Project Team

Olivia Goethals

Olivia Goethals

Olivia Goethals is Associate Scientific Director within the Global Public Health (GPH) R&D department of Janssen Pharmaceutica NV (Johnson & Johnson), located in Beerse. In her current role, Olivia is responsible for the discovery strategy to find solutions for flavivirus diseases. Olivia is also the biological/pre-clinical lead within the compound development team of a first-in-class antiviral small molecule for the prevention and/or treatment of dengue, tackling a major unmet medical need. Since September 2022, Olivia has been appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Duke-NUS in Singapore, where she is the principal investigator at the center for Global Health Discovery focusing on flavivirus transformational research.

Olivia holds a M.Sc. degree in bioengineering. She joined Tibotec BVBA (currently Janssen Pharmaceutica NV) in 2004 in the HIV Entry team. In 2007, Olivia started her doctoral research project at Tibotec within the HIV integrase team in collaboration with the KU Leuven and she obtained her PhD entitled ‘Molecular mechanisms of viral resistance against HIV-1 inhibitors and integrase dimerization as a novel target for HIV-therapy’ in 2011. In the same year, Olivia was appointed biology lead of the HIV peptide fusion project. In 2012, Olivia joined the dengue team, and she became the biology project lead of the dengue project in 2016. At the beginning of 2018, Olivia initiated the pan-flavivirus project and she obtained increased responsibilities as disease area lead within GPH discovery for flavivirus diseases by the end of 2019. In 2019, Olivia also received the Philip B. Hofmann Research Scientist Award (J&J) for the discovery of a new molecular entity for the prevention and treatment of dengue.

Within the AViDD consortium, Olivia is the lead of Project 4 driving the development of broad-spectrum direct-acting antivirals against contemporary and emerging flaviviruses forward by providing expertise in high-throughput screening, cell biology, medicinal chemistry and late-stage lead optimization aiming at ultimately bringing these antivirals to the clinic.

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