Today, October 1, marks the United Nations’ International Day of Older Persons 2021. What better way to celebrate this special occasion than by sharing with you the leading voices at the forefront of tackling the global aging challenges:
– A conversation between Genya Dana, Head of Healthcare, World Economic Forum and George Vradenburg, Convener, Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease; Co-Chair, Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative; Chairman & Co-Founder, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Watch It Here
– Paul Irving, Chairman, Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging; Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, USC Davis School of Gerontology with moderation by Richard Soll, Head of Boston Office and Senior Advisor of Strategic Initiatives, WuXi AppTec Watch It Here
We are proud to host these dialogues in solidarity with the UN’s Decade of Healthy Aging 2021-2030. At WuXi AppTec, we believe that a new era of healthy aging is possible if we work together and let science lead. We hope you can join us in harnessing the transformative power of collaboration to create a future where everyone can enjoy a longer and healthier life.
Genya is the Head of Healthcare at the World Economic Forum. She leads the co-design and implementation of a portfolio of projects designed to catalyse sustainable and innovative uptake of new technologies, financial models, delivery approaches and treatment options to affect health and well-being globally. She has two decades of experience working within healthcare systems and is an internationally recognized expert on genomics and biotechnology, and has advised foreign policy makers on the implications of emerging technologies across industries. She served as a U.S. negotiator on science, technology and innovation in multi-lateral organizations like the United Nations, worked to advance science, technology and innovation for sustainable development with a focus on Africa, and developed international partnerships to support scientific research on brain science and biological engineering. She has degrees in biology, public policy, and risk assessment, and conducted her PhD research in South Africa.
Dr. William N. Hait leads the external sourcing and creation of transformational innovation to help Johnson & Johnson achieve its mission to change the trajectory of health for humanity. He works on building an enterprise-wide external R&D pipeline, creating innovative solutions that utilize J&J’s excellence in pharmaceuticals, medical devices and consumer products. His team strives to identify disruptive technologies and cutting-edge early innovations in disease areas of emphasis at J&J, to eliminate disease through prevention, interception and cures.
Dr. Hait joined J&J in 2007 and served as Global Therapeutic Area Head for Oncology from 2009 to 2011, and then as Global Head, Janssen Research & Development, from 2011 through 2018. Before that, he was the founding Director of The (Rutgers) Cancer Institute of New Jersey. From 1993 to 2007 he was Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology and Associate Dean for Oncology Programs at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey -- Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Dr. Hait joined the Yale University School of Medicine faculty in 1984 and became Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, Chief of the Division of Medical Oncology, Associate Director of the Yale University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Director of the Breast Cancer Unit and Co-Director of the Lung Cancer Unit. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology.
He devoted time to numerous advisory and editorial boards, served in a range of scientific functions, societies and committees, was elected President of the American Association for Cancer Research (2007 – 2008) and has received numerous awards and honors.
Paul Irving is chairman of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging, chairman of Encore.org, and distinguished scholar-in-residence at the University of Southern California Davis School of Gerontology. He previously served as the Milken Institute’s president, an advanced leadership fellow at Harvard University, and chairman and CEO of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, a national law and consulting firm. Irving is a member of the Global Advisory Council of the Stanford University Distinguished Careers Institute, the Board of Councilors of the USC Davis School, the Global Coalition on Aging Advisory Council, the Advisory Board of WorkingNation, and the National Academy of Medicine Commission for Healthy Longevity. He also serves as a director of East West Bancorp, Inc. and on the International Strategic Committee of the Quadrivio Group Silver Economy Fund. Irving previously served on the Bipartisan Policy Center Senior Health and Housing Task Force and as a participant in the 2015 White House Conference on Aging. Author/editor of “The Upside of Aging: How Long Life Is Changing the World of Health, Work, Innovation, Policy, and Purpose,” a Wall Street Journal expert panelist and contributor to the Harvard Business Review and Forbes, PBS NextAvenue named Irving an “Influencer” for his work, and he was recognized with the Janet L. Witkin Humanitarian Award by Affordable Living for the Aging, the Life Journey Inspiration Award by Stanford’s Distinguished Careers Institute, and the Board of Governors Award by Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.
Ben Seet is the Deputy Group CEO (Education & Research) for the National Healthcare Group, and concurrently, Assistant CEO of Tan Tock Seng Hospital (Corporate Services). He is an Adjunct Professor with the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.
Ben was formerly Executive Director of the Biomedical Research Council at A*STAR, where he oversaw research and innovation spanning the pharmaceutical, biotech, health tech, food and consumer industries. Prior to joining A*STAR, he served a 22-year military career, where he held the appointment of Chief of the SAF Medical Corps. He further served as Chief Medical Officer of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York.
Ben serves on various boards and advisory committees. He currently sees himself as an evangelist for COVID-19 vaccination.
George is Chairman of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, which he co-founded in October 2010. He is also convener of the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease and co-chair of the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative, which was launched in 2021. He was named by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to serve on the Advisory Council on Research, Care, and Services established by the National Alzheimer’s Project Act and has testified before Congress about the global Alzheimer’s pandemic. He is a member of the World Dementia Council. He and UsAgainstAlzheimer’s co-convene both the Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease (LEAD) Coalition and the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease. With his wife Trish (1946-2017), George has long been a dedicated member of Washington’s civic and philanthropic community. George served as Chairman of The Phillips Collection for 13 years and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and The Economic Club of Washington. He has served in senior executive and legal positions at CBS, FOX and AOL/Time Warner. George and Trish published Tikkun Magazine for 10 years.
As Head of Discovery and Preclinical Research, Karen guides BioCentury’s coverage of emerging biology and technologies. She has written extensively about immunology, synthetic biology and data science, covering innovative breakthroughs in industry and academia, and dissecting trends in company formation and investments around new science. She coordinates activities and interactions with BioCentury’s Scientific Advisory Board.
Karen joined BioCentury in 2015 after a postdoctoral research fellowship in Stanford University's Department of Chemical and Systems Biology. She holds a Ph.D. in Immunology from Weill Cornell Medicine and a B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California Berkeley.
Dr. Richard Soll is presently Senior Advisor, Strategic Initiatives for the Research Service Division at WuXi AppTec and Head of the WuXi office in Boston, Massachusetts. He has held various leadership roles at WuXi as Senior Vice President including head of the medicinal chemistry unit known as the International Discovery Service Unit, business development, and corporate alliances.
Dr. Soll’s contributions led to the discovery of the HCV NS5A inhibitor elbasvir (a component of Zepatier®) in the Merck-WuXi partnership, the JAK2 inhibitor fedratinib at TargeGen which formed the basis of the $7B partnership between Celgene and Impact Biomedicines, and more than 10 other clinical stage drugs throughout his career.
Dr. Soll is currently a board member at Simcha Therapeutics, an board observer at the Accelerator Life Science Parnters, and an advisory board member with the Blavatnik Center for Drug Discovery at Tel Aviv University, the Children’s Tumor Foundation, and the Pistoia Alliance.
Dr. Soll was CSO / VP of R&D at TargeGen and was VP of Chemistry at 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals. He started his career at Ayerst Research Labs and was trained as a synthetic chemist at Dartmouth and Harvard.
Dr. Hui Cai joined WuXi AppTec in 2009 as Vice President of Business Development, and is currently Vice President and Head of Content Division.
Prior to WuXi, Dr. Cai spent 10 years at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development leading multiple drug discovery programs in the therapeutic areas of inflammation and autoimmune diseases. She is a co-author and co-inventor to over 50 scientific publications and issued or pending patents. Dr. Cai is a Councilor of the American Chemical Society (ACS), a member of BayHelix, and a member of the UCSD Alumni Board. In her past capacity, she served as a Commissioner at the City of San Diego Science and Technology Commission, Chair of SABPA, and President of SDCA. Dr. Cai received her BS and MS in Chemistry from Peking University, PhD from The Scripps Research Institute, and MBA from UCSD Rady School of Management as a DLA Piper – Athena Scholar.