Healthcare and Life Sciences 50 – 2016

James P. Sullivan/AbbVie

Dr. James “Jim” Sullivan serves as the vice president of pharmaceutical discovery at AbbVie Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical company. In his role, he oversees research projects focused on cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hepatitis C, and many autoimmune diseases.

Born in Drogheda, Co. Louth, Jim grew up in Stamullen Co. Meath and earned his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in biochemistry from Trinity College Dublin. His father, who came from Co. Cavan, was a physician in the Irish army. It was this, Jim says, that inspired him “to be a scientist and to find better treatments for devastating diseases.” He believes that the Irish routinely “punch above their weight,” and accomplish much in doing so.

Jim has helped discover drugs that are used in the treatment of cancer and hepatitis C, is the inventor of 11 patents, and has over 130 scientific publications to his name. He is an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University. He resides in Chicago with his wife, Jeanie, and has three children, Gavin, Ross, and Aidan.