Belen Tornesi

Senior Director, Non-Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology
Research & Development

What I do at MMV:

I design, direct and ensure the execution of preclinical studies for efficacy and safety; providing expert guidance in the selection of suitable drug combinations to drive progress into clinical studies. In collaboration with academic and industry experts, I develop and expand innovative non-clinical models for the selection of drug combinations to meet MMV’s Target Product Profiles.

Why I work at MMV:

I am really excited to apply the drug development skills I acquired over the last 25 years, to work on malaria. The mission of MMV is my motivation. I really hope to be able to make a difference, particularly for children and young women affected by malaria.

More about me:

I am Argentinian, a veterinarian and a reproductive physiologist.

After completing my veterinary degree at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, I worked in a small animal practice. I then moved to Canada to study reproductive physiology. I received my Master degree in Reproductive Physiology from the University of Saskatchewan and continued my reproductive research at the Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where I was responsible for the sperm bank and the in vitro fertilization programs. My career then took me to Texas where I worked (PostDoc) at the Department of Animal Science at Texas A & M University in the molecular endocrinology laboratory.

Following that, I moved to Michigan, where I was an Adjunct Professor and taught Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Hematology and basic Pharmacology. I then joined Dow Chemical and for 8 years worked in the preclinical department, designing animal studies. I also managed the in vitro toxicity testing laboratory. Prior to joining MMV, I spent 12 years at AbbVie, as a Senior Scientist designing/developing/managing different types of toxicological studies for drug development. I was the co-leader of the pregnancy and contraception group for clinical trials and worked closely with the Pharmacovigilance group. I was also part of the Neglected Diseases Team Initiative, which included working on malaria.

Ask me about:
Reproduction, sperm, oocytes, contraception and shoes! And toxic effects!