Dr. Joanne Smith-Farrell is a mission-driven executive whose career has been devoted to leading teams conquering cancer and life-limiting disease.
Joanne joined Be Bio as chief executive officer in February of 2021, where she leads a committed team of scientists, drug developers, business builders and cell therapy operational specialists, united in one common mission – to fully unleash the power of engineered B cell medicines to provide previously impossible solutions across a wide range of therapeutic areas to patients with many of today’s least tractable diseases.
Prior to joining Be Bio, Joanne was the chief operating officer and business unit head, oncology at bluebird bio, where she led the growth of bluebird Oncology. Joanne established and led the team that transformed an early single-candidate effort within a rare disease gene therapy company to a leading oncology cell therapy business encompassing Abecma, a transformative, first-in-class CAR-T medicine for patients with multiple myeloma, a full portfolio of clinical and near-clinical cell therapies, a research engine producing one to two new investigational new drugs per year, and a team of more than 400 employees with full research and development, commercial manufacturing infrastructure and capabilities. Prior to this Joanne held executive leadership roles as the chief business officer of bluebird bio, vice president of transactions at Merck, vice president of business development at Pfizer, and senior vice president of global business development at Gene Logic. Before entering industry, Joanne was a consultant within the healthcare practice at The Boston Consulting Group, a principal investigator at The Vitreous State Laboratories and a staff scientist at The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.
Joanne conducted her post-doctoral research in biomedical engineering in Professor Robert Langer’s lab at the Harvard-MIT Division for Health Science and Technology where she received the National Service in Research Award Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health. She holds a Ph.D. in physics from The Catholic University of America where she was a Herzfeld Scholar and held the Hubbard Fellowship, and a B.S. in physics and mathematics from Vanderbilt University.