NUTLEY, N.J., May 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Two Roche employees were recognized for their significant contributions to industry in New Jersey at the 34th Annual TWIN Awards Dinner held May 1, 2008. Honored were Jennifer Dudinak, Pharm.D., group director, Oncology, Drug Regulatory Affairs, and Sherrie Pietranico-Cole, Ph.D., research leader, Discovery Chemistry.
"These individuals 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 George Abercrombie, president and CEO of Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., adding that the 2008 awardees join the 79 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.
Jennifer Dudinak, Pharm.D., is group director of Oncology in Drug Regulatory Affairs, which is the key interface between Roche and health authorities, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She leads a team responsible for overseeing the regulatory approval process for promising new cancer drugs or new indication on existing drugs that have completed the clinical trial phase. She also was recently appointed as the Pharmaceutical Development Regulatory (PDR) Partner to the company's Oncology Disease Biology Area team.
"Other TWIN winners have been tremendous role models for me, so to receive this award is very humbling," she said.
Dr. Dudinak joined Roche in 1997 as part of the Roche/Rutgers Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program and in 1999 became part of the PDR management team. She has worked in all phases of drug development leading several investigational new drug and global dossiers for new and supplemental indications. She also served as Interim Head of U.S. Operations in Drug Safety for part of 2007. Before Roche, she worked in several clinical practice settings including retail, hospital and community pharmacy. She received a Doctorate of Pharmacy and Bachelors of Pharmacy from Rutgers University.
In addition to her work with Roche, Dr. Dudinak promotes women's wellness education in New Jersey through community outreach organizations. She and her husband, Michael, have a son, Justin 2, and are expecting their second child in June.
"Jennifer provides strong leadership, keen strategic vision and outstanding communication and teamwork skills. She has a positive track record of inspiring and motivating all who have had the opportunity to work with her," said Cindy Dinella, Pharm.D., vice president, Drug Regulatory Affairs.
Sherrie Pietranico-Cole, Ph.D., is research leader, Discovery Chemistry. She is currently involved in the design and discovery of new drugs for the treatment of diabetes and metabolic syndrome and has led teams that, in the past two years alone, have brought two promising compounds to the point of human studies.
"I feel very fortunate that I am able to work on discovering medicines that help people and make this world a better place. The TWIN award is a tremendous honor, especially since I have admired many past Roche recipients," she said.
Dr. Pietranico-Cole joined Roche in 1992, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a Ph.D. in chemistry -- the first woman of African American descent to do so. Work she did there with two renowned chemistry professors was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and is still regarded as groundbreaking progress in the field of peptide mimetics. She earned her B.S. degree in chemistry from Rutgers University-Douglass College.
In addition to her work with Roche, Dr. Pietranico-Cole is deeply committed to promoting science education and mentoring disadvantaged children. She spends much time volunteering in schools, local museums and with the Roche Student Enrichment Program. She and her husband, Dr. Brian Cole, have two children, Jasmine, 12, and Brian Jr., 9.
"Sherrie has tremendous scientific talent and leadership skills, and is not only a role model at Roche, but also for the hundreds of children she inspires in her professional outreach," said Jefferson Tilley, Ph.D., senior research director, Discovery Chemistry.
Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. (Roche), based in Nutley, N.J., is the U.S. pharmaceuticals headquarters of the Roche Group, one of the world's leading research-oriented healthcare groups with core businesses in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. For more than 100 years in the U.S., Roche has been committed to developing innovative products and services that address prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, thus enhancing people's health and quality of life. An employer of choice, in 2007 Roche was named Top Company of the Year by Med Ad News, one of the Top 20 Employers (Science) and ranked the No. 1 Company to Sell For (Selling Power). In previous years, Roche has been named as a Top Company for Older Workers (AARP) and one of the Best Companies to Work For in America (Fortune). For additional information about the U.S. pharmaceuticals business, visit our website: http://www.rocheusa.com. Product and treatment information for U.S. healthcare professionals is available at www.RocheExchange.com.