Dr. Lesniewski has 35 years of operational and leadership experience in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, including careers at Abbott Laboratories (North Chicago) and GlaxoSmithKline (Philadelphia). As Vice President of Oncology Biopharmaceuticals for GSK, Rick led a new Biopharmaceutical Drug Performance Unit (DPU) within GSK’s Global Oncology Business Unit. He established GSK’s relationship with Seattle Genetics for antibody drug conjugates (belantamab mafodotin, US FDA approved August 2020 for multiple myeloma), and started GSK’s PD-1 antagonist program via strategic alliance with Amplimmune (Rockville, MD).
Prior to joining GSK, Rick had a 25-year career with Abbott Laboratories (1983-2009) where he held multiple leadership positions within the Global Pharmaceuticals Cancer Research Organization, heading discovery and optimization of biopharmaceutical agents, and later founding new research programs in tumor genomics, cancer biomarkers, and therapeutic antibody discovery. As Director of Cancer Research, Dr. Lesniewski also led the Department of Biomarker Discovery Research, and integrated personalized medicine strategies across the Abbott Oncology drug portfolio. Prior to these roles, Dr. Lesniewski served in a technology assessment and licensing role within Abbott’s Global Pharmaceutical Division. There he helped establish the Division’s first oncology therapeutic area, driving successful partnering initiatives with Northwestern University, Idun Pharmaceuticals (ABT-263, Navitoclax) and Yale University.
Dr. Lesniewski currently sits on the Board of Directors of DNASTAR, Scarab Genomics, and Invenra. He also serves as Board Chairman for AIQ-Global.