Jennifer Leeds

Executive Director, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

Jennifer Leeds is Executive Director, West Coast Search and Evaluation, Business Development and Licensing, at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. She is responsible for identifying new science and technology from the western US for potential partnering with Novartis.

Jennifer co-led the international project team for the novel antibacterial LFF571, which demonstrated safety and efficacy in humans for the treatment of C. difficile infection. In 2017, the NIBR antibacterial discovery group disclosed the preclinical program for LYS228, a novel antibacterial which is being developed to treat infections caused by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. In 2018, Novartis announced their exit from antibacterial R&D and out-licensed LYS228, along with two other antibacterial programs, to Boston Pharmaceuticals.

Jennifer joined Novartis in 2003 as a research investigator, progressing to project team leader before assuming the leadership role for the Antibacterial Discovery Unit in 2010. Before joining Novartis, Jennifer was a senior scientist at Dyax Corp.

Jennifer represented Novartis in drafting and reviewing recommendations for vehicles to incentivize antimicrobial R&D and was a member of the IFPMA AMR Working Group and is a member of BIO AMR working group. She served on strategic teams for BD in antimicrobial and respiratory disease. Jennifer chaired numerous conferences and symposia on antimicrobial R&D and AMR.

Jennifer has published 38 primary research articles and five review articles, is the author of four book chapters, and is an inventor on three issued patents. Jennifer is an editorial board member of ACS Infectious Diseases and is a member of the Finance Committee of the American Society for Microbiology. Jennifer is an expert in bacterial genetics and physiology, antibacterial mechanisms of action and resistance, drug discovery, clinical microbiology, clinical development, and business development.

Jennifer was a postdoctoral fellow in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School. She received her BSc degree in Microbiology from Cornell University, and her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.