FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2016

IDRI names new VP of tuberculosis drug development

The Infectious Disease Research Institute recently announced that Dr. Gail H. Cassell has been hired as vice president of tuberculosis drug development.

In the newly created position, Dr. Cassell will work with the IDRI management team to develop the organization’s portfolio of drug candidates for the treatment of TB, multi-drug resistant TB and extremely drug resistant TB, according to SacBee.com.

Dr. Cassell is currently a visiting professor of global health and social medicine at Harvard University. She recently retired from the biopharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company, where she was the vice president of scientific affairs.

At Eli Lilly, Dr. Cassell was responsible for beginning and leading the Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative in 2007 and is credited with launching the MDRTB Partnership in 2003, which has since become a major philanthropic effort that has taken in over $135 million for MDRTB research.

"We are thrilled that Gail has officially joined the IDRI team," IDRI CEO Stewart Parker said, SacBee.com reports. "The creation of this new position reflects the positive progress made in the pursuit of novel therapeutic candidates against TB, including MDR TB and XDR TB, and Gail's extensive experience and passion for this effort can only continue to expedite this effort."

Dr. Cassell received her Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Alabama - Birmingham, and has received numerous accolades for her work, including awards presented by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I have enjoyed collaborating with IDRI over the past several years in the context of the Lilly TB Drug Initiative, and now look forward to continuing to contribute to it, and to IDRI's success," Dr. Cassell said, SacBee.com reports.