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World Without Disease Accelerator Leadership

Leadership

The WWDA leadership team, a diverse group of experts globally situated within Janssen and Johnson & Johnson Innovation locations, is united by one vision: to lead a new paradigm in health care through the interception of disease.

World Without Disease Accelerator

World Without Disease Accelerator

istock
 

MURRAY MCKINNON, PH.D.

GLOBAL HEAD
WORLD WITHOUT DISEASE ACCELERATOR

As Global Head of the World Without Disease Accelerator (WWDA), Murray leads a team focused on catalyzing a paradigm shift from disease care to health care through novel approaches to prevention, interception and cure. Murray’s work is driven by a vision to create a world without disease and stop, reverse or inhibit an individual’s progression to disease.

Murray previously served as Global Head, Immunosciences, WWDA, where he led the development of a portfolio of WWDA therapeutic interventions, based on immunomodulation, mechanisms of chronic inflammation, and nutritional and drug discovery platforms, to better understand early-disease initiating events and ultimately develop novel therapies to prevent, intercept or cure disease.

With over 30 years of industry experience in global pharmaceutical roles, Murray brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in drug discovery and early development, with a track record of driving scientific innovation in internal programs and through external partnerships. In his ten-year tenure at Janssen, Murray was Head of Immunology Discovery, responsible for leading global teams to identify transformational therapies in immune and inflammatory-mediated diseases. In parallel, he led the formation of Janssen Immunosciences to pursue innovative approaches to antigen-specific targeting in autoimmunity and cancer.

Prior to joining Janssen, Murray was Head of Immunology Discovery for Bristol Myers Squibb, where he led several programs in early clinical development. Before relocating to the USA in 2000, Murray held positions of increasing responsibility at GlaxoWellcome Research and Development in the UK, with a major focus on respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Murray holds a BSc from the Department of Biochemistry, University of Glasgow, Scotland, and a Ph.D. from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK), London.

Murray McKinnon, Ph.D.

Global Head
World Without Disease Accelerator

AVRUM SPIRA, M.D., M.Sc.

GLOBAL HEAD
LUNG CANCER INITIATIVE AT JOHNSON & JOHNSON
AND WORLD WITHOUT DISEASE ACCELERATOR

Avrum “Avi” Spira, M.D., M.Sc. is the Global Head of Johnson & Johnson’s cross-sector Lung Cancer Initiative (LCI). The vision for the LCI is to develop solutions that prevent, intercept and cure lung cancer, enabling a future vision where there is a world without this devastating disease. By focusing on where the best science and innovation is being developed around the world, internally or externally, the LCI will eliminate lung cancer one patient at a time by developing holistic, transformational solutions that meet the needs of lung cancer patients.

In addition to leading the LCI, Avi is an attending physician in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Boston University—Boston Medical Center (BMC).  Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, he was the Director of the BMC Cancer Center, and was the founding Chief of the Division of Computational Biomedicine at Boston University. In these roles, Avi built a translational research program that focused on genomic alterations associated with smoking-related lung disease, leading to a molecular test for the early detection of lung cancer that has successfully translated into the clinic, as well as a novel therapeutic for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that is in preclinical development.

Avi’s research program is based on the paradigm that smoking and other inhaled carcinogens create a ‘field of molecular injury’ in epithelial cells that line the respiratory tract. By sampling these relatively accessible airway cells, his lab developed novel diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers for lung cancer and COPD as well as a non-invasive approach for measuring the physiological response to a number of inhaled environmental exposures. He has co-founded both a molecular diagnostics company and a pharmaceutical company in order to translate these tools from “bench to bedside”.

Avi has served as Principal Investigator on grants from the National Cancer Institute; National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute; National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; and the Department of Defense and has authored more than 125 peer-reviewed publications. He was a permanent member of the NIH’s Cancer Biomarker Study Section and currently serves as Senior Editor at Cancer Prevention Research, as well as Associate Editor at the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. He was elected a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2010 and a member of the Association of American Physicians in 2017.

Avi obtained his M.D. from McGill University in Montreal and completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Toronto and his fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at BMC. During his fellowship, he obtained a master’s degree in Bioinformatics from Boston University.

Avrum Spira, M.D., M.Sc.

Global Head
Lung Cancer Initiative at Johnson & Johnson
and World Without Disease Accelerator

CONGYANG (TOM) WU

ASIA PACIFIC HEAD
WORLD WITHOUT DISEASE ACCELERATOR

As Asia Pacific Head, World Without Disease Accelerator (WWDA), Tom is responsible for the overall strategic and executional efforts of the WWDA in Asia Pacific, with an initial focus in China, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore. He also supports the existing WWDA Ventures: Type 1 Diabetes, Colorectal Cancer and the Healthy Baby Initiative. In addition, Tom contributes to the strategic planning for potential future venture opportunities and plays an important role supporting the Lung Cancer Initiative (LCI) at Johnson & Johnson.

In his previous role with Johnson & Johnson, Tom was responsible for the Consumer Health Self-Care R&D team in Asia Pacific and Janssen OTC R&D for China, as well as leading the Consumer Health efforts for the LCI.

Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson in 2016, Tom served as Head for the Greater China Project Management Office at Abbott. Prior to Abbott, he held positions with Novartis as a Strategy & Business Development Manager and also served in a variety of roles in R&D, Regulatory Affairs and Supply Chain across China, Belgium, Italy and the United Kingdom. Before Novartis, Tom was with Schlumberger in the US and Latin America for two years, and also worked for Bioduro, a subsidiary of the global contract research organization PPD, in Beijing, China. Tom graduated with a master’s degree in biology from Tsinghua University.

Congyang (Tom) Wu

Asia Pacific Head
World Without Disease Accelerator

MEGHA REDDY

HEAD OF STRATEGY
WORLD WITHOUT DISEASE ACCELERATOR

As Head of Strategy for the World Without Disease Accelerator (WWDA), Megha leads the overall WWDA strategic planning, including the development of short- and long-term goals and objectives. In addition, Megha partners with WWDA’s Venture Leaders to develop a holistic value creation strategy to execute alongside the scientific strategy. She works closely with key external organizations to help build the overall innovation ecosystem to accelerate the WWDA vision.

Megha has held diverse leadership roles in consumer, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals within Johnson & Johnson (J&J). Most recently, she served as Director, Global Innovation Strategy, J&J Consumer Health. Megha began her career in the Consumer sector where she held roles of increasing responsibility in the Oral and Topical Health franchises. Subsequently, Megha moved to the Medical Devices sector joining the Diabetes Solutions Companies, where she led customer insight and concept development programs guiding product development. Megha has received more than 10 granted patents from her time in R&D. In addition to her career at J&J, Megha also worked at GSK, where she spent time in London working as the Global Marketing Manager for the Respiratory Franchise.

Megha has a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School. She also earned a Master of Biotechnology and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Megha Reddy

Head of Strategy
World Without Disease Accelerator

SUE QUIRK

GLOBAL HEAD
OPERATIONS
WORLD WITHOUT DISEASE ACCELERATOR

As Global Head of Operations, World Without Disease Accelerator (WWDA), Sue has responsibility for the business and operational capabilities and budget oversight for the WWDA and the Lung Cancer Initiative at Johnson & Johnson. Her team delivers business operations (contracts and financials), functional operations (polices, procedures and training), and portfolio/program management support to achieve operational excellence for cross-sector initiatives focused on preventing, intercepting or curing disease.

Sue has been with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) for more than 25 years, serving in numerous leadership roles in IT and Healthcare Compliance & Privacy, across all sectors – Consumer, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices – as well as with Corporate and Supply Chain, including an international assignment in Belgium. Prior to her current role, Sue was part of the OneMD IT organization, where she led Application Lifecycle Management efforts. She has also served as the Director, Strategy, Planning & PMO at DePuy Synthes, and as the Senior Director, U.S. Operations for the Healthcare Compliance & Privacy organization. Sue started her career as a management consultant at Accenture (Andersen Consulting).

Sue Quirk

Global Head
Operations
World Without Disease Accelerator

DIRK GEVERS, PH.D.

GLOBAL HEAD, MICROBIOME SOLUTIONS
WORLD WITHOUT DISEASE ACCELERATOR

As Global Head, Microbiome Solutions, World Without Disease Accelerator (WWDA), Dirk strengthens Janssen and Johnson & Johnson leadership, scientific understanding and capabilities in this emerging area of science.

Prior to this, Dirk held a similar role as Global Head, Janssen Human Microbiome Institute. Before joining Janssen and Johnson & Johnson, he served as Senior Group Leader of Microbial Systems and Communities at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. In this position, Dirk acted as a scientific liaison between different organizational components, including the Broad Institute’s data generation platforms and both clinical and analytical collaborators on a number of microbiome-related projects. Dirk’s research efforts at the Broad Institute included the characterization of the microbial imbalance associated with diseases such as Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes and colorectal cancer. He was also involved with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Microbiome Project (HMP), holding a leading role in the Data Analysis Working Group, consisting of over 50 investigators focused on human microbiome research.

Dirk received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Ghent University (UGent), Belgium, and completed postdoctoral training at UGent and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in bioinformatics, comparative and evolutionary genome analysis and microbial ecology.

 

Dirk Gevers, Ph.D.

Global Head
MIcrobiome Solutions
World Without Disease Accelerator

ROBERT YANG, PH.D.

GLOBAL HEAD
DATA SCIENCES & PREVENTION BIOMARKERS
WORLD WITHOUT DISEASE ACCELERATOR

As Global Head, Data Sciences & Prevention Biomarkers, World Without Disease Accelerator (WWDA), Robert leads a team focused on developing strategic data science efforts to enable the prevention, interception and cure of the WWDA’s targeted disease areas of focus. This includes identifying relevant cohorts, clinical trial designs, and predictive analytic approaches, as well as developing key biomarker discovery and subsequent validation efforts to drive regulatory and clinical submissions. Robert also helps identify emerging bioinformatic, digital health, machine learning and other data science platforms for investment and integration into the overall WWDA efforts.

Prior to this role, Robert served as Senior Director, Head of Computational Biology, WWDA, where he collaborated broadly with teams to generate and model data-rich human profiling to intercept diseases early on in their development. Before joining Johnson & Johnson in 2019, Robert was the head of predictive analytics within the inflammation and immunology research unit at Celgene. He also served as Director of Computational Biology at AstraZeneca and held roles of increasing responsibility as a scientist at Pfizer.

Robert is working towards a Master of Business Administration at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He received a Ph.D. in computational biology from the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, and a Bachelor of Science in computer science and bioinformatics from the University of Alberta.

Robert Yang, Ph.D.

Global Head
Data Sciences & Prevention Biomarkers
World Without Disease Accelerator

MING DONG

GLOBAL HEAD
SENSORS & WEARABLES
WORLD WITHOUT DISEASE ACCELERATOR

Ming leads the Sensors and Wearables team within the World Without Disease Accelerator (WWDA), which is focused on non-invasive clinically significant sensing systems embedded in consumers’ daily rituals to help identify individuals at risk for disease, monitor disease progression, and determine the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. Prior to this role, Ming served as Director of Sensors & Wearables, where she led the development of a portfolio of sensors systems and digital solutions across multiple WWDA ventures.

Ming has held several diverse leadership roles with Johnson & Johnson. Prior to joining the WWDA, Ming served as Director of Worldwide R&D Engineered Solutions with responsibilities for end-to-end medical device product development, from early customer need assessment to design development and through commercialization. Ming began her career in the Consumer sector where she held roles of increasing responsibility in R&D with rotations in Technical Assurance, Engineering and Packaging.  Ming made strong contributions to the success of numerous innovation programs and product launches worldwide across multiple consumer franchises.

Ming holds a Master of Business Administration from New York University. She also earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Ming Dong

Global Head
Sensors & Wearables
World Without Disease Accelerator

JOSEPH HEDRICK, PH.D.

HEAD, TYPE 1 DIABETES VENTURE
WORLD WITHOUT DISEASE ACCELERATOR

As Head of the Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Venture within the World Without Disease Accelerator (WWDA), Joe leads efforts utilizing the rapidly emerging science of immune diagnostics and precision intervention to find solutions to intercept T1D.

Prior to joining the WWDA, Joe held a similar role for the Janssen Disease Interception Accelerator, and before that, served as Scientific Director, Cardiovascular and Metabolism Therapeutic Area (TA) within Janssen Research & Development, where his responsibilities included initiating innovative new target programs. He also served as the Janssen Steering Committee Representative for the Accelerated Medicines Partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Before joining Janssen, Joe spent more than two years as Senior Director, Cure and Prevent Therapies at the JDRF, a leading non-profit T1D research organization. In this role, Joe oversaw both the immune and beta cell replacement efforts and maintained responsibility for developing and implementing JDRF’s T1D interception and biomarker strategies.

Joe has more than 20 years of experience in both industry and non-profit drug discovery research in immunology and diabetes. He is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles, several book chapters and is an inventor on more than 30 patents and patent applications.

Joe earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University.

Joseph Hedrick, Ph.D.

Head
Type 1 Diabetes Venture
World Without Disease Accelerator

RICHARD (DICK) INSEL, M.D.

GLOBAL HEAD
HEALTHY BABY INITIATIVE
WORLD WITHOUT DISEASE ACCELERATOR

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.

Richard (Dick) Insel, M.D.

Global Head
Healthy Baby Initiative
World Without Disease Accelerator

KEVIN WILDENHAUS, PH.D.

BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE LEAD
WORLD WITHOUT DISEASE ACCELERATOR

As Behavioral Science Lead for the World Without Disease Accelerator (WWDA), Kevin leads behavioral science efforts across the WWDA portfolio. His responsibility within the WWDA focuses on executing foundational biological research into critical human behaviors known to impact the pathology of select diseases, to ultimately enable pharmaceutical, medical device, or behavioral solutions for disease interception. He is directly responsible for global smoking cessation solutions as part of the Protect Pillar of the Lung Cancer Initiative (LCI).

Kevin has more than 30 years of experience in health psychology, behavioral science, and the use of technology to drive engagement and clinically proven behavior change. Previously, Kevin held a role in Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Consumer R&D, providing key insights to drive increased loyalty, adherence, compliance and health habit formation across the portfolio of J&J Consumer Brands. Before joining J&J, Kevin held roles at SocialWellth, a health technology company, and at HealthMedia, Inc. where he led a clinical team in developing and researching individually tailored, digital health coaching solutions to improve lifestyle behaviors and manage chronic conditions. In addition to his expertise in health behavior change, Kevin has also served as Team Psychologist for the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2001 and the Pittsburgh Penguins since 2018.

Kevin received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Wayne State University. He has authored many peer-reviewed scientific articles and thought leadership white papers, has written several academic book chapters in psychology, and has conducted numerous keynotes, presentations, workshops and seminars.

Kevin Wildenhaus, Ph.D.

Behavioral Science Lead
World Without Disease Accelerator

SUZANNE (SUE) MCMONIGLE

SENIOR DIRECTOR, COMMERCIAL LEADER
WORLD WITHOUT DISEASE ACCELERATOR

As Senior Director, Commercial Leader for the World Without Disease Accelerator (WWDA), Sue partners with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Commercial teams across Sectors to create short- and long-range, end-to-end commercial strategies to help identify optimal pathways for value creation for WWDA initiatives.

Sue has more than 25 years of sales, marketing, and commercial strategy expertise across multiple therapeutic areas, including bone, immunology, type 1 diabetes, mood disorders, retina, and metabolism. Previously, Sue served as the Disease Area Stronghold Commercial Leader for Metabolism and Retina at Janssen. Before re-joining J&J in 2015 as Senior Director, External Innovation Strategy and Operations, Cardiovascular Metabolism, Sue held marketing and sales leadership roles at Neuronetics, Inc., Animas Corporation, Centocor, Procter & Gamble and IBM.

Sue has a Master of Business Administration from Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Fordham University.

Suzanne (Sue) McMonigle

Senior Director, Commercial Leader
World Without Disease Accelerator