diseases, as well as the scientific pillars of innate and adaptive immunity and tissue mechanisms.

In her previous role at Janssen Research & Development, Jennifer was responsible for Discovery efforts in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) on the West Coast and, shortly after, took over global responsibility for IBD Discovery.

Prior to joining Janssen, Jennifer served in various roles at Amgen where she led the development and implementation of Amgen’s IBD research strategy. She has extensive expertise in the IL-23, IL-17 and IL-1 family of proteins and has supervised both large and small molecule programs in both IBD and psoriasis.

Jennifer completed her doctoral degree in the Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, and Microbiology at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship at Immunex where she investigated the role of novel IL-1 family members in physiology and pathophysiology.

Jennifer E. Towne, Ph.D.

Vice President
Immunology Discovery

JOHAN L. J. VERBEECK, D.V.M., MS.c

VICE PRESIDENT
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
IMMUNOLOGY

Johan Verbeeck, D.V.M., M.Sc., is Vice President, Business Development, Immunology for Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Janssen Business Development. In this role, he leads all business development activities for the Immunology Therapeutic Area and is responsible for transactions, acquisitions, scientific licensing and alliance management.

Johan brings extensive experience in licensing and external partnering to his position, which includes the identification, evaluation and successful completion of the partnership with Protagonist Therapeutics for its oral IL-23 inhibitor, and Theravance for its GI-restricted JAK inhibitor. In 1996, he joined Johnson & Johnson through Janssen Pharmaceutica in Belgium, where he worked in the Department of Animal Health and subsequently worked in Toxicology, where he became a Study Director for a multitude of small molecule development projects.

In 2005, Johan joined Tibotec, as Lead Toxicologist for the development of the company’s first two approved anti-HIV drugs. At the same time, he was Preclinical Development Leader for the first new drug in development for tuberculosis in over 40 years. For the latter program, he received the Johnson & Johnson Medal for Research and Development in 2013. In 2007, Johan became Head of Toxicology Sciences for Janssen Research & Development. He also served as Alliance Manager in the External Alliances and Business Models group.

Johan earned his D.V.M. at the University of Ghent in Belgium and his M.Sc. in Applied Toxicology at the University of Surrey in the UK. Test

Johan L. J. Verbeeck, D.V.M.

Vice President
Business Development
Immunology

GEORGE VRATSANOS, M.D.

VICE PRESIDENT
TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE AND MEDICINE
IMMUNOLOGY

George Vratsanos, M.D. is Vice President, Translational Science and Medicine (TSM) for the Immunology Therapeutic Area at Janssen Research & Development, LLC. In this role, he is responsible for leading the TSM team, integrating closely with both Discovery and Clinical Development, and fostering new ideas and methodologies that deliver on the Janssen portfolio strategy. 

In his previous role, George served as Vice President, Head of the Rheumatology/Autoimmunity Disease Area, leading a cross-functional team of experts to outline prioritized scientific and business strategies with the goal of maintaining industry leadership in rheumatology and aligning with the therapeutic area’s pathways-based approach. Prior to this, George was Head of Early Development, Immunology, where he innovated clinical trial operations and piloted external partnerships with academic networks and clinical research organizations.

Prior to joining Janssen, George served as Executive Global Program Head of the Immunology and Dermatology franchises at Novartis where he supported multiple biologic global submissions. Before that, George led Roche’s clinical development in autoimmune diseases as the Translational Medicine Leader and served as the Group Director at BMS.

A rheumatologist by training, George earned his M.D. from New York University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Rheumatology/Immunology at Yale University. In addition, he holds a B.S. and an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University. 

George Vratsanos, M.D.

VIce President
Translational Science and Medicine
Immunology

JAN WEHKAMP, M.D.

VICE PRESIDENT
DISEASE AREA LEADER
GASTROENTEROLOGY

Jan Wehkamp, M.D. is Vice President and Gastroenterology Disease Area Leader for the Immunology Therapeutic Area at Janssen Research & Development, LLC. In this role, he is responsible for driving scientific leadership in gastroenterology for many of Janssen’s active development programs including STELARA® (ustekinumab) and TREMFYA® (guselkumab) as well as many innovative compounds in early development.

Prior to his role at Janssen, Jan served as a Heisenberg professor of medicine, teaching innate immunology in inflammation and infection at the University of Tübingen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. In addition, he was the Chief Scientific Officer for Defensin Therapeutics, a Danish biopharmaceutical company he cofounded in 2013, that is focused on developing and commercializing products for diseases associated with dysregulation of the human microbiota. The company’s research is based on more than two decades expertise coming from Jan’s laboratory at the University of Tübingen.

Prior to this, Jan worked as a Principal Investigator of Research in Gastroenterology and Pharmacology at the Dr. Margarete-Fischer-Bosch-Institute of Clinical Pharmacology in Germany.

Jan has authored more than 120 publications and key presentations.

He received his M.D. from University of Lübeck in Germany and completed his post-doctoral work in Immunology & Microbiology at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and University of California in Davis, California.

Jan Wehkamp, M.D.

Vice President
Disease Area Leader
Gastroenterology

NEWMAN YEILDING, M.D.

HEAD OF DEVELOPMENT
IMMUNOLOGY

Newman Yeilding, M.D. is Head of Immunology Development at Janssen Research & Development, LLC. In this position, he is responsible for providing scientific and management leadership of global development initiatives and investments. This includes overseeing all programs supporting new molecular entities in rheumatologic, gastrointestinal, and dermatologic diseases, and the IL-23 pathway stronghold, as well as lifecycle indications for the industry-leading Janssen Immunology portfolio.

Newman joined the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson through Centocor in 2002 where he served in various roles of increasing responsibility in Medical Affairs and Immunology Development. Most notably, he was instrumental in the development and approval of one of the company’s leading biologics, which he has continued to oversee through new indications in dermatology and gastroenterology. Newman has more than 25 years of clinical and research experience and has contributed to more than 30 scientific publications.

Newman earned his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine and completed his residency training in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He completed sub-specialty training in hematology and medical oncology and in 1995 joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, where he practiced and ran a research lab focused on molecular oncology.

Newman Yeilding, M.D.

Head of Development
Immunology