Dr. Penny Heaton is the Global Therapeutic Area Head, Infectious Diseases & Vaccines at Janssen Research & Development. Penny holds two decades of infectious diseases and vaccine research and development experience. Prior to this role, she served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute (Gates MRI), where she led the development of investigational products from pre-clinical through late-stage development against multiple diseases including TB, malaria and enteric diseases and also served as Director of Vaccine Development at the Gates Foundation, working to address additional infectious diseases including HIV, pneumonia and polio. She has also led vaccine clinical research and development for companies including Novartis, Merck and Novavax. Notably, during her time at Merck, Penny co-developed a rotavirus vaccine which has been licensed in more than 100 countries and universally recommended by the World Health Organization for infants worldwide. Penny began her career at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducting diarrheal disease surveillance and investigating outbreaks of foodborne and diarrheal diseases, influencing her life-long passion for infectious diseases and vaccine development.
A graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky, Penny is board-certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases. She is a member of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.