Pfizer Inc. announced that Jeff Settleman, Ph.D., will join the company as Senior Vice President and Group Head of Oncology Research & Development, leading all early oncology research, from discovery to proof of concept clinical studies. Dr. Settleman, a leader in molecularly targeted cancer therapeutics, the epigenetics of cancer drug resistance, and personalized cancer medicine, will report directly to Mikael Dolsten, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and President of Worldwide Research, Development and Medical at Pfizer, and will be based in La Jolla, California.
“Dr. Settleman brings to Pfizer a breadth of experience in fundamental cancer biology, cancer genetics, and innovative thinking related to the role of tumor heterogeneity in the development of drug tolerance and resistance. I look forward to seeing his expertise help Pfizer further accelerate potential breakthroughs for people living with cancer,” said Dr. Dolsten. “Dr. Settleman’s distinguished career in both academic research and drug discovery will be critical to Pfizer’s continuous pursuit of new therapeutic paradigms in cancer research.”
Dr. Settleman will join Pfizer effective July 1 from Calico Life Sciences, where he was Distinguished Principal Investigator and Head of Oncology Research. Prior to Calico, Dr. Settleman led Discovery Oncology at Genentech. His distinguished career as an academic scientist started when he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Dr. Robert Weinberg’s laboratory, before joining the Harvard School of Medicine faculty in 1992. During his 18 years as a member of the Harvard faculty, Dr. Settleman was named the Laurel Schwartz Professor of Oncology, served as Director of the Center for Molecular Therapeutics and Scientific Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, and led the Cancer Cell Biology program of the Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center. He has authored more than 240 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Settleman received his B.A. in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in Genetics from Yale University.
“I am privileged to be joining a world-class team of scientists who have made many important contributions to the landscape of cancer treatments for patients over several decades,” said Dr. Settleman. “There has never been a more exciting time in cancer research and I look forward to helping advance and grow a highly promising pipeline that includes a variety of targeted therapies and immunotherapies, with opportunities for rational combination treatments.”
Robert T. Abraham, Ph.D., who has led the Oncology Research & Development group at Pfizer since 2011, has decided to retire at the end of 2019. During Dr. Abraham’s tenure, ten new Pfizer oncology medicines were approved, benefitting hundreds of thousands of patients around the world. Pfizer’s Oncology Research and Development group is focused on advancing next-generation cancer medicines through a diversified and comprehensive approach to target the tumor and the tumor microenvironment. With three distinct groups, Tumor Cell Biology, Cancer Immunology Discovery and Targeted Therapeutics, the organization is comprised of more than 400 dedicated scientists. Dr. Settleman will also become site head of Pfizer’s La Jolla Research & Development hub where nearly 800 employees work each day in support of Pfizer’s oncology mission. As of April 30, 2019, Pfizer’s Oncology pipeline includes 44 programs from Phase 1 through Registration.
This communication was first published 5 June 2019 by Pfizer.