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Lee Babiss Appointed Head of Global Pharma Research at Roche


Recently, Roche announced the appointment of Lee Babiss, Ph.D., to Head, Global Pharma Research effective July 1, 2007. In this new role, Babiss will be based in Basel, Switzerland, and focus on leading and managing research within Roche Pharma’s five Disease Biology Areas: Virology, Inflammation, Oncology, CNS and Metabolism, at Research sites located in Palo Alto, Calif; Nutley, NJ; Basel, Switzerland; Penzberg, Germany; and Shanghai, China. Babiss will report to William M. Burns, CEO, Pharmaceuticals Division, Roche, and join the Pharma Executive Committee.

Until July, Babiss will continue as Vice President, Preclinical Research and Development in Nutley, where he is responsible for developing and directing oncology, metabolic diseases and inflammation research strategy. He also serves as a member of the International Research Management Team, involved in developing global research strategy, and chairs the Roche Biomarker Leadership Team, a cross-divisional effort within pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on the development and implementation of the company’s biomarker strategy.

"I am very pleased to have been given this new responsibility and look forward to ensuring that our pipeline continues to broaden and provide the best and most innovative medicines to patients,” said Babiss. “With our emphasis on five Disease Biology Areas and the disease biology leadership teams that will take ownership of these areas, I’m confident that we will be able to achieve long-term as well as sustainable growth in our pipeline.”

“Lee is an insightful scientist who has demonstrated strong leadership for Roche. His efforts have helped the company build and maintain one of the strongest and most diverse industry pipelines,” said William M. Bill Burns. “In his new role, I know he will use his considerable talents to drive innovation within our disease biology areas enabling us to not only bring clinically differentiated medicines to the market, but also maintain our leadership in key therapeutic areas well into the future.”

Prior to Roche, Babiss was vice president of Biological Sciences and Genetics at Glaxo Wellcome where he focused on the development of antisense technology and cancer therapeutics, headed the Department of Molecular Cell Biology, and played a key role developing and implementing the Cell Cycle Program. Babiss was also a member of the U.S. Research Senior Management Team, which formulated and implemented Glaxo’s U.S. research strategy and was involved in creating the Glaxo Wellcome Corporate Genetic Strategy, which led to the creation of the company’s Genetics Division.

Babiss attended graduate school at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, in New York, where he earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology in 1982 studying DNA tumor viruses. He then began his postdoctoral career at the Rockefeller University in New York where he studied the molecular regulation of hepatocyte gene expression. Later, Babiss was promoted to assistant professor in Cell Biology, studying adenovirus genetics.

An author on more than 60 publications, Babiss currently serves on the board of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine at UMDNJ, the Finance Board of the American Society of Microbiology, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the Scientific Board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and the R&D Council of New Jersey.


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