Jennifer Leeds, Ph.D.

Dr. Jennifer Leeds is an Executive Director in the Infectious Diseases Area at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. Her group is responsible for the identification of antibacterial targets and discovery of new molecules to address the unmet medical needs in patients with severe and drug resistant bacterial infections. Areas of focus include bacterial physiology and genetics, biochemistry and lead discovery, clinical microbiology, and new technologies for understanding antibacterial compound structure/activity relationships.

Jennifer joined Novartis in March 2003 when NIBR first opened in Cambridge, MA. As a Research Investigator she led several antibacterial project teams including the pre-clinical program for the novel antibacterial LFF571 which achieved a positive Proof of Concept in patients with mild to moderate C. difficile infections. Jennifer’s research interests focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms of bacterial resistance, identifying mechanisms of action of synthetic and natural antibacterial compounds, and identifying new sources of antibacterial chemical starting points.

Jennifer joined the Infectious Diseases Leadership Team as head of antibacterial discovery in 2010 and is responsible for leading the strategy and execution of the entire antibacterial discovery portfolio within NIBR. Jennifer received her B.S. from Cornell University in 1991 and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School in Jonathan Beckwith’s lab.

Focus on the patient, follow the science

At the earliest stages of Research, our drug discovery priorities are determined by patient need and sound science – not the potential market size of a medicine.