Maria was appointed Director, Discovery Sciences in Janssen Research & Development in 2016, to lead multiple early drug discovery programs, and where she presently leads the Discovery Sciences’ External Innovation team. Before her current role, she served as member of the Jansen Prevention Management Team, Head of Preventive Interventions and led global teams working to deliver preclinical proof of concept for innovative products, focusing on small molecule drugs and B-cell vaccines. During her tenure, she brought distinguished small molecule discovery expertise to the specific needs related to preventive interventions and played a pivotal role in research that resulted in innovative antibody-guided drug discovery. Prior to joining Janssen, Maria held scientific positions in pharmaceutical research organizations, including Abbott, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Biovitrum, Pharmacia Corporation and Pharmacia & Upjohn. She holds a Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.