Associate Director, Strategic Initiatives in Immunology J&J Innovative Medicine

May 21, 2024
Associate Director, Strategic Initiatives in Immunology J&J Innovative Medicine

Jennifer Gonzalez, PhD, is an Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives in Immunology at Johnson & Johnson. She executes strategic initiatives for the Immunology Therapeutic Area to deliver on the portfolio and create business impact. She also infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts into the organizational culture by leading Immunology Therapeutic Area’s DEI initiatives as a project management lead and developing an intern program to advance top talent and diversify leadership pipelines.

What is the highest degree you have earned and what can you tell us about your academic path?

I have a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Houston, TX. I studied the structure and function of ion channels involved in neurodegenerative diseases. I continued studying ion channels during my postdoc at Baylor College of Medicine.

Where do you work now and what is your company about?

I work in Immunology R&D at Johnson & Johnson. We are a global organization comprised of 150,000 people. United in our commitment to Our Credo, we come to work every day in service to patients, healthcare professionals, our communities, each other and ultimately our shareholders. As the largest healthcare company in the world, we are positioned to lead where medicine is going across key areas in pharmaceutical and medical technologies.

How did you first learn about the company?

I knew of Johnson & Johnson as a global health care leader, and I first interacted with a Johnson & Johnson leader through the SMDP program.

What do you like most about the company?

J&J’s Credo gives people insight into the company’s decision-making process and culture, which I admire. Our primary focus is on the patients we seek to serve.

What skills make you successful in your role and why did you choose this role?

My role fits into my career story of merging science, strategy, business acumen, and project management. I believe I bring a blend of strategic thinking, project management expertise, and effective communication skills that will contribute to the success of executing strategic initiatives. I'm also committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in order to drive innovation and patient outcomes.

How do you define success?

Success means not only being fulfilled, but also leaving a lasting impact on the world.

What's the most fulfilling aspect of your job?

Through my job at J&J, I get to live out my purpose of giving back to society by leading initiatives that will not only improve lives of patients but will also increase diversity in the healthcare workforce.

What advice do you have for students and job seekers?

Internships offer a great way for students to gain experience at a pharmaceutical company during their academic training. Many pharmaceutical companies often offer a 10- to 12-week summer internship program for graduate students. The internship will help students better understand the pharmaceutical industry, learn the process of drug discovery and development, and build a strong network with experts at the company. An internship will also help students determine if they really enjoy working in industry and may help them choose a future career after graduation.

What book did you read last?

“The Promise of SLEEP” by William C. Dement, M.D., Ph.D. and Christopher Vaughan. The book discusses the link between health, happiness, and a good night’s sleep.