Joint Steering Committee

Jana Jensen, Ph.D., is Chief Operating Officer for Deerfield Discovery and Development, LLC and joined Deerfield in 2019. Prior to Deerfield, Dr. Jensen was Vice President and Head of Business Operations at Covance. Before Covance, Dr. Jensen spent almost 11 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she was Head of Development Business Operations and R&D Collaboration, and prior to that, she was Director of Vendor and Outsourcing Management and Associate Director of Project Planning and Management. Dr. Jensen spent six years at Pfizer as a research scientist and began her career as a chemist at Merck. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas and an M.B.A. from Rutgers University.

William Slattery is a Partner, in collaboration with the Deerfield Discovery and Development team and joined the Firm in 2000. Prior to Deerfield, Mr. Slattery was a senior healthcare analyst for ten years at Amerindo Investment Advisors, where he oversaw biotechnology investments. He has held various positions in research including those at National Medical Enterprises, Johnson & Johnson, and HMSS. Mr. Slattery is the Chairman of Gilda’s Club New York City, a non-profit organization supporting cancer patients and their families. He holds an undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry from State University of New York at Albany and completed coursework in Immunology at the Graduate School-New Brunswick, Rutgers University.

Jeanine Pennington is the Portfolio Director of the Therapeutics and Diagnostics licensing teams for Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures where she facilitates partnering and licensing of JHU’s life sciences innovations. Jeanine joined JHU in 2013 after four years as a licensing associate for the Texas A&M University System where she focused on licensing of their healthcare, veterinary and life science portfolio. Jeanine’s education includes a B.S. in Biochemistry from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin and a Ph.D in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

Barbara Slusher, Ph.D., MAS, is Professor of Neurology (primary), Medicine, Psychiatry, and Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Director of Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery. Dr. Slusher received her undergraduate degree from Dickinson College where she graduated valedictorian, majoring in Chemistry. She received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine while simultaneously earning her Master’s degree in Administrative Science from the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business (formerly the Hopkins’ School of Continuing Studies). Before joining Johns Hopkins in 2010, Dr. Slusher spent 18 years in the pharmaceutical industry, including several years at the level of Senior Vice President of Research and Translational Development. She has extensive experience in drug discovery through early clinical development and was involved in the successful development, launch and/or post marketing support of several branded medicines including Quetiapine (Seroquel TM) for schizophrenia, Palonosetron (Aloxi TM) for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Azacytodine (Dacogen TM) for myelodysplastic syndrome, and Fospropofol (Lucedra TM) for monitored anesthesia care (MAC) sedation. At Johns Hopkins, she leads the largest integrated drug discovery program on campus, responsible for translating basic science discoveries at Hopkins into novel small molecule therapeutics. Her veteran drug discovery team consists of medicinal chemists, assay developers, pharmacologists, toxicologists, and pharmacokinetic/drug metabolism experts, with an average of 15 years Pharma R&D drug discovery experience. She has also published over 175 scientific articles and is the inventor on 75 issued patents and applications. She co-founded a new biotechnology company in Baltimore called Cerecor and is leading the first-ever International Consortium of over 130 Academic Drug Discovery Centers with over 1500 members in an effort to coordinate and enhance university-led drug discovery efforts.