Jessie’s work in male contraception began during her PhD studies of Physiology & Biophysics at the University of Illinois Graduate School of Medicine. Her work there included male contraceptive research, some of which focused on development of a reversible vasectomy device. She was recruited to lead Syntex Research’s preclinical development efforts to develop male and female contraceptives, as well as anti-bone resorptive agents for postmenopausal women. These efforts identified a series of orally active 1-substituted imidazoles, killing sperm during ejaculation; a host of spermicidal molecules for vaginal contraception; and several candidate parathyroid hormone analogues, one of which continued into clinical trials for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Jessie then ran a number of Syntex’s clinical development programs including a successful NDA (GnRH agonist analogue for treatment of precocious puberty) and a Phase II/III program (ciliary neurotrophic factor to slow progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
Jessie was recruited by (now) Quintiles Transnational to perform a turnaround for its West coast operations and subsequently by (now) PRA Health Sciences as a senior manager as well as to establish their West coast operations. She established and managed departments of Project Management, Clinical Operations, Data Management, Programming, Biostatistics and Regulatory Affairs, including directors for each of these divisions. She also managed drug development programs in multiple therapeutic areas including infectious disease, neurology, reproductive medicine, oncology and cardiovascular medicine. Jessie was active in business development efforts. Also, for emerging growth clients, she identified and selected strategic partners and financing, prepared business plans, performed market analysis, and performed due diligence for buyers, sellers and financiers.
Wanting to be close once again to “the science and medicine”, Jessie left PRA in 2002 to take on client companies, for which she solves specific problems. Examples of her consulting activities include formulating successful FDA strategy to address challenging safety issue for endocrine drug (NDA approved); preparing NDA for a cardiovascular imaging drug/device; creating systems and processes for safety reporting at small pharma company; evaluating development plans and project timelines, and providing recommendations for finishing IND-enabling preclinical studies, drug product availability and timelines; and identifying additional indications for new molecules already under development.
Jessie has published 77 peer reviewed journal articles and abstracts, and 10 book chapters. She has served as an NIH Scientific Grant Reviewer, a member of the Mills College Science and Math Advisory Board, and Judge on the International Fellowships Awards Panel for the American Association of University Women.