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Roche Research Director Grace Ju Hailed as NJABR “Outstanding Woman of Science”


Roche is pleased to announce that Grace Ju, Ph.D., research director, RNA Therapeutics Discovery Research at Roche, was honored as an “Outstanding Woman of Science” by the New Jersey Association of Biomedical Research (NJABR) at its 2008 Red Carpet Thank You Research Gala held May 1 at the Bridgewater Manor.

Dr. Ju is one of 12 honorees at this year’s event, which is also marking the 20th anniversary of NJABR, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the improvement of human and animal health through biomedical research.

“Grace is an outstanding researcher and colleague, an inspiring leader with tremendous dedication to the advancement of science. She is truly deserving of this honor,” said Dr. Louis Renzetti, Vice President, Roche Global Head of RNA Therapeutics.

“She is driven by a high degree of integrity and commitment to her science,” added Marcia Geremakis, director of Human Resources for Roche Research, Development and Partnering. “She is a true believer in career development and not only has been courageous in broadening her own role in research, but encourages others to do the same.”

At Roche, Dr. Ju currently leads research projects aimed at identifying new compounds for the treatment of asthma and other respiratory diseases. Her research efforts focus on the novel technology of siRNA therapeutics.

She joined Roche’s Preclinical R&D group in 1981 after training as a postdoctoral fellow at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology. She has held positions of increasing responsibility within Roche research, and directed preclinical research groups in Molecular Biology, Oncology and Inflammation. A novel compound identified under her research leadership is currently in clinical trials for the treatment of solid tumors.

Dr. Ju has also been an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). She is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Thoracic Society and the New Jersey Cancer Commission.

The recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, she earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in microbiology and immunology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Dr. Ju earned her B.A. summa cum laude in 1974 from the University of California at Berkeley, where she was valedictorian and inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

“I am pleased that this award also gives much-deserved attention to Roche and its support of women scientists,” said Dr. Ju. “Many biomedical scientists choose to go into academia, but I made an active decision to join the pharmaceutical industry. What better use is there for my scientific training, knowledge and background than to participate in discovering and developing drugs that can help people?”
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