February’s key industry appointments


There have been a number of significant appointments in the drug discovery sector over the last month. So who are the latest movers and shakers? 

Amy Berrington and Montserrat Garcia-Closas, Institute of Cancer Research: Professors Amy Berrington and Montserrat Garcia-Closas have been appointed as Team Leaders at the Institute of Cancer Research’s Division of Genetics and Epidemiology.

The two new senior researchers will also work with colleagues at Imperial College London’s School of Public Health in our joint Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research Unit (CEPRU). 

John Reed, Johnson & Johnson: John Reed has been appointed to Johnson & Johnson’s Executive Committee as Executive Vice President of Pharmaceuticals, R&D.  

Dr Reed previously served as Executive Vice President, Global Head of Research and Development for Sanofi and brings more than 35 years of biomedical research leadership. 

Vani Manja, Boehringer Ingelheim: Boehringer Ingelheim UK & Ireland has appointed Vani Manja as its new Country Managing Director and Head of Human Pharma. 

Vani has been with Boehringer Ingelheim for over 11 years, in leadership roles in Germany, the United States and most recently as General Manager, India. 

Gilles Ouvry, NRG Therapeutics: Gilles Ouvry PhD has been appointed to the newly created position of VP of Chemistry, to be based in the company’s facilities in Stevenage. 

Dr Ouvry will be responsible for managing internal and external resources to advance the company’s pre-clinical pipeline of small molecule assets which inhibit the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) through a novel MOA. 

Wang Zilong, H.E.L Group: H.E.L Group has appointed Wang Zilong (Allen Wang) as General Manager (GM) of H.E.L China. Allen takes over as GM from Qing (Steven) Chen. 

Allen has been promoted into the role of GM from his position as Sales Manager and Applications Specialist at H.E.L China. 

Aleksandra Rizo, Vividion Therapeutics: Current President and Head of Research and Development Aleksandra Rizo, MD, PhD, will assume the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of Vividion and will join the Board of Directors.  

Jeffrey Hatfield, current Chief Executive Officer, will transition to the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors. 

Fairooz Kabbinavar, Cardiff Oncology: Cardiff Oncology has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of Fairooz Kabbinavar, MD, FACP, as Chief Medical Officer (CMO).   

Dr Kabbinavar will oversee the clinical development program for the company’s investigational drug onvansertib and will report directly to Chief Executive Officer, Mark Erlander, PhD. 

Steve Yemm, Optibrium: Optibrium has appointed Steve Yemm as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO).  

With over 30 years’ experience in informatics and life sciences, Steve brings an extensive sales and marketing record that will be instrumental to the continued global commercialisation and adoption of Optibrium’s innovative computational and AI drug discovery technologies. 

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