Pfizer has announced that Dr. Ole Isacson, a world-renowned scientist and thought leader in neurology, will become chief scientific officer of the Neuroscience Research Unit and senior vice president, effective September 16. Dr. Isacson is a professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, and will continue to serve in an educational role. He is also a founding director of the Neuroregeneration Institute at McLean Hospital. Dr. Isacson will report directly to Mikael Dolsten, president of Worldwide Research and Development.
Dr. Isacson received his Medical Bachelor and Doctor of Medicine degrees from the University of Lund in Sweden and held a two year postdoctoral fellowship at Cambridge University in England before joining Harvard in 1989. Over the course of two decades, his lab has become known as one of the most recognized academic research centers for Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
“Dr. Isacson’s deep expertise in neurodegenerative disorders is well-aligned with our work in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, where we are working to advance potential breakthrough therapies to fill the tremendous unmet need that exists for patients,” said Dr. Dolsten. “In addition, his strong ties in the local academic community will be important as our Cambridge site continues to drive collaborations with leading scientific and academic institutions that can help us speed the pace of discovery.”
The appointment of Dr. Isacson cements the scientific leadership team at Pfizer’s Worldwide Research and Development hub in Cambridge, Mass. In May of this year Pfizer promoted two leading scientists to chief scientific officer positions. Greg LaRosa, Ph.D., was named senior vice president and chief scientific officer of the Rare Disease Research Unit. Prior to this role, Dr. LaRosa was head of Biology for the Rare Disease Unit and held responsibility for setting portfolio strategies, overseeing preclinical project progression and working with the leadership team to set forth strategy for the unit across Pfizer. Dr. LaRosa received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and has more than 23 years of experience in rare disease and inflammation drug discovery and development.
Michael Vincent, M.D., Ph.D., was named senior vice president and chief scientific officer of the Inflammation and Immunology Research Unit. Since joining Pfizer in 2011, Dr. Vincent has held numerous scientific leadership roles, most recently as clinical head for Pharmatherapeutics and Biotherapeutics. Before joining Pfizer, Dr. Vincent held several positions within medical sciences at Amgen. Dr. Vincent earned his Ph.D. and M.D. degrees from Indiana University. He completed his residency and began his post-doctoral training at the University of Vermont and ultimately completed this at Harvard University, where he also served as a staff physician.