Laura Bessen, M.D.

Vice President, Head of U.S. Medical (Retired)
Bristol-Myers Squibb

Dr. Laura Bessen is Vice President, Head of U.S. Medical, Bristol-Myers Squibb where she is responsible for the successful launches of medicines and driving value creation and decision making within the U.S. Medical organization. Her career has spanned both industry and time as a practicing physician which brings a patient centered approach to her work.

Laura has held a number of cross-functional leadership and management roles in her 11 year career with Bristol-Myers Squibb which started when she joined as part of the DuPont acquisition. During this time she co-led the lifecycle management team for Sustiva and then additionally Reyataz. In 2004, she was promoted to Vice President, Global Medical Affairs, with responsibility for marketed HIV and hepatitis B compounds. She played an integral role in the co-development with Gilead Pharmaceuticals of Atripla. Subsequent to the launch of Atripla, Laura formed the Global Medical Affairs Immunology therapeutic area focusing on the expanded development of BMS' biologic compounds including, Orencia for Rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases as well as belatacept, (under development for solid organ transplantation). In 2008, Laura took on additional responsibility for Global Medical Affairs Immunology and Oncology responsible for medical strategic planning and lifecycle management for products in these therapeutic areas post DP 4.5. Prior to being promoted to the Head of U.S. Medical in late 2012, Laura led the Immunoscience and Neuroscience therapeutic areas within U.S. Medical. As well as carrying out Global Development and Medical Affairs responsibilities, Laura was involved in many organizational activities partnering with commercial colleagues in designing product commercialization systems, life cycle flexing resourcing principles, market access strategies and defining roles and responsibilities of commercial and medical throughout the stages of drug development.

Laura holds an M.D. degree from New York University School of Medicine. She completed her clinical training in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center and finished her fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. After her medical training, she became Physician-in-Charge for the AIDS Clinical Trial Unit at Beth Israel Medical Center where she carried out both industry and NIH sponsored clinical trials and was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.