College Announces Speaker for our 2019 Commencement Ceremony
The Class of 2019 will graduate on May 9 at 10 a.m. in a ceremony at UIC's Credit Union 1 Arena. The UIC College of Pharmacy is proud to announce that the graduation speaker will be alumna Jenny Colombo, PharmD ’89, RES ’91, FEL ’92, Vice President Global Patients and Scientific Affairs for Takeda Pharmaceuticals International.
A first-generation Puerto Rican born and raised in Chicago, Dr. Jenny Colombo calls UIC “a natural fit” given the College of Pharmacy’s prominent national reputation and geographic location. Once immersed in the College Dr. Colombo found much more than rich academic training. She discovered mentors and thoughts leaders, exposure to professional opportunities and an intrinsic passion for continuous learning that spurred her professional ascent.
Today, Dr. Jenny Colombo serves as the Vice President for Global Patients and Scientific Affairs at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. In this role, she oversees patient engagement, access to medicines, public-private partnerships, science advocacy, and health policy, as well as leadership and innovation for Takeda’s global research and development programs. With 20 years of experience as a Medical Affairs leader, leading both U.S. and Global Medical Affairs teams, Dr. Colombo has overseen successful product launches, changing portfolio needs, and integrations. She is experienced in building and expanding a pharmaceutical company’s evolving healthcare enterprise. Skills honed in numerous roles within leadership at Takeda, Johnson & Johnson, and Roche. Her broad therapeutic area experience and knowledge span Infectious Diseases, HIV, HCV, Organ Transplant, Gastroenterology, Psychiatry, Neurology, Cardiometabolic, Immunology, and Oncology.
Dr. Colombo’s impressive Pharmaceutical career began at Roche as a Specialty Care Clinical Liaison, focusing on HIV and Oncology, following a noteworthy Academic career at the University of Illinois Hospital and Clinics. As a faculty member, Dr. Colombo would gain valuable experience practicing, teaching and conducting research in the areas of transplantation and HIV. Her experiences on faculty inspired her interest in the development of people and ignited her personal mission to nurture others’ professional development.
In both academia and industry, Dr. Colombo has mentored, coached and developed others. She often jokes that she doesn’t work in the pharmacy business, but rather the people business. Her strong connection to people and the profession has kept her close to her alma mater. She has long maintained connections with College leaders and students, which only strengthens her connections to UIC, the place where she gained her formal training and launched her professional career.
Dr. Jenny Colombo has received significant recognition over the years from Janssen, Roche, Tibotec, and Takeda. UIC has also acknowledged Dr. Colombo’s contributions with several awards including, most recently, recognition as our 2018 Urban Health Program Distinguished Honoree. Furthermore, her impact and influence can be characterized by invitations to serve on area leadership counsels including the HealthCare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Chicago chapter, where she served as an Executive Advisor, as well as a member of the UIC College of Pharmacy’s National Advisory Board.