EcoHealth Alliance Announces Election of Dr. Marianne De Backer to Board of Directors

NEW YORK – January 9th, 2017 – EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit organization working at the intersection of global public health and conservation, announced the election of Dr. Marianne De Backer, Vice President Venture Investments at Johnson & Johnson. For over 45 years, EcoHealth Alliance has led the field of environmental health with the guidance of a diverse Board of Directors that provide cross-disciplinary expertise and strategic direction for the organization.

Dr. Marianne De Backer is an experienced executive with a proven track record in the pharmaceutical industry. She has been a strategic advisor, scientist, business unit leader, and deal maker at Johnson & Johnson for more than two decades. Dr. De Backer’s deep subject-matter expertise and experience in forging partnerships with leading researchers and executives have led to the launch of new medicines and the development of new business models. In her most recent position as Jansen Business Development Leader, she brought a strong external network and extensive knowledge to late-stage pharmaceutical deals, significantly growing Janssen’s Infectious Diseases pipeline through creative partnerships. Dr. De Backer was named to the 2016 PharmaVoice 100 as change agent and selected to Women in Bio’s “Boardroom Ready” 2016 Class. She actively mentors a diverse talent pool, especially advocating for female talent.

As a scientist and R&D group leader, Dr. De Backer was named as inventor on five patent applications. Under her direct leadership, Janssen has formed over 200 external alliances across multiple therapeutic areas and regions through licensing and business development. As Business Unit Director (CNS, Immunology, Internal Medicine) in Alpine (Austria/Switzerland) she drove a strategic turnaround, led operational sales and marketing, managed a P&L, and together with her team successfully launched several products.

She graduated summa cum laude with a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Gent, Belgium; cum laude with an Executive MBA from Erasmus University, Rotterdam in The Netherlands, summa cum laude with a Master’s in Science in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the University of Brussels, Belgium, and cum laude with an engineering degree in Biochemistry from IHG-CTL, Belgium.

“Our Board of Directors provide the organization with a diversity of expertise and guidance. We are thrilled to welcome Dr. De Backer as a professional who embodies the multi-talented nature of our Board and of our organization as a whole,” said Dr. Peter Daszak, president and disease ecologist at EcoHealth Alliance.

About EcoHealth Alliance
Building on over 45 years of groundbreaking science, EcoHealth Alliance is a global, nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting wildlife, environmental and public health from the emergence of disease. Approximately 60 percent of emerging infectious diseases like Ebola, HIV, Zika, SARS, MERS, and West Nile virus have all originated in animals before spilling over to human populations. Using environmental and health data covering the past 60 years, EcoHealth Alliance scientists created the first-ever, global disease hotspots map that identified at-risk regions to determine where research and field work are needed to help predict and prevent the next pandemic crisis. That work is the foundation of EcoHealth Alliance’s rigorous, science-based approach working in more than 30 countries worldwide. EcoHealth Alliance’s strength is founded on innovations in research, training, global partnerships, capacity building and policy initiatives.

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