Sanofi has appointed Dr. Yong-Jun Liu as head of Research, Global R&D. He will report to Dr. Elias Zerhouni, president, Global R&D.
Dr. Liu is one of the world's most prolific researchers in immunology, with over 94,000 citations (Google Scholar) and more than 250 published articles in top journals such as Nature and Science. His research has led to the development of several key drug targets in the areas of allergy, immunology and oncology. Dr. Liu received his doctor of medicine degree in 1984 from Norman Bethune University School of Medicine in China, and earned his doctorate in immunology in 1989 at the University of Birmingham in the U.K.
Dr. Liu will be responsible for leading all of Sanofi's research with the goal of delivering innovative and high-value medicines for patients. He will work in collaboration with Sanofi's Senior Leadership Team to build a competitive R&D organization that leverages the best expertise, both internally and externally.
"Sanofi is delivering major therapeutic advances to patients, but in an increasingly competitive landscape it is excellence in science that will shape the medicines of tomorrow. I have great confidence that Yong-Jun will position Sanofi on the leading edge of scientific breakthroughs and drug discovery in the years ahead," said Dr. Olivier Brandicourt, chief executive officer, Sanofi.
"Yong-Jun will play a pivotal role in shaping a visionary R&D strategy for Sanofi and rejuvenating the company's early-stage pipeline," said Dr. Elias Zerhouni, president, Global R&D, Sanofi. "His world-class experience in immunology, oncology and translational medicine will be vital assets as Sanofi sets its sights on scientific excellence and innovation across its therapeutic areas."
Dr. Liu has 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and at leading medical research centers. From 1991 to 1997, he was a senior and then principal scientist at Schering-Plough's Laboratory for Immunological Research. Dr. Liu held a principal staff scientist position at the DNAX Research Institute in California until 2002, when he became the founding director of the Cancer Immunology Research Institute at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. At MD Anderson, he also served as the chair of the Department of Immunology, building the leading immunology program in the U.S. In 2011, Dr. Liu joined the Baylor Research Institute as vice president and chief scientific officer, and director of the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research. He was appointed head of Research at MedImmune in January, 2014.