The Warren K. Lewis Lectureship in Chemical Engineering – 2024

Innovations in the Development of Small Molecule Pharmaceuticals

Jean W. Tom
Brenton Halsey Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chemical Engineering
University of Virginia
Bristol Myers Squibb (retired)

Friday, May 10, 2023
3:00 p.m., Room 66-110
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA

[Lecture Video]


Jean Tom is currently the 2024 Brenton Halsey Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Virginia. Jean recently retired from Bristol Myers Squibb where she was the Executive Director of Development Engineering Chemistry Process Development, leading a group of chemical engineers focused on development of chemical processes to synthesize small-molecule drug candidates for new therapeutics. Prior to joining BMS in 2006, Jean spent 19 years at Merck Research Laboratories. She has been a strong advocate for increasing the role and impact of chemical engineering in the pharmaceutical industry, bringing new approaches to accelerate the generation of process knowledge needed at the different stages of development, and increasing the role of pre-competitive collaboration to advance new technologies for the development of new compounds.

She received B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering Practice from MIT. After several years in industry, Jean returned to academia and received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Princeton University. Jean is active in the AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) as a Board of Director member, Fellow, and recipient of the AIChE Industrial Leadership Award (2018), and in the NAE (National Academy of Engineering) to which she was elected to in 2019. She contributes to the chemical engineering community through her service as an ABET program evaluator, external advisory committee member for several departments, and through STEM outreach programs.