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Dr. Joseph Wettstein

Joe Wettstein’s most recent position was with F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. in Basel where he was Vice President and Head of Functional Neuroscience overseeing preclinical research activities associated with programs designed to discover new drugs for patients with disorders of the nervous system.

Dr. Joseph Wettstein has a long-standing interest in brain research and its potential to lead to new medicines for neurologic and psychiatric disorders.  Dr. Wettstein began his career in academic science, first as a student in biology at the University of California San Diego, followed by his doctoral research on opioids at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine where he received a PhD in pharmacology.  In the mid-1980’s, Dr. Wettstein was appointed Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  While at Harvard, he developed an international reputation as a pharmacologist and neuroscientist in the field of psychiatry while conducting research on the physiological and behavioral actions of clinical and experimental psychoactive drugs.  In late 1988, Dr. Wettstein moved into pharmaceutical R&D at Jouveinal Laboratories near Paris where he built a Department of CNS Pharmacology around a neuropeptide platform focused on pain and depression.  From 1996 to 2003, Joe worked for Hoechst Marion Roussel through two mergers concluding with Aventis Pharmaceuticals in New Jersey where he was Department Head of Systems Biology.  In addition to his other accomplishments there, he and his team played a critical role in the discovery of teriflunomide, an orally-active immunomodulatory and neuroprotective drug that is now prescribed for patients with multiple sclerosis under the trade name Aubagio with annual sales in 2018 at US$ 1.6 billion.

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