Ruxandra Draghia-Akli, is Global Head, Johnson & Johnson Global Public Health R&D, where her and her team advance global public health into the next era of innovation through discovery, development, and technology capabilities. She accelerates GPH’s end-to-end strategy by collaborating with teams across Johnson & Johnson on assets with application in global public health settings. Under her leadership, GPH R&D adds value and generates new external innovation opportunities through our J&J Centers for Global Health Discovery and other external partnerships.
Ruxandra is a cross-sector leader with experience in industry, government, and academia. She led Medical and Scientific Affairs for vaccines at Merck, and she worked for the European Commission, first as Director and later as Deputy Director General, overseeing research and innovation programmatic initiatives, leading public-private partnerships, global programs and consortia, and development of novel research financial instruments, while contributing to the Commission’s strategy for improving public health. Ruxandra has a track record of unlocking innovation in biotechnology as both a founder and head of research at ADViSYS, Inc. and VGX Pharmaceuticals (now Inovio Pharmaceuticals).
Ruxandra holds a M.D. from Carol Davila University, Romania, and a Ph.D. in human genetics from the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences. She undertook doctoral training at University Rene Descartes in Paris, France and a postdoctoral training at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, with a focus on rare diseases, molecular biology, gene therapy and novel vaccines. Ruxandra has authored and co- authored more than 100 papers and holds over 100 patents.