GSK scientist at a lab

Pharmaceuticals panellists

Dave Allen

Senior Vice President, Head Respiratory TAU

Dave Allen

Dave Allen is the head of the Respiratory Therapy Area at GSK and is responsible for the identification of novel differentiated medicines and their progression to registration and launch. He leads a group of over 200 scientists and clinicians who exploit scientific innovations that have the potential to address the major unmet needs in diseases such as COPD, severe asthma, acute lung injury and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. 

Previously, Dave was head of Respiratory Drug Discovery and prior to that he led the respiratory chemistry department where he managed the lead optimisation portfolio. He retains a keen interest in chemistry issues and was appointed GSK’s Chief Chemist in 2012. In this role he works with GSK’s global community of chemists to continually enhance the quality of science and innovation within chemistry at GSK. In addition, Dave is a member of a number of GSK’s senior decision-making boards within research and development. In November 2014, Dave was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Strathclyde in recognition of his pioneering work in drug discovery. 

Dave joined the company as a research chemist in 1981 after completing his MA and BA at Oriel College, Oxford. During his career he has also worked on discovering antibiotics and cardiovascular medicines, as both a medicinal chemist and project leader.

Edith Hessel

Vice President and Head Refractory Respiratory Inflammation Discovery Performance Unit 

Edith Hessel

Edith Hessel joined GSK in 2009 after 8 years in the California biotechnology sector, where she was developing a Toll-like receptor agonist for the treatment of asthma at Dynavax Technologies. Edith is an acknowledged expert in the field of inflammatory and respiratory disease biology and has worked for many years on oligonucleotide-based therapeutic approaches. She initially joined GSK’s Immuno-Inflammation Therapy Area and was in 2011 appointed as Vice-President and Head of the Refractory Respiratory Inflammation Discovery Performance Unit (RRI DPU) within the Respiratory Therapy Area. The RRI DPU is developing an inhaled PI3Kdelta inhibitor for the treatment of respiratory disorders with high unmet need (including a rare disease). 

Edith has pioneered innovative approaches to COPD target discovery within her unit, making use of phenotypic screening in patient-derived cells. Allied to this approach, Edith and her team closed a deal with FivePrime Therapeutics (San Francisco, CA) in 2012 which is now driving the discovery of novel therapeutic targets. 

Since 2013, Edith has been a board member of the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research, and within GSK, Edith co-chairs the Scientific Advisory Forum and is chair of the DPU head community. Edith received her PhD from Utrecht University (The Netherlands) and did a Post-Doc at DNAX Research Institute (California).

Steve Pascoe

Vice President, Head Unit Physician Respiratory

Steve Pascoe

Steve Pascoe received his medical degree from St Georges Hospital in London and a Masters Degree in public health from the London School of Hygiene and tropical medicine. He trained in internal medicine before entering the pharmaceutical industry. 

He spent many years in translational medicine, becoming the deputy global head of translational medicine at Novartis, before moving on to late stage development in respiratory medicine first at Novartis then at GSK. 

In that time he has made significant novel contributions in biomarker development, the understanding of the kinetics of antibody ligand interactions. His groups have been responsible for the registration of many NCE products in the respiratory area. 

Currently he has oversight of both the early and late stage clinical groups in respiratory and chairs/sits on numerous internal scientific strategic committees.

John C. Pottage

Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific and Medical Officer for ViiV Healthcare 

John Pottage

Dr. John C. Pottage Jr. oversees R&D, Regulatory, Safety and Medical Affairs at ViiV Healthcare. 

John is the former SVP, Infectious Diseases Medicine Development Centre for GSK. John previously held senior positions at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Achillion Pharmaceuticals, where he helped lead a successful IPO in 2006 and led the HIV and HCV development programmes. Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, John was Associate Professor of Internal Medicine in the Section of Infectious Diseases at Rush Medical College in Chicago. While at Rush, he was Director of the Outpatient HIV Centre. 

John is a graduate of Colgate University and St Louis University School of Medicine and completed his Internal Medicine residency and Infectious Disease fellowship at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago. John is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease. He is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed medical articles as well as the author of several chapters in Infectious Disease textbooks.

Zhi Hong

Senior Vice President, Head Infectious Diseases TAU 

Zhi Hong

Zhi Hong is the Senior Vice President, Head of the Infectious Diseases (ID) Therapy Area Unit at GSK. He is accountable for designing, developing and delivering the end-to-end R&D strategy and pipeline. Zhi is a Board member of ViiV Healthcare, a specialist HIV company established by GSK and Pfizer. Under his leadership, GSK ID pipeline has been revitalized since 2007 with the recent approval of Tivicay & Triumeq. Prior to joining GSK, Zhi was the Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President at Ardea Biosciences, a biotech company acquired by AstraZeneca. 

Zhi has more than 20 years of experience in drug discovery and product development. He supported or led his teams who had brought approximately 30 compounds into development, several of which have been approved and launched. He is a public health advocate and was a member of the Microbial Threats Forum at the Institute of Medicine. He has helped to establish multiple public private partnerships with US Government, European Commission and Philanthropic Organizations. 

Zhi has extensive business development experience and invested/divested broadly through various innovative transactions and start-ups. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Fudan University at Shanghai, China and his Ph.D from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Axel Hoos

Vice President, Head of Immuno-Oncology

Axel Hoos

Dr. Axel Hoos is Vice President, Oncology R&D and Head of Immuno-Oncology at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (GSK). In this role he co-leads the Oncology Therapeutic Area and builds the immuno-oncology portfolio of GSK across the modalities of antibodies, small molecules, bispecific molecules and cell & gene therapies, for which he directs discovery and development. 

Dr. Hoos also serves as Chairman (interim) of the Board of Trustees of the Sabin Vaccine Institute (SVI), a Global Health organization, Director on the Board of Imugene, a biotech company, Co-Director of the Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium (CIC) and Scientific Advisory Board Member of the Cancer Research Institute (CRI). 

Previously, Dr. Hoos was the Global Medical Lead in Immunology / Oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) where he developed Yervoy (Ipilimumab; anti CTLA-4), the first successful therapy in Immuno-Oncology. Before BMS, Dr. Hoos was Senior Director of Clinical Development at Agenus Bio (previously Antigenics), a biotech company. 

Dr. Hoos holds an MD from Ruprecht-Karls-University and a PhD in molecular oncology from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) both in Heidelberg, Germany. He trained in surgery at the Technical University in Munich, Germany and further in surgery, molecular pathology and tumor immunology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He is an alumnus of the Program for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School.

Chris Carpenter

Vice President, Head Cancer Epigenetics Discovery Performance Unit 

Chris Carpenter

Chris received MD and PhD degrees from the University of Southern California and is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. He was an associate professor of medicine and headed a laboratory at Harvard Medical School and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center investigating signal transduction pathways, before joining Merck in 2007. At Merck he led the early clinical development of the PARP inhibitor niraparib. 

Chris joined GSK in 2011 as the project physician leader for pazopanib. For the past 2 years he has been the head of the Cancer Epigenetics Discovery Performance Unit.

John Bertin

Vice President and Head, Pattern Recognition Receptor DPU, Immuno-Inflamation TAU 

John Bertin

John Bertin is Vice President and Head of the Pattern Recognition Receptor (PRR) DPU. He joined GSK in 2008 from Synta Pharmaceuticals where he was Senior Director of Translational Biology. Previously, he was a Senior Scientist in Immuno-Inflammation at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. He has over 20 years experience in innate immunity and is best known for his pioneering studies in pattern recognition receptor biology, including the discovery of NLRs and the inflammasome. 

John has authored more than 75 scientific articles and holds 25 issued patents. He completed his postdoctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from McGill University.

Ravi Rao

Vice President, Medicines Development Leader & Head Unit Physician Immuno-Inflammation 

Ravi Rao

Ravi received his medical degree from Cambridge University, trained in rheumatology London and gained his PhD from Imperial College London. He then worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. In 2004, he returned to Imperial College at the Hammersmith Hospital as a Senior Lecturer and Consultant Rheumatologist. He has published a number of peer-reviewed papers, primarily in the field of leucocyte trafficking and vascular biology. 

Ravi joined GSK in April 2012 as the Medicines Development Leader for sirukumab, a monoclonal antibody against IL-6, which is a co-development project with Janssen Pharmaceuticals and is in phase 3 for the treatment of RA. He is also the Head Unit Physician for the Immuno-inflammation Therapy Area Unit. He chairs the MRC ABPI RA MAP consortium management board as well as a number of internal review committees. 

Prior to GSK he was at Roche Pharmaceuticals and led global registrational development programmes for various monoclonal antibodies in immunology, including Rituximab, Ocrelizumab (both anti-CD20) and Tocilizumab (anti-IL6R) leading to approval in a number of indications. He led co-development programmes with Genentech (prior to the integration with Roche) and with Chugai Pharmaceuticals, Japan and oversaw the immunology development strategy for China and Asia-Pacific.

Paul-Peter Tak

Senior Vice President, Head Immuno-Inflammation TAU 

Paul-Peter Tak

Paul-Peter Tak received his medical degree cum laude from the Free University in Amsterdam and was trained as an internist, rheumatologist and immunologist at Leiden University Medical Center, where he also received his PhD. He has worked as a scientist at the University of California San Diego for two years. He served as Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at the Academic Medical Centre/University of Amsterdam (AMC) for 12 years. 

In addition to his work in academia he established a biotech company developing intra-articular gene therapy (Arthrogen b.v.). He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals. 

Since 2011 he is Senior Vice President and head of the ImmunoInflammation Therapy Area Unit at GSK. He is also Co-chair of GSK’s Scientific Review Board, Co-chair of the Technology Investment Board, member of the Portfolio Investment Board, member of the Bioelectronics Investment Board, member of the R&D Compliance Board, member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Index Life VI (Life Sciences Fund) and member of the Innovation Board Steering Committee of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).

John Lepore

Senior Vice President, Head Metabolic Pathways and Cardiovascular 

John Lepore

John joined GSK in 2006 and was previously head of clinical pharmacology and translational medicine for cardiovascular R&D. He subsequently founded the Heart Failure Discovery Performance Unit, an integrated drug discovery unit developing novel drugs for heart failure and related cardiovascular disorders. He is presently head of the Metabolic Pathways and Cardiovascular Therapeutic Area, overseeing a large portfolio of drug discovery and development projects for cardiovascular, metabolic, and muscle disorders, spanning early target biology through to clinical studies and regulatory approval. He is a member of GSK’s Scientific Review Board and former site head for GSK’s R&D facility in Upper Merion, Pennsylvania.

John Lepore received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and trained in internal medicine and cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital where he also served as Medical Chief Resident. His research training included studying the role of novel pulmonary vasodilator therapies in patients with pulmonary hypertension. Following post-doctoral training at the Harvard School of Public Health, he joined the faculty of the Cardiovascular Medicine Division at the University of Pennsylvania where his lab studied transcriptional regulation of cardiovascular development and he was attending physician on the academic cardiology service.

Ruchira Glaser

Clinical Development  Director, Metabolic Pathways Cardio Therapy Area

Ruchira Glaser

Ruchira Glaser MD, MSCE, FACC, FAHA, received her undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree at Cornell University and her medical doctorate from Cornell University Medical College, where she graduated with honours in the Alpha Omega Alpha Society.

Ruchira trained in Internal Medicine and completed fellowships in Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She completed a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. Ruchira then spent several years as standing member of the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, performing clinical activity as an interventional cardiologist and peripheral endovascular interventionalist, and performing clinical research as Assistant Professor of Medicine.

Ruchira has published as principal or co-author on many peer-reviewed journals, in the topics of vulnerable plaque and percutaneous coronary intervention, as well as women with acute coronary syndrome. She has presented peer-reviewed research at international cardiovascular scientific meetings, and has given several invited national talks on women with coronary artery disease.

Since 2010, Ruchira has been clinical research director at GlaxoSmithKline within the metabolic pathways and cardiovascular unit. She is presently physician lead of a registrational phase 3 program in cardiovascular disease, responsible for design, execution, regulatory interaction, and medical oversight of the trial.

Duncan Richards

Vice President, Head GSK Academic Discovery Performance Unit 

Duncan Richards

Duncan Richards trained in medicine at Oxford University and after junior training roles in London, he returned to Oxford as Clinical Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology. His DM thesis research was on a translational model using platelet ion flux to interrogate angiotensin biology and he is author of the Oxford Handbook of Practical Drug Therapy.

Duncan joined GSK in 2003 and has worked in a number of clinical development roles from first in human to file and launch. Duncan is currently head of the Academic Discovery Performance Unit (AcDPU) in GlaxoSmithKline R&D. The AcDPU is responsible for development of a portfolio of drugs carried out in partnership with external academic collaborators. He is project leader for the anti-SAP approach for systemic amyloidosis, a collaboration with Professor Sir Mark Pepys FRS, University College London. Externally he is a member of the MRC/NIHR EME Board and serves on several committees of the British Pharmacological Society.

Sven Kili

Vice President and Development Head for Gene Therapy 

Sven Kili

Sven is the VP and Development Head for the Gene Therapy division of GSK where he leads the teams developing ex-vivo Gene Therapies for a variety of genetic disorders. They are currently developing solutions for a number of diseases including ADA-SCID; WAS; Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD) and Beta-Thalassemia. 

Prior to this, he was Senior Director, Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine for Sanofi (Genzyme) Biosurgery where he led the clinical development and medical affairs activities culminating in the granting of the first combined ATMP approval in the EU for MACI®. His team also prepared and submitted regulatory filings for Australia and the US, including health technology assessments. Before joining Genzyme, Sven worked for Geistlich Pharma where, in addition to leading the cell therapy medical activities, he oversaw all UK regulatory functions and was the QPPV for the EU.

Sven trained as an Orthopaedic surgeon in the UK and South Africa and since leaving full-time clinical practise has developed expertise Cell and Gene Therapy in clinical development, regulatory compliance, value creation, risk management and product safety, product launches and post-marketing activities. He sits on the board of a Swedish Stem Cell company and still maintains his clinical skills in the UK NHS and serves as an ATLS Instructor in his spare time.

Vaccines panellists

Emmanuel Hanon

Senior Vice President, Head of Vaccines Research & Development 

Emmanuel Hanon

Emmanuel Hanon was appointed SVP of Vaccines Research and Development in October 2014. Emmanuel is leading our research and development organisation, covering discovery, early and late development, regulatory and medical affairs activities. He is based in Rixensart (Belgium). 

Emmanuel joined Vaccines in 2001 taking roles of increasing responsibility in Immunology and Human Cell mediated immunity before leading the viral vaccines programme in R&D. After heading the Elderly vaccines franchise, playing a critical role in the development of our flu pre-pandemic and pandemic strategy, he was appointed Senior Vice President - Vaccine Discovery and Development in August 2011. 

Prior to joining GSK, Emmanuel obtained a PhD at University of Liège in the field of Immunology and herpes virology and occupied a post-doctorate position in the field of retrovirology at Imperial College in the UK before moving to Eli Lilly as Associate Scientist in the Toxicology Department.

Ripley Ballou

Vice President, Head of Rockville R&D Centre 

Ripley Ballou

Ripley Ballou, MD is Vice President and Head of the GSK Vaccines Research & Development Center located in Rockville, Maryland. Previously, he served as VP & Head, Clinical Research and Translational Science at GSK Vaccines in Rixensart, Belgium. 

Prior to that, he served as Deputy Director for Vaccines, Infectious Diseases Development, Global Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Ballou is an expert in vaccine development and has worked in this field for more than 30 years. 

Trained in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, he began his work on vaccine research and development on active duty in the U.S. Army assigned to the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research where he served as Chief, Department of Immunology and led the team that, with GlaxoSmithKline, co-developed RTS,S, the world’s most advanced malaria vaccine. Dr. Ballou has numerous publications in the field of vaccine development and infectious diseases.

Alain Brecx

Vice President, Vaccine Development Lead - Zoster

Alain Brecx

Alain Brecx currently holds overall responsibility for the world-wide development of our Herpes Zoster vaccine candidate and for Clinical R&D and Medical Affairs in Japan. 

Alain has been with GSK since 1996, where he started his career as Associate Director of Worldwide Strategic Marketing. He then became Director of Pediatric Business Program from 2001 to 2003, managing the late development programs of Rotarix, MMR/V and Synflorix. In 2003 he was made Director of R&D, Medical Affairs and Commercial Strategy for Central and Eastern Europe, by 2006, he was the Director of Clinical R&D and Medical Affairs in Africa, Middle-East and Russia, before holding similar responsibilities for Europe and Japan. He moved to his current role in 2010. 

Before joining GSK, Alain had a career with UCB International Marketing and Development and with Cegos/Burke marketing and market research consultancy firm.Alain has a Doctor degree in Medicine and a Management degree, both from the University of Louvain.

Giovanni Della Cioppa

Vice President, Head of Siena Research & Development Center 

Giovanni Della Cioppa

Giovanni Della Cioppa received his medical degree from the University of Naples, Italy and holds post graduate degrees in Internal Medicine and Pharmaceutical Medicine. 

He joined the pharmaceutical industry in 1990 as Medical Adviser for Ciba-Geigy, one of the predecessors of Novartis. With Novartis Giovanni held positions of increasing responsibility within Clinical Development, Pharma Division in Switzerland, UK and US. From 1999 to 2005 he served as Therapeutic Area Head for respiratory, dermatology and infectious diseases at Novartis Clinical R&D. During this time he lead clinical development though regulatory approval of the long acting beta-agonist formoterol (Foradil) in asthma and COPD, the anti-IgE monoclonal antibody omalizumab (Xolair) in severe asthma and the pediatric formulation of the anti-malaria drug Coartem. In 2005 he took over the Methodology and Innovation Unit within Novartis Pharma Development, focusing on improving the quality and efficiency of clinical development. 

At the end of 2007 Giovanni joined the Vaccine Division of Novartis in Siena, Italy as Head of Central Clinical Research. In this capacity he lead the development of numerous vaccines, including H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccines and vaccines against invasive meningococcal disease, first targeting the A, B, C, W, and Y serogroups (Menveo) and more recently the Bserogroup (Bexsero). Following the acquisition of Novartis Vaccines (excluding influenza) by GSK, he was appointed Head of the Siena R&D Center, one of three GSK global centers devoted to vaccines research and development.