Appointment further strengthens Board scientific capabilities, including in genetics which is central to GSK’s R&D approach
GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) has today announced that Dr Harry (Hal) C. Dietz MD, Professor of Genetic Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the United States, will join the Board of the Company as a Non-Executive Director. He will join the Board with effect from 1 January 2022.
Hal’s appointment further strengthens the Board’s scientific capabilities, in line with the commitment to increase biopharmaceutical and scientific expertise for new GSK through Non-Executive Director appointments prior to the demerger of the Consumer Healthcare business in mid-2022. Hal will become the Board’s third designated Scientific and Medical Expert alongside Dr Jesse Goodman, former Chief Scientist at the US FDA, and Dr Laurie Glimcher, President and CEO of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The appointment also builds on other recent Non-Executive Director appointments, including Charles (Charlie) Bancroft, former Executive Vice President at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), and Dr Anne Beal, former instructor in paediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Chief Patient Officer at Sanofi.
On joining the Board, Hal will become a member of the Science Committee which supports the Board in its oversight and scrutiny of the Company’s R&D strategy and annual performance targets. It also provides technical assurance, particularly in relation to potential R&D related transactions.
Hal brings extensive experience in the field of human genetics which is central to GSK’s approach to R&D. He is a former President of the American Society of Human Genetics and is recognised as the world’s leading authority on a genetic disorder known as Marfan Syndrome. He also brings experience in development of novel therapies, through his role as Founder of and Scientific Adviser to Blade Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on disease-modifying treatments for fibrotic and neurodegenerative diseases. In total, Hal has authored 282 original publications in peer-reviewed journals across his career.
Commenting on the appointment, Sir Jonathan Symonds, Chairman of GSK said: “I am delighted to welcome Hal to GSK. Innovation is at the heart of our purpose and continuing to strengthen our R&D pipeline remains a key long-term priority as we prepare for the demerger. Hal’s expertise in some of the most exciting areas of science, particularly human genetics, means he is perfectly-placed to provide the insight and challenge we need as GSK moves further into developing next generation medicines and vaccines for patients.”
Dr Hal Dietz is Victor A. McKusick Professor of Paediatrics, Medicine, and Molecular Biology & Genetics in the Institute of Genetic Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. As a physician scientist, he has dedicated his entire career to the care and study of individuals with heritable connective tissue disorders with primary perturbations of extracellular matrix homeostasis and function. His lab has identified the genes for many of these conditions, for which he uses model systems to elucidate disease mechanisms.
Dr Dietz has received multiple prestigious awards including the Curt Stern Award from the American Society of Human Genetics, the Colonel Harland Sanders Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Genetics, the Taubman Prize for excellence in translational medical science, the Harrington Prize from the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Harrington Discovery Institute, the Pasarow Award in Cardiovascular Research, the InBev-Baillet Latour Health Prize from the country of Belgium, and the Research Achievement Award from the American Heart Association.
He is an inductee of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of American Physicians, National Academy of Medicine, and National Academy of Sciences.
He is the founder and scientific advisor to Blade Therapeutics. He is also the independent Chair of GSK’s Human Genetics Scientific Advisory Board and a former President of the American Society of Human Genetics.
Dr Dietz completed his BS at Duke University and received his MD from the SUNY Upstate School of Medicine. He completed a paediatric residency and a cardiology fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University before joining the faculty in 1992.
GSK is a science-led global healthcare company. For further information please visit www.gsk.com/about-us.
Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2020 and any impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.