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Keynote Speaker

The keynote address for GPEN 2014 will be delivered by Professor Jonathan Knowles, Ph.D., F.R.S. – Finnish Distinguished Professor, Finnish Institute for Molecular Medicine, University of Helsinki & Professor of Translational Medicine, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

“How can we be more successful in creating cures for serious diseases?”


Dr. Jonathan K.C. Knowles

Dr. Knowles attended Magdalen College School in Oxford and received a First Class Honours Degree in Molecular Genetics from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. He received his Ph.D. in Genetics of Mitochondria with Professor G. H. Beale F.R.S. from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. 
Dr. Knowles was Head of Group Research and Member of the Executive Committee at Roche up to the end of 2009. He was a member of the Genentech Board for the last 12 years and a member of the Chugai Board for seven years. Dr. Knowles was also the chairman of the Corporate Governance Committee of Genentech.  Dr. Knowles focused the company on key disease biology areas of high medical need and in-depth understanding of molecular pathology of disease. Under his leadership, the company developed and implemented a strategy of highly effective therapies based on personalized healthcare and built one of the best pharma pipelines in the sector.
Prior to this he served as Director of the Glaxo Institute in Geneva for 10 years and as head of European Research for Glaxo Wellcome.
He was for 5 years the Chairman of the Research Directors’ Group of EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations) and was the first chairman of the Board of the Innovative Medicines Initiative, a unique public-private partnership between 28 Pharmaceutical companies and the European Commission with a budget of more than 2 Billion Euros over five years.
Jonathan Knowles holds a Distinguished Professorship in Personalised medicine at FIMM (Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM) at the University of Helsinki, Emeritus Professorship of Translational Medicine at EPFL in Switzerland, and has been appointed to a Visiting chair at the University of Oxford. In addition, he is a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization and a Visiting Fellow of Pembroke College Cambridge. In 2011, Jonathan Knowles was appointed as a Trustee of Cancer Research UK, one of the world’s leading Cancer Research Organisations.

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