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Our Neuroscience Leadership Team

Leaders in Neuroscience

 

“Janssen Research & Development is committed to discovering and bringing to market innovative therapeutic solutions for people with brain disorders."

Husseini Manji, M.D., F.R.C.P.C.

Global Head, Neuroscience

Neuroscience

Neuroscience

Nerve fibers
Nerve fibers

HUSSEINI K. MANJI, M.D., F.R.C.P.C.

GLOBAL THERAPEUTIC AREA HEAD
NEUROSCIENCE

Husseini K. Manji, MD, FRCPC is Global Therapeutic Head for Neuroscience at Janssen Research & Development, LLC, one of the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical companies. He is also Visiting Professor at Duke University. Dr. Manji was previously Chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Pathophysiology & Experimental Therapeutics at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Director of the NIH Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, the largest program of its kind in the world.

The major focus of Dr. Manji’s research is the investigation of disease- and treatment-induced changes in gene and protein networks that regulate synaptic and neural plasticity in neuropsychiatric disorders. His work has helped to conceptualize these illnesses as genetically-influenced disorders of synaptic and neural plasticity and has led to the investigation of novel therapeutics for refractory patients. Notably, Dr. Manji’s research demonstrated that AMPA- and NMDA-mediated synaptic plasticity may underlie the pathogenesis of depression, and that targeting these pathways may produce robust and rapid antidepressant effects. Under his leadership, this has led to the FDA Approval of the first novel antidepressant mechanism (NMDA-antagonism) in decades. Spravato (an NMDA antagonist) was demonstrated to produce robust and rapid antidepressant effects and is approved for treatment resistant depression. Phase 3 studies investigating its efficacy in the treatment of suicidal ideation are underway.

Dr. Manji has received a number of prestigious awards, including the NIMH Director's Career Award for Significant Scientific Achievement, the A. E. Bennett Award for Neuropsychiatric Research, the Ziskind-Somerfeld Award for Neuropsychiatric Research, the NARSAD Mood Disorders Prize, the Mogens Schou Distinguished Research Award, the ACNP’s Joel Elkes Award for Distinguished Research, the DBSA Klerman Senior Distinguished Researcher Award, the Briggs Pharmacology Lectureship Award, the American Federation for Aging Research Award of Distinction, the Caring Kind Alzheimer’s Disease Leadership Award, and the Global Health & the Arts Award of Recognition. He has received PhRMA’s Research & Hope Award for Excellence in Biopharmaceutical Research, and has also been recognized as one of 14 inaugural “Health Heroes” by Oprah magazine.

Dr. Manji has been inducted into the National Academy of Medicine (formerly IOM), the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Future Councils, and has held numerous leadership positions within the NAM, the FNIH Biomarkers Consortium Executive Committee, the ACNP, and the Society of Biological Psychiatry.

Throughout his career, Dr. Manji has also been committed to undertakings related to medical and neuroscience education and has worked with the National Board of Medical Examiners (NMBE), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholars Program, and numerous national curriculum committees. He founded and co-directed the NIH Foundation for the Advanced Education in the Sciences Graduate Course in the Neurobiology of Neuropsychiatric Illness, and has received several teaching and mentoring awards. He has also served as Editor, and on editorial boards of numerous scientific journals.

Dr. Manji has published extensively on the molecular and cellular neurobiology of severe neuropsychiatric disorders and development of novel therapeutics, with over 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals, including Science, Science Translational Medicine, Nature Neuroscience, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery , NEJM, J Clinical Investigation, PNAS, J Neuroscience, JAMA Psychiatry, Molecular Psychiatry

Husseini K. Manji, M.D., F.R.C.P.C.

Global Therapeutic Area Head
Neuroscience

DECLAN N.C. JONES, PH.D.

VICE PRESIDENT
NEUROSCIENCE
LEAD JOHNSON & JOHNSON INNOVATION
LONDON

Declan Jones, Ph.D. joined the Neuroscience team as Vice President of Neuroscience Scientific Innovation at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, London  in June 2013. Declan previously worked for GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Centre of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD) where, as Head of Research, he was responsible for creating scientific strategies, identifying new opportunities  and managing programs from preclinical to Phase II state programs across all therapeutic areas.

Prior to GSK’s CEEDD, Declan spent nearly 14 years in neuroscience drug discovery and development within GSK, finishing as Head of In Vivo Neurobiology and Disease Area Strategy Leader for schizophrenia and bipolar disorders within the Psychiatry Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery and a member of the Biology Leadership team. His department was responsible for supporting the identification of 12 development candidate (NME) assets and provided in vivo support for a number of marketed assets. Declan was the recipient of a Research & Development Pipeline award in 2009 for his leadership of a schizophrenia program with a successful Phase II outcome.

Declan has over 75 peer-reviewed publications and external presentations and served as core panel member for Neuroscience on the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) grant committee for a three-year term. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom and did post-doctoral work at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, before joining the pharmaceutical industry. He chairs the Mood DAS Novel Targets Evaluation Forum (NTEF), and is currently an Executive Team member for the Dementias Platform UK and the Wellcome Trust Neuroinflammation Consortium and has recently joined the SAB for the South London and Maudsely NHS Foundation Trust Biomedical Research Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience (King’s College London).

Declan N.C. Jones, Ph.D.

Vice President
 Neuroscience Lead
Johnson & Johnson Innovation
London

ERIC SCHAEFFER, PH.D.

SENIOR DIRECTOR
NEUROSCIENCE INNOVATION
BOSTON INNOVATION CENTER

Eric Schaeffer, Ph.D. received his degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and went on to do post-doctoral fellowships at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Rockefeller University in New York.  In 1994, Eric joined the Molecular Sciences department at Pfizer in Groton, Connecticut, where he held several positions within the Molecular Sciences and Neuroscience Discovery departments, ultimately as a Senior Director of Neuroscience Research, leading in vitro and in vivo pharmacology groups.  While at Pfizer, Eric was involved in advancing several compounds into early development for the treatment of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, and played a key role on the team that discovered the first FDA-approved non-nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation.

In 2009, Eric joined the Cure Huntington's Disease Initiative (CHDI) Foundation as Director of Neuropharmacology, where he led drug discovery teams in the identification of novel treatments for Huntington’s disease. In 2010, Eric accepted a position at Bristol Meyers Squibb as Director of Neuroscience Clinical Biomarkers, where he was responsible for the translational medicine strategy and tactics for the psychiatry portfolio. In 2014, Eric joined Janssen R&D as Senior Director in the Neuroscience External Innovations group. In his current role, Eric is responsible for managing a range of biotech and academic alliances focused on delivering novel therapies for the treatment of severe mood disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.

Eric Schaeffer, Ph.D.

Senior Director
Neuroscience Innovation
Boston Innovation Center

GUY R. SEABROOK, PH.D.

VICE PRESIDENT & GLOBAL LEAD
NEUROSCIENCE EXTERNAL INNOVATION
JOHNSON & JOHNSON INNOVATION CALIFORNIA

Guy R. Seabrook, Ph.D. joined Janssen in 2012. His role as the Neuroscience Lead for the newly formed Johnson & Johnson Innovation, California is to help co-create and implement the external innovation plan to deliver the Neuroscience Therapeutic Area R&D Strategy. This includes solidifying Janssen’s place as an ideal partner in a highly competitive landscape of external collaborations. Our goals are to identify the best opportunities for value-generating collaborations and develop an industry-leading portfolio of investment opportunities. This involves the cultivation of a strong scientific network of experts in the global innovation community. He has more than 23 years of experience in drug discovery research, which includes preclinical research on marketed products and candidates in clinical development. Formerly, Guy was part of Eli Lilly’s Global External Research & Development (GER&D) organization where he led the GER&D team for the Lilly Bio-Medicines Business Unit, and also at Merck & Co, Inc., where he was the Head of the West Point Department of Alzheimer's Disease Research. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom in 1987, and completed his postdoctoral research at the University of Miami School of Medicine, in Miami, Florida.

Guy R. Seabrook, Ph.D.

Vice President & Global Lead
 Neuroscience External Innovation
 Johnson & Johnson Innovation California

JOHAN L. J. VERBEECK, D.V.M., MS.c

VICE PRESIDENT EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE
JANSSEN RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT, LLC

Luc is a highly regarded expert in early clinical and non-clinical development with a strong track record in developing and applying translational experimental medicine models and biomarkers.  He is a strong leader of people and teams, and has held management roles in clinical medicine and in global public health.

As leader of the Experimental Medicine group, Luc oversees design of clinical strategies and execution of clinical trials through Proof of Concept for all new molecular entities generated in the Janssen Neuroscience Therapeutic Area (TA). He has successfully integrated medical expertise into the drug discovery and early development process. Luc also serves as a member of the Janssen R&D Neuroscience Senior Leadership team.

He deployed the fast and lean process of clinical plan development, protocol development and trial execution, including lean trial visualization, and initiated several early development process improvement activities within and outside the Experimental Medicine group and across the five therapeutic areas. He served as Compound Development Team leader for several projects in early and late development.  Luc maintains close and fruitful collaboration with external partners, the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centers, and academic institutions.

Luc is chairman of the Neuroscience TA Discovery/Development Review Committee (DDRC)   for Early Development. He also chairs the cross-TA Early Development Head Meeting, the Neuroscience Network Meeting in Beerse, and he is a member of the Johnson & Johnson First-In-Human Committee and the Janssen Campus R&D Senior Leadership Team in Beerse, Belgium.

Luc joined Janssen Research Foundation in Beerse in 1989 and advanced  through a variety of management positions, including Clinical Research Manager and Senior Clinical Research Manager, Cardiovascular Medicine; Associate Director, Internal Medicine; Director, Global Gastroenterology;  Senior Director, Global Experimental Therapeutics and Human Pharmacokinetics; Executive Director-Project Champion, Drug Evaluation; and Vice President, Experimental Medicine, Europe. He was named to his current role in 2009.

Before Luc joined Janssen, he practiced medicine and held management positions in clinical medicine and public health at St. Erasmus Hospital in Antwerp, Belgium, and The Ministry of Health, Zimbabwe, Africa.

Luc earned a medical degree from Catholic University, Louvain, Belgium, and completed postgraduate training in Tropical Medicine at Prince Leopold Institute, Antwerp. He also studied at the Vlerick School for Management, Leuven, Belgium. He is the author or coauthor of more than 75 publications and abstracts.

Luc Van Nueten

VICE PRESIDENT
 EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE
 JANSSEN RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
LLC

LUCINDA WARREN

VICE PRESIDENT
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Lucinda (Cindy) Warren is Vice President, Business Development, Neuroscience, which includes scientific finding, licensing transactions, mergers, acquisition, out licensing and alliance management. 

With more than 23 years of broad industry experience, Lucinda began her pharmaceutical career in Canada.  In 1999, she joined the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and has held various United States and Global roles of increasing responsibilities, including Sales, Marketing, New Product Development, Alliance Management, and Business Development Leadership. Lucinda has been responsible for the leadership and oversight of some of Janssen’s longest and largest global commercial alliances.

Prior to joining the Janssen Development Leadership Team, Lucinda led the Immunology Business Unit in Australia, returning to the U.S. in 2014 as Vice President, Alliance Management, responsible for leading the Pharmaceutical portfolio of collaborations.

Lucinda earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, Canada.

Lucinda Warren

Vice President
Business Development