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Richard (Dick) Insel, M.D.



As Global Head, Healthy Baby Initiative, World Without Disease Accelerator (WWDA), Dick is leading a strategy focused on changing the trajectory of health for children by targeting childhood diseases where there exists an understanding of root cause with novel solutions. He is also guiding the development of a robust external ecosystem to accelerate the science and create partnership opportunities together with Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

Since 2016, Dick has served as a consultant for the WWDA, contributing his distinguished medical and research expertise in pediatric immunology, and collaborating closely with the Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Venture and the Microbiome Solutions team. Prior to joining Janssen, Dick served as Chief Scientific Officer at JDRF, where he oversaw the organization’s research strategy and helped facilitate projects with Janssen focused on preventing the onset of T1D.

Before joining JDRF in 2003, Dick was the founding director of the Center for Human Genetics and Molecular Pediatric Disease and professor of pediatrics, microbiology and immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. During his 26-year affiliation, he served as director of the Strong Children’s Research Center and chief of the division of pediatric immunology, allergy and rheumatology. His research program at the University focused on immune responses to bacterial vaccines and B cell immunity.

In 1983, Dick was a scientific co-founder of Praxis Biologics, the biotechnology company responsible for developing and bringing to market a new vaccine that has markedly reduced the incidence of bacterial meningitis in children. Dick has served on the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council of the National Institutes of Health, and as a visiting associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dick received his M.D. from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and completed pediatric training and a fellowship in immunology at Boston Children’s Hospital.