Aida Habtezion Taking Leave of Absence to Join Pfizer
Aida Habtezion, MD, MSc, associate professor of medicine (gastroenterology and hepatology), will be taking a leave of absence from Stanford to join Pfizer as their new Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and head of Worldwide Medical and Safety within Worldwide Research, Development, and Medicine (WRDM).
Habtezion, who joined Stanford as an assistant professor in December 2010 and also serves as faculty in the Immunology PhD program and Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, will “provide dynamic leadership and a strong medical voice for Pfizer as we transform into a purely innovative biopharmaceutical company,” according to a letter sent out by company leaders.
Trained as a physician at McMaster University School of Medicine in Canada, Habtezion has published 85 journal articles and was recently named the president-elect of the American Pancreatic Association. She currently leads a NIH-funded translational lab focusing on understanding immune mechanisms and identifying potential immune-based therapeutic targets for pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease.
She was born in Eritrea and comes from a large family. Her experience living on three continents and in four different countries gives her a blend of diverse experience as a researcher and physician. And Pfizer also emphasizes “her position as a respected leader across the healthcare community,” which will come to bear in her tenure both at Pfizer and afterwards, when she returns to Stanford University with yet another impressive accolade.