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Roche Women Honored as 2010 TWIN Awardees

NUTLEY, N.J., May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Two Roche employees were recognized for their significant contributions to industry in New Jersey at the 36th Annual TWIN Awards Dinner held April 29, 2010.  Honored were Mary C. Graves, Ph.D., Global Head Partnering Virology, and Leann M. Fieldstad, Pharm.D., global head, Safety Compliance, Pharmaceutical Development Safety and Risk Management.

"These women exemplify the best and brightest at Roche. They have made outstanding contributions to the company's success, and to the health care industry as a whole," said Ivor C. M. Macleod, General Manager of the Roche Nutley site.

Graves and Fieldstad join the 83 Roche pharmaceutical employees recognized since TWIN began 34 years ago. TWIN, which stands for Tribute to Women and INdustry, is sponsored by the YWCA of Bergen County to recognize women who have achieved responsible managerial, executive or professional positions and have made noteworthy contributions to their industries. 

The Awardees

Leann M. Fieldstad, Pharm. D., of Randolph, N.J., is global head, Safety Compliance, Pharmaceutical Development Safety and Risk Management (PDS), a group that creates proactive strategies for meeting or exceeding regulatory requirements around the world. She leads a team of close to 80 people spread over four sites. Dr. Fieldstad is the PDS point person during health authority inspections of Roche facilities and was instrumental in the first ever inspection of a Japanese company partnering with Roche. As a member of the PDS Leadership Team, she has been vital in designing and implementing what is called a "New Era of Safety" (NEOS), a company-wide global transformation program. Her extensive background in leading safety operations departments through company integrations was invaluable during the 2009 Roche-Genentech integration.

"In addition to a phenomenal experience in all aspects of pharmacovigilance, Leann is known for her enormous energy, working capacity and ability to mobilize people. She is also extremely generous with her knowledge and time to help people to succeed, and is very highly respected in our organization," said Cynthia Dinella, Pharm. D., vice president, Regulatory Affairs and Product Development Site Head for Nutley.

Dr. Fieldstad joined Roche in 2007 as head of U.S. PDS Operations and was promoted to global head the following year. She came from Pfizer, where she worked for nine years in senior safety and risk management roles. Before that, she was with Schering Plough and Wyeth, where she started her pharmaceutical career in medical research after serving as a staff pharmacist at two hospitals. She earned a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin and her Doctorate of Pharmacy, magna cum laude, from St. John's University, New York.

Outside her work with Roche, Dr. Fieldstad is actively involved with the American Red Cross chapter near her home in northwest New Jersey, including serving as chair of its board of directors. She is an avid walker, and also enjoys cooking and baking. She counts among her top accomplishments "the joy of raising two wonderful sons," Joshua Leibowitz, 19, and Jacob Leibowitz, 17, and she cherishes spending time with them and husband Philip Leibowitz.

She is also deeply honored to be among the TWIN awardees and to be affiliated with "a premier pharmaceutical company that works to save lives every day with compassion and innovation. It is most rewarding to be part of a company wherein there is always a sense of pride in the work we are doing in the world for people's health."

Mary C. Graves, Ph.D., of Nutley, N.J., is global head Partnering Virology for the Roche Partnering organization. In these roles, she has made significant contributions to the strategy and direction of the R&D efforts in virology, has helped shape the company's virology portfolio by developing key collaborations with several external business partners and was instrumental in the integration of global business development efforts following the Genentech-Roche merger in 2009. Dr. Graves played important roles in the discovery or licensing of a dozen compounds that entered clinical trials; three are currently prescribed medicines.

"Mary's strong leadership and exceptional talent is recognized in R&D and business development inside and outside of Roche. She is a gifted scientist, an astute businesswoman and a caring, supportive mentor to countless people with whom she's worked,"  said Daniel  Zabrowski, Ph.D., head of Roche Partnering and member of the Roche Corporate Executive Committee.

Dr. Graves started at Roche in 1986 as a senior scientist and research investigator in the Molecular Genetics group, working her way up to director of Biotechnology before accepting an international assignment at Roche Welwyn in the UK, where she led a biology discovery group for five years. Upon her return to the U.S. in 2001, she joined Pharma Partnering as director of Global Business Development for Virology. A year later, her roles was expanded to include the therapeutic areas of inflammation, respiratory and anti-infectives. Dr. Graves is the author of several publications and presentations. She earned her BSc in Chemistry with Honors from Tennessee Tech University and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She also served as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.

In addition to her work with Roche, Dr. Graves is devoted to her family, including husband Brad, a senior research leader at Roche, and three children Daniel, 27, Catherine, 23, and Alex, 17.  

"I feel honored to be selected for the TWIN award, and to join the outstanding group of women who have made significant contributions to our company and the health of millions.  At Roche,  I've been fortunate to able to pursue different career paths, all leading to the rewarding outcome of finding and getting new medicines to patients," she said.

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche's personalized healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2009, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested almost 10 billion Swiss francs in R&D ($9.1B US). The Group posted sales of 49.1 billion Swiss francs ($45.1B US). Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: or

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