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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Announces Dr. Penny M. Heaton to Lead Vaccine Development

SEATTLE -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced that Dr. Penny M. Heaton has been named Director of Vaccine Development within the Global Health Program.   Heaton is currently Global Head of Clinical Research and Development Clusters for Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. She will start work at the foundation on January 14, 2013.

“Dr. Heaton is a renowned leader in vaccine development and I know she will be a great support to all Program Strategy Teams with vaccine product development activities, from clinical development through manufacturing and registration,” said Dr. Trevor Mundel, president of the foundation’s Global Health Program. “We are fortunate to have her join us to lead our vaccine production and regulatory endeavors.”

“All children and their parents should have the same opportunity to receive life-saving vaccines regardless of where they may live,” said Dr. Heaton.  “It is my sincere honor and privilege to join the Gates Foundation and support my new colleagues and our partners in realizing this mission.”

Prior to her work at Novartis, she was Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Development at Novovax Inc., overseeing vaccine development from late discovery through licensure.  She also worked at Merck Research Laboratories, as Senior Director, Vaccines Clinical Research, and was the Chair for Product Development Team for RotaTeq.

Dr. Heaton has also served appointments at the CDC, as Medical Officer, Epidemic Intelligence Service, Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch, where she investigated diarrheal disease outbreaks and completed a study of the epidemiology of diarrheal diseases in infants born to HIV-positive mothers in Kisumu, Kenya.

Dr. Heaton is board-certified in pediatrics with a subspecialization in infectious diseases.  She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville, where she also attended medical school and completed her residency in pediatrics and internal medicine.

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