Roche’s research arm hires MIT’s prize-winning cancer researcher Aviv Regev

On Monday, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche stated, it has hired a professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as its new head of its U.S. research arm which was responsible for some of it’s best-selling medicines in the last few decades.

Aviv Regev, an Israeli-American born in 1971, will be replacing Michael Varney, the current head of Roche’s Genentech Research and Early Development (gRED). Varney will be retiring from the position after holding the post for 5 years.

GRED was instrumental in creating cancer fighting drugs such as Herceptin and Avastin which have reaped in tens of billions of dollars in annual revenues over the last two decades.

Currently Regev is a core institute member, the chairman of the faculty, as well as a member of the executive leadership team of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University; he is also a professor of biology at MIT and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

A prize-winning cancer researcher, in 2019, Regev was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. An expert in unraveling the complex molecular circuits that govern cells, tissues and organs in health and how their malfunction can lead to diseases including cancer.

“She brings a rare combination of expertise that will help us unlock even more possibilities in data-based drug discovery and development,” said Chief Executive Severin Schwan in a statement.

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