Joe Arena, Ph.D.


Dr. Arena is vice president and category lead for oncology at Pfizer. He joined Pfizer Worldwide Safety and Regulatory organization as vice president and category lead for cardiovascular and metabolic disease in 2016. Prior to joining Pfizer he was at Merck, where he was vice president regulatory lead for Merck’s oncology franchise. He began his career as a research scientist at Merck Research Laboratories and his lab published papers in 15 peer-reviewed journals. He moved to a position in regulatory affairs international, focusing primarily on Merck’s cardiovascular products and eventually assumed management and leadership roles including management of therapeutic areas in diabetes, neuroscience, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular. He then became global lead for the regulatory team that managed Merck’s lipid/cardiovascular and GI franchises, then vice president in project leadership and management. He returned to global regulatory affairs as vice president, head of regulatory affairs international until he began leading Merck’s oncology franchise in 2014.

He received his B.S. in pharmacy from St. John’s University and earned a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in the Physiology Department at the University of Rochester in New York.