Board of Directors
Dr. Sommer is Dean Emeritus and Professor of Epidemiology and International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Professor of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He was Dean from 1990-2005. Dr. Sommer received his MD from Harvard Medical School (1967) and his Master of Health Science in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (1973). He has published 5 books and over 300 scientific articles; has received numerous awards including the Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research, the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize, and the Duke Elder International Gold Medal for Contributions to Ophthalmology; has delivered over 30 named lectureships, including the Jackson Memorial Lecture (American Academy of Ophthalmology), Duke Elder Oration (Royal College of Ophthalmologists), De Schweinitz Lecture (College of Physicians, Philadelphia), Dohlman Lecture (Harvard Medical School), Doyne Lecture (Oxford Ophthalmologic Congress), and the Kimura Lecture (University of California, San Francisco); and is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. His research interests currently include child survival, blindness prevention, and the interface between public health and clinical medicine. Dr. Sommer has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation since 2004. He became Chairman in 2008.
John R. Considine
Secretary and Treasurer
John Considine is Vice Chairman of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company). In this role, he is responsible for Integrated Supply Chain; Information Technology; Environment, Health and Safety; Project Management and Engineering Services; and Security. Mr. Considine joined BD as Chief Financial Officer in June 2000 from Wyeth (formerly American Home Products), where he was Senior Vice President, Finance. He was elected to BD's Board of Directors as Vice Chairman in March 2008 and held the CFO position through November 2008. His continuing responsibilities include: BD's Global Supply Chain Operations; Environment, Health and Safety; Project Management & Engineering and Security. BD, which had approximately $7.2 billion in sales in FY2008, is a global medical technology company that manufactures and sells a broad range of medical devices, laboratory equipment and diagnostic products. During his 17 years at Wyeth, Mr. Considine served in various financial management positions, including leading the company's controllership, treasury, investor relations and internal audit groups. He was a member of the Wyeth finance, retirement and operations committees and a member of the Board of Directors of Immunex, Wyeth's then majority-owned biopharmaceutical subsidiary. Prior to joining Wyeth, Mr. Considine practiced for ten years as a Certified Public Accountant with Arthur Andersen & Company. Mr. Considine is a past member of the Board of Trustees of Fairfield Preparatory College, the Board of Directors of St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey, and Caldwell College Board of Trustees. He is a founding member of the Animal Cancer Foundation, an honorary board member of St. Vincent's Services and a member of the Board of Governors of Woodway Country Club. Mr. Considine has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation since 2008.
Ambassador Barbara Barrett
Barbara Barrett is Interim President of Thunderbird School of Global Management, a top school for international management, and CEO of Triple Creek Guest Ranch, a Montana hideaway. Ms. Barrett is a member of the boards of RAND, Smithsonian, Aerospace Corporation and Space Foundation. Previously, Barrett was U.S. Ambassador to Finland, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Mission to the UN, a Fellow teaching Leadership at Harvard, CEO of the American Management Association, Founding Chairman of Valley Bank of Arizona, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and Vice Chairman of the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board. She also served on the boards of Hershey, Mayo Clinic, Thunderbird, Exponent, and Raytheon, was a partner in a large Phoenix law firm and, before the age of thirty, was an executive of two global Fortune 500 companies. As a member of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council, Ms. Barrett founded Project Artemis, a program to train and mentor Afghan women entrepreneurs at Thunderbird. An instrument rated pilot, she was reportedly the first civilian woman to land in an F/A-18 on an aircraft carrier and trained at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia, culminating in certification as an astronaut. Ms. Barrett joined the Lasker Foundation's Board of Directors in 2012.
Christopher W. Brody
Christopher W. Brody is Chairman of Vantage Partners, LLC, a private investment partnership. From 1972 to 1998, Mr. Brody was a Partner of Warburg, Pincus, and, for over 15 years, served as a member of its Operating Committee which managed the private equity and venture capital activities of the firm. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Intuit, Inc., and several privately held companies. Mr. Brody is also a member of the Boards of the Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He received a B.A. in English Literature in 1966 from Harvard College and received an M.B.A. in 1968 from Harvard Business School. Mr. Brody has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation since 1975.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH
Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellman is the Chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco. An oncologist and renowned biotechnology leader, Desmond-Hellman has been actively involved in shaping biomedical policy. In 2011, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann co-chaired a National Academies committee that produced the report, "Toward Precision Medicine: Building a Knowledge Network for Biomedical Research and a New Taxonomy of Disease." She also serves as a member of the National Institutes of Health's advisory committee on the National Center for Advancing Translational Science.
Prior to joining UCSF, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann spent 14 years at Genentech, where she served for 5 years as President, Product Development. In this role, she was responsible for Genentech's pre-clinical and clinical development, process research and development, business development and product portfolio management. During her tenure, Desmond-Hellmann led efforts to bring a number of breakthrough cancer medicines to the marketplace. Forbes magazine named her one of the world's seven most "powerful innovators," calling her "a hero to legions of cancer patients." She was listed among Fortune magazine's "top 50 most powerful women in business" for seven years. Dr. Desmond-Hellmann is a member the board of directors of Procter & Gamble, and she also on the National Cancer Advisory Board, on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's Economic Advisory Council, and on the California Academy of Sciences board of trustees. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Institute of Medicine.
Dr. Desmond-Hellmann completed her clinical training at UCSF and is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. She holds a master's degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley. During her training at UCSF, she spent two years as a visiting faculty member at the Uganda Cancer Institute, studying HIV/AIDS and cancer. Dr. Desmond-Hellmann joined the Lasker Foundation's Board of Directors in 2012.
Marshall Fordyce, M.D.
Dr. Marshall Fordyce is Associate Director of Clinical Research at Gilead Sciences, where his current research focuses on the development of novel tenofovir prodrugs for the treatment of HIV infection. Previously, Dr. Fordyce was Instructor in Clinical Medicine and Clinical Scholar at The Rockefeller University, and Research Fellow at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, where under Dr. David Ho his research focused on the effect of the HIV entry inhibitor, ibalizumab, on the envelope protein, and the immunologic effects of initiating antiretroviral therapy during acute infection. Dr. Fordyce received his Bachelor's degree and M.D. from Harvard University. He completed his Internal Medicine Training at New York University/Bellevue Hospital, where he served as Senior Chief Resident, and completed his Infectious Disease training at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Fordyce is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Fordyce became a member of the Board of Directors of the Lasker Foundation in 2012.
Joseph L. Goldstein, M.D.
Joseph L. Goldstein, M.D. is currently Chairman of the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He is the Regental Professor of the University of Texas. He also holds the Paul J. Thomas Chair in Medicine and the Julie and Louis A. Beecherl Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science. Dr. Goldstein and his colleague, Michael S. Brown, discovered the low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor and worked out how these receptors control cholesterol homeostasis. At the basic level, this work opened the field of receptor-mediated endocytosis, and at the clinical level it helped lay the conceptual groundwork for development of drugs called statins that lower blood LDL-cholesterol and prevent heart attacks. Drs. Goldstein and Brown shared many awards for this work, including the Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research (1985), Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1985), and National Medal of Science (1988). In recent work, Drs. Goldstein and Brown discovered the SREBP family of transcription factors and showed how these membrane-bound molecules control the synthesis of cholesterol and fatty acids through a newly described process of Regulated Intramembrane Proteolysis. For this work, Drs. Brown and Goldstein received the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research (2003). Dr. Goldstein is a member of the Boards of Trustees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and The Rockefeller University. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Welch Foundation, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Scripps Research Institute, and the Van Andel Institute. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. Dr. Goldstein has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation since 2007, and currently serves as Chairman of the Lasker Medical Research Awards Jury.
Jordan U. Gutterman M.D.
George P. Noon M.D.
George Noon, M.D., is Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Transplant Surgery and Assist Devices in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. He serves as Director, Executive Council for Transplant Services at The Methodist Hospital in Houston; and Co-Director of the Vascular Diagnostic Laboratory at The Methodist Hospital. Additionally, Dr. Noon is on the attending staff of The Methodist Hospital, the active staff of St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, the consulting staff of Texas Children's Hospital, and the associate attending staff of Ben Taub General Hospital. He is also the President of the M.E. DeBakey Medical Foundation.
Willard J. "Mike" Overlock
Willard J. "Mike" Overlock joined Goldman, Sachs & Co. in 1973 and was elected to the partnership in 1982. Mr. Overlock was head of the Mergers & Acquisitions Department from 1984 to 1996. He served as co-head of the Investment Banking Division from 1990 to 1996 and served as a member of the Management Committee and the International Executive Committee from 1990 to 1995. Mr. Overlock is a director of Becton, Dickinson & Co.; Simms Fishing Products, LLC; Flagler System, Inc.; and an adviser to the Parthenon Group in Boston. He serves on the Board of Overseers at the Columbia Graduate School of Business and is a member of the Board of Rockefeller University. Mr. Overlock is a member of the Investment Committee for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was the Chairman of the Board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International and a member of its board from 1992 to 1998. He received a BA in economics from the University of North Carolina in 1968 and an MBA from Columbia Business School in 1973. Mr. Overlock served in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971. He and his wife, Trina, have three children.
George Roche retired as Chairman and President of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. in December of 2006 after nearly 39 years with the firm. When Mr. Roche joined T. Rowe Price Associates in 1968, he was an analyst covering primarily the natural resources industries. He did much of his work for Mr. Thomas Rowe Price, who started the New Era Fund in 1969. The New Era Fund was designed to invest in inflation resistant companies with an emphasis on natural resources companies. Mr. Roche was the President and Portfolio Manager of the New Era Fund from 1979 to 1997. He was also the Chief Financial Officer of T. Rowe Price Associates from 1984 to 1997 and was Chairman and President of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. from 1997 to 2006.
Mr. Roche has served on the boards of the Greater Baltimore Committee, Downtown Partnership and The Walters Art Gallery. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of McCormick & Co., Inc. He earned a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Solomon H. Snyder, M.D.
Dr. Solomon Snyder is the Distinguished Service Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Snyder received his undergraduate and medical training at Georgetown University; Research Associate training with Julius Axelrod at the NIH; and psychiatric training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 1966 he joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he established the Department of Neuroscience and served as Director from 1980 to 2006.
Many advances in molecular neuroscience have stemmed from Dr. Snyder's identification of receptors for neurotransmitters and drugs and elucidation of the actions of psychotropic agents. He pioneered the labeling of receptors by reversible ligand binding in the identification of opiate receptors and extended this technique to all the major neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. In characterizing each new group of receptors, he also elucidated actions of major neuroactive drugs. The isolation and subsequent cloning of receptor proteins stems from the ability to label, and thus monitor, receptors by these ligand binding techniques. The application of Dr. Snyder's techniques has enhanced the development of new agents in the pharmaceutical industry by enabling rapid screening of large numbers of candidate drugs. Dr. Snyder is the recipient of numerous professional honors, including the Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the National Medal of Science, the Albany Medical Prize, the Wolf Foundation Prize in Medicine, the Dickson Prize of the University of Pittsburgh, the Bower Award of the Franklin Institute, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience Research, and the Gerard Prize of the Society for Neuroscience. He is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He is the author of more than 1000 journal articles and several books. Dr. Snyder joined the Lasker Foundation's Board of Directors in 2012.
Russell W. Steenberg
Russell Steenberg is the global head of Private Equity Partners at BlackRock and is a member of BlackRock's Leadership Committee. Prior to joining BlackRock, he was a co-founder and Managing Director of Fenway Partners, a middle-market buyout group. From 1983 until joining Fenway in 1995, Mr. Steenberg was employed by AT&T Investment Management Company, where he was co-head of the AT&T Pension Fund's private equity portfolio. Mr. Steenberg currently serves on the advisory boards of the following funds or GPs: SKM Equity Fund III, Quadrangle Capital Partners, Lindsay Goldberg & Bessemer, CCMP II, APAX US VII, Clayton Dubilier & Rice VII, Parallel Investment Partners, THLee VI and is on the Board of Advisor's for the Tuck Center of Private Equity and Entrepreneurship. Mr. Steenberg received his M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, an M.P.A. from American University, and a B.A. from St. Lawrence University.
Robert Tjian, Ph.D.
Dr. Robert Tjian is President of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and Director of the Li Ka-Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Tjian is a member of several distinguished scientific societies, including the Academia Sinica of China, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Tjian serves on Editorial Boards of numerous scientific journals, including Cell, Science, Nature and Genes and Development. Dr. Tjian is also on the Advisory Board for the Life Sciences Research Foundation, and is Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. He was on the Board of Trustees of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and was a member of the Advisory Board of Overseers at Harvard University. In 1991, Dr. Tjian was one of the founders Tularik, which was acquired by Amgen, Inc. in 2004. Tularik had developed a rich pipeline of products in various stages of pre-clinical and clinical studies including therapeutics for cancer, Type II diabetes, inflammation, and obesity. Dr. Robert Tjian received his Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry, University of California at Berkeley and his Ph.D. Harvard University. Dr. Tjian has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation since 2008.
Elias Zerhouni, M.D.
Dr. Zerhouni is President of Global Research and Development of Sanofi. From 2002 to 2008, Dr. Zerhouni served as director the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world's foremost biomedical research agency. During his tenure, Dr. Zerhouni promoted many changes at NIH despite challenging budgetary times at the agency. He launched the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research in 2003 to enhance synergy between all 27 NIH Institutes and Centers and to fund compelling initiatives that no single institute could support in both basic and applied research. In addition, Zerhouni launched a series of new programs to encourage high-risk innovative research to enhance interdisciplinary research at the interface of the physical and biological sciences, and to increase support for the independence of early career scientists. During his tenure, NIH tripled its international funding for global health, and it launched comprehensive plans for health disparities, obesity research, and the neurosciences. In 2006, Congress passed the NIH Reform Act, only the third such congressional act since the creation of NIH thus institutionalizing many of his reforms.
Prior to joining the NIH, Zerhouni was the vice dean for research and executive vice-dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, chair of the Russell H. Morgan department of radiology and radiological science, and Martin Donner professor of radiology, and professor of biomedical engineering. Zerhouni, a native of Algeria, immigrated to the US in 1975 at age 24 after earning his medical degree from the University of Algiers School of Medicine. Dr. Zerhouni completed his residency in diagnostic radiology at Johns Hopkins as chief resident in the department of Radiology, and joined its faculty to become full professor of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering. His research has focused on pioneering quantitative imaging methods based on CAT and MRI scanning to diagnose and treat cancer, pulmonary, and cardiovascular diseases. He served on the National Cancer Institute's Board of Scientific Advisors from 1998 to 2002, and has been elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2000. He is also the author of 212 publications and holds 8 patents. Dr. Zerhouni joined the Lasker Foundation's Board of Directors in 2009.
Mrs. William McCormick Blair, Jr.
Purnell W. Choppin, M.D.
Anne B. Fordyce
James W. Fordyce
Directors Emeritus (in memoriam)
Michael E. DeBakey, M.D.
Daniel E. Koshland, Jr., Ph.D.