Michelle Dipp, GlaxoSmithKline

Jun 01, 2009
By Pharmaceutical Executive Editors

Vice President and Head of US Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD), GlaxoSmithKline

It's hard to believe that Michelle Dipp has been in the industry for only five years considering her significant impact thus far on it. Christoph Westphal, MD, PhD, CEO of Sirtris, and senior vice president, CEEDD at GSK, puts it in perspective best: "She has her finger on the pulse of emerging pharmaceutical developments. The impact of Michelle's work reverberates across the industry from early-stage biotech companies to within the research labs of GSK."

While practicing medicine, Dipp was somewhat frustrated by the limitation of what one can do for patients and how few people can really be helped. Pharma was the "intersection between medicine and science" she needed. In her previous role at Sirtris, Dipp orchestrated GSK's acquisition of Sirtris for $720 million in April 2008, an accomplishment she considers a milestone in her career.

With an aspiration to remain actively involved as a leader in the biotech space, and perhaps the CEO of a company in the future, Dipp believes that the biotech and pharmaceutical industry will be thriving in 10 years. "The current economic environment is forcing the industry to adapt and change for the better in order to survive, but I believe this will result in survival of the fittest," she says. "I believe that biotech will continue to be a source of pride and innovation in the US for decades to come."

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