JAMES MERSON, Ph.D.
James Merson, Ph.D., is the Global Therapeutic Area Head for Infectious Diseases at Janssen Research & Development, L.L.C. He is a member of the Senior R&D Leadership Team, leading the global Infectious Disease therapeutics team as they continue to create and advance transformational medicines to help treat, prevent and cure patients with respiratory infections, HIV and hepatitis B.
James holds more than 30 years of R&D experience in antivirals, vaccines and immuno-oncology. Previously at Pfizer, Inc., he held a succession of leadership positions, including Chief Scientific Officer of the Vaccine Immunotherapeutics Research Unit, co-leader of Infectious Diseases and Head of their Antiviral Therapeutic Area.
James is committed to exploring new avenues of research in the fight against infectious diseases. Under his leadership, Janssen continues to deliver on its robust infectious disease therapeutic pipeline, while also applying cutting-edge science and technologies to help accelerate discovery and development.
In addition to James’s antiviral expertise where he pioneered the development of a series antiviral molecules for the treatment of HIV and hepatitis C, his research has focused on novel avenues of science. These include the exploration of gene therapy to treat HIV, prophylactic vaccines to prevent various infectious diseases, therapeutic vaccines to treat chronic diseases such as asthma, smoking and dyslipidemia, as well as combining immunomodulators with vaccines and oncolytic viruses to treat various types of cancers. He has authored and co-authored more than 45 scientific publications and posters.
James is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, the British Society of Immunology and International Society of Vaccines.
He holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas and a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Bellarmine College, Louisville, Kentucky.