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New Head of respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity at AstraZeneca

Maria Belvisi

AstraZeneca’s Innovative Medicines and EarlyDevelopment (IMED) Biotech Unit has appointed Professor Maria Belvisi as Vice President and Head of Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity (RIA).

She will start her new position immediately and will have responsibility for implementing the company’s respiratory research strategy focused on the three key areas of lung epithelium, lung immunity and lung regeneration, through the company’s in-house laboratories as well as its international network of academic and industry collaborations across the globe. She will be based in Gothenburg, Sweden, one of AstraZeneca’s three strategic R&D hubs and home to the company’s early-stage respiratory research.

“I am delighted to welcome Maria to our team. She is an internationally recognised leader in respiratory diseases with outstanding academic and industrial experience. Maria will have a significant role in helping us achieve our vision of delivering innovative medicines to treat, reverse or even cure respiratory diseases,” says Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, IMED Biotech Unit and Global Business Development.

The appointment of Professor Belvisi follows a recently announced scientific collaboration programme between AstraZeneca’s IMED Biotech unit and Imperial College London, aimed at enabling drug discovery through new technologies and the exploration of disease biology.

Professor Belvisi joins from Imperial College London School of Medicine, where she is Professor of Respiratory Pharmacology and Head of the Respiratory Pharmacology Group. She will maintain her professorial status at Imperial College London. Professor Belvisi was Research Director for the European Respiratory Society (ERS) from 2013 to 2016 and has held senior research roles in respiratory disease with Rhône-Poulenc Rorer (now Sanofi). She has served on the editorial board of several scientific journals and has more than 200 publications to her name. She was elected as Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society in 2005.

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