Exceptional People, Exceptional Medicines

Our people embody the care, creativity, dedication, thirst for insights and pure professionalism that medical innovation requires. Through them, we translate our strengths in generic and specialty R&D into the development of new ways of addressing the unmet needs of patients across the world.

Meet some of the key people at our Global R&D Group:

Michael Hayden, MD., PhD.
President of Global R&D and Chief Scientific Officer
Michael Hayden is a clinician-scientist who has spent his entire working life striving to discover and develop medicines that make a difference for patients. He is internationally renowned for his work in genetics and personalized medicine, leading teams that have discovered more than 10 genes and their roles, and was pivotal in discovery and development of the world’s first approved gene therapy.

Michael is also one of the world’s foremost experts on Huntington Disease (HD). His relationship with HD started soon after graduation from medical school in Cape Town, South Africa, where he established as fact the existence of HD in Africa (it was previously thought not to exist in African people). This relationship continues as strongly as ever to today with his passionate leadership of Teva’s HD research programs.

Having founded three successful biotech companies, Michael understands that just having a good idea is never enough. As a keen art lover, one of Michael’s greatest skills is his ability to appreciate an abstract thought or idea, intrinsically see how to translate it into something meaningful, and then gather the resources to bring it to life. This is what he does every day at Teva.


Elisabeth Kogan
SVP Global Generic R&D
Elisabeth Kogan heads Teva’s Generic R&D unit. Elisabeth's team is responsible for successfully developing the often first-to-market generic medicines upon which Teva has built much of its success. As part of our integrated R&D, Elisabeth also co-leads Teva's NTE program, alongside Jon Isaacsohn, Head of Global Clinical Development and Medicine. Additionally, Elisabeth's group oversees NTE CMC development and OTC product development for the Proctor Gamble / Teva (PGT) partnership.

Elisabeth joined Teva in 1996. In 2002, she became VP Global Sales and Marketing for Teva TAPI and in 2008 she led Global Portfolio Strategy. She was appointed SVP of Teva Global Generic R&D in 2010. Prior to joining Teva, Elisabeth worked with Sanofi Aventis Paris in process development. Elisabeth holds a Master of Science in Engineering from Ecole Centrale Paris (ECP) where she specialized in Chemical Engineering.


Jon Isaacsohn, MD.
Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer (CMO)
As Teva’s Chief Medical Officer, Jon Isaacsohn is responsible for leading the crucial process of clinical development for Teva’s drug development projects across New Therapeutic Entities (NTEs) and all other therapeutic areas. Jon's group also includes key clinical support functions such as Biometrics and Pharmacovigilance.

Prior to joining Teva, Jon served as Executive Vice President, Head of Medical & Regulatory at Medpace, a global leader in research-based drug and device development. He trained in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Harvard Medical School and is a member of the cardiology faculty at Yale Medical School. Jon is also a co-founder of the Metabolic & Atherosclerosis Research Center in Cincinnati, US.


James (Jim) Ottinger
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs

Teva R&D is home to one of the few truly integrated regulatory affairs departments in the pharmaceutical industry. This diverse and highly capable team, led by Jim Ottinger, serves the breadth of Teva's R&D outputs from OTC products for Teva’s PGT partnership through Generics, Specialty medicines, NTEs and complex novel biologics. In a unique partnership, these teams work together with key business functions as a single "development factory" for the delivery of Teva’s New Therapeutic Entity (NTE) strategy.

Jim brings to Teva R&D over 25 years of worldwide regulatory experience, with an emphasis on drug development and registration in the US, Europe and Japan. His background in large, mid-sized, and virtual pharmaceutical companies is extensive, encompassing broad therapeutic experience with leading global brands including Azilect® and Copaxone®. Jim also has expertise in Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) for individual opioid products and class-wide opioid REMS.


Rivka Riven Kreitman, PhD.
Senior Vice President, Head of Scientific Evaluation and Alliance Management (SEAM), Global R&D
Rivka Riven Kreitman heads our Scientific Evaluation and Alliance Management (SEAM) in R&D. Her SEAM team plays a critical role in ensuring that Teva establishes effective partnerships in support of our mission of building a robust and competitive pipeline. This includes identifying early stage opportunities (pre-Proof of Concept), scientific assessment, coordination of R&D due diligence and ongoing alliance management with potential and actual partners.

Prior to joining Teva R&D, Rivka served as Head of Global Strategic Marketing, Biologics and Cell Therapy, Teva Specialty Medicines group. She has over 20 years' experience at Teva encompassing the full discovery and development lifecycle. Rivka also brings to R&D broad commercial and market-facing expertize. Her previous positions have included business development, pharmacology studies management, project leadership, management of global clinical operations, and leadership of Global Innovative R&D. Rivka holds a PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel (Biochemistry). She undertook postdoctoral work on Molecular Biology at Princeton University in the US.


Steffen Nock, PhD
Senior Vice President, Global Head of Biologics
Steffen Nock is responsible for Teva’s largely self-contained biologics unit. This unit houses the specific expertise required for the development of a broad range of biosimilars, biobetters and novel biologics, including Discovery and CMC functions.

Steffen has led Teva's Biologics R&D since the acquisition of Cephalon in 2011, and has over 15 years' biotech experience. He co-founded the proteomics company Zyomyx Inc. in 1998 and established Absalus Inc. in 2003. Following a merger with EvoGenix Ltd. and an IPO on the Australian Stock Exchange, the company was re-named Arana Therapeutics Ltd. prior to its acquisition by Cephalon in 2009. Steffen received his PhD in 1996 from the University of Bayreuth, Germany in Biochemistry. He completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University, focusing on molecular motors and cytokinesis in lower eukaryotes. 


Michele Holcomb
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of GR&D
With 3000 people and a budget of over $1 billion, Teva Global R&D is in itself a substantial business requiring significant operational direction and support. This direction is provided by Michele Holcomb, whose group includes R&D's project management function for Specialty/NTE projects. She works closely with Michael Hayden and the R&D Leadership Team to develop the R&D strategy, processes, resources and infrastructure required to ensure R&D is well-positioned to deliver to Teva and to our patients. She also ensures strong collaboration with internal and external partners to R&D.

A chemist at heart, Michele holds a BS in chemistry from Stanford University and a PhD in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. Michele joined Teva in 2010 as the Vice President of Corporate Strategy, and was later appointed to the R&D group as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Prior to joining Teva, Michele was a Partner in McKinsey's Global Pharmaceutical Practice. There she served many of the world's leading global pharmaceutical companies and high-growth biotechs.


Ralph Laufer, PhD.
Senior Vice President, Head of Discovery and Product Development (DPD)
Ralph Laufer leads Teva’s Discovery and Product Development (DPD) activities. The DPD team is a key group within R&D that supports early drug development, including small molecule Discovery, Nonclinical Development (e.g. toxicology, pharmacology, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics), Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control (CMC), and Personalized Medicine and Pharmacogenomics (PMP).

Ralph has over 20 years in the industry, much of it at Merck as Head of Pharmacology at the Rome research site, where he contributed to the discovery and development of several clinical candidates and marketed drugs. He joined Teva R&D from IRBM Science Park, a spin-off of the Italian research site of Merck Research Laboratories. There, as Scientific Director, Ralph was instrumental in the development of IRBM's drug discovery strategy and pipeline of proprietary assets. Ralph holds a PhD in Biochemistry from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and undertook his postdoctoral training at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. 


Dr. Karen Gotting-Smith
SVP R&D Project Leadership
Karen Gotting-Smith leads the Global R&D Project Champions who are the cross-functional leaders for each of Teva’s drug development projects. Her team is a cornerstone of Teva’s R&D group, providing strategic leadership, support and oversight of the highly complex process of bringing a new medicine to the point of approval.

Karen joined Teva in October 2013 and has over 28 years’ experience in drug development in the Pharmaceutical industry. She has a BSc from University College Cardiff and a PhD in breast cancer research from the Tenovus Institute at the University of Wales School of Medicine. Prior to joining Teva she spent 26 years at AstraZeneca and was most recently the VP of R&D Strategy, Portfolio and Performance. In this role, Karen oversaw R&D strategy development, leadership of portfolio planning and performance across R&D. Earlier, she was VP Global Products Leadership, heading all Global Vice Presidents in charge of late stage development products. Before this, Karen served as Astra Zeneca’s VP US Clinical Development, and also as Global Product Vice President for Crestor®.


Francine Del Ricci
Vice President, Corporate Alliance Management & Pipeline Governance 
As the VP of Corporate Alliance Management, Francine and her team are responsible for overseeing and managing effective and collaborative relationships with external Teva partners. Additionally, Francine has the responsibility of leading the cross-functional governance process for the Specialty products and NTEs pipeline. This important role includes administration of the Project Approval Committee (PAC) that provides the over-arching oversight and decision-making for all the Specialty and NTE development projects.

Francine has deep experience of drug development, having spent more than twenty five years working in the pharmaceutical industry. She joined Teva from Cephalon where she was the head of Project Leadership and Alliance Management. Previously, she had worked in the Pharmaceutical and Consumer Healthcare sectors of Johnson & Johnson. Francine holds a BS in Biology and an MS in Pharmaceutics.


Ram Waisbourd
Chief of R&D Office
Ram Waisbourd is Chief of the R&D Office and a member of the R&D Leadership Team at Teva. Directly reporting to Teva's President of Global R&D, Ram is responsible for key strategic and operational aspects of Teva's R&D Group.

Ram joined Teva in 2009 and has held various portfolio, integration and business development positions. Prior to joining Teva, Ram was Vice President of Business Development of XTL Biopharmaceuticals, Vice President of the venture capital fund Biomedical Investments, and a team leader at the strategy consulting firm Shaldor. Ram has a B.Sc. degree from the Wharton Business School and an MBA from Tel-Aviv University.