Meet BIO’s new President and CEO, Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath

May 14, 2020
We’re dedicating today’s issue to our exciting news: immunologist Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath will take the reins as BIO’s President and CEO on June 1. Get to know her and how her global leadership and commitment to innovation and patients will drive our industry…

We’re dedicating today’s issue to our exciting news: immunologist Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath will take the reins as BIO’s President and CEO on June 1. Get to know her and how her global leadership and commitment to innovation and patients will drive our industry forward at this critical moment in history, in 620 words, 3 minutes.

Meet Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, MD, PhD

She’s a leader at Johnson & Johnson, a Harvard-educated physician and molecular immunologist, a former senior FDA official, and the first African American to graduate from the Duke Medical Scientist Training Program—and now, she’ll lead BIO and the global biopharmaceutical industry at our most important moment in history. 

Watch her welcome message:

Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath's Message to BIO Members and Stakeholders

She joins us from Johnson & Johnson, where she held numerous senior leadership roles since 2014—most recently, Vice President of External Innovation and Global Leader for Regulatory Science.

She has a passion for bringing innovation to patients. At J&J, she led 900 employees charting evidence generation and regulatory strategy across J&J’s medical device companies, specializing in using cutting-edge tools and innovative methods to bring new breakthroughs to patients. 

She also worked at FDA. From 2010-2014, she held a scientific leadership role at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, where she devised strategies to incorporate the patient perspective into the decision-making process and identified opportunities for patients to collaborate with innovators.

And she knows Washington. She served on the Obama administration’s Science Transition Team, and previously, led health and science policy on Capitol Hill for Sen. Joe Lieberman, where she drafted legislation to protect the country from biological attacks. 

And she’s going to fight for science and the industry: “I want scientists, clinicians, and innovators to hold their heads high knowing they are addressing the most important issues we face today. BIO represents these everyday heroes and sheroes, and I couldn’t be prouder for this opportunity to support their work and shout their message from the rooftop,” she says. (Watch her welcome message here!

What they’re saying: “The biotechnology industry is humanity’s great hope to speed medical breakthroughs to patients in record time to treat and prevent COVID-19 disease. With her exemplary scientific background, proven federal health policy leadership and track record of driving scientific progress to benefit patients, Michelle is the right person at the right time to lead BIO and the biotech sector into a new future,” said BIO Chairman Dr. Jeremy Levin, CEO of Ovid Therapeutics.

Last but certainly not least, we want to give a shoutout to former U.S. Rep. Jim Greenwood, who has led our organization since 2005. Under his leadership, BIO tripled in size, and in recent months, launched the Coronavirus Collaboration Initiative, the industry’s unprecedented effort to share resources and capabilities to speed the development and delivery of COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and, ultimately, a vaccine. After June 1, he is committed to work with Michelle in a strategic advisory role. 

Visit to learn more and submit any suggestions you might have for Dr. McMurry-Heath.

Read more about her in this profile in STAT.


More News: 

Cargill: Procter & Gamble and Cargill collaborate to bring nature-powered innovation, fueling the future for more sustainable products
“The collaboration leverages P&G’s award-winning technology and Cargill’s bioindustrial expertise to deliver greener alternatives in the personal care space.” 

USA Today: Former pharma exec tapped to head White House's 'Operation Warp Speed' coronavirus effort
Moncef Slaoui, the former head of GSK’s vaccine division and currently a member of Moderna’s Board, will work to speed up development of coronavirus vaccines and treatments. (Here’s BIO’s take on the selection.)

BIO Beltway Report

President Trump’s Thursday: Heading to Allentown, Pennsylvania, to tour medical equipment distributor Owens & Minor. Meanwhile, following the news that several White House staffers tested positive for COVID-19, a new NYU study questions the accuracy of the rapid tests the White House had been using

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: The Senate is in session; House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing, Protecting Scientific Integrity in the COVID-19 Response, featuring former BARDA director Rick Bright. Meanwhile, the House is gearing up to vote on House Democrats’ $3 trillion coronavirus package tomorrow—potentially with proxy voting.

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