Jennifer Johnston, PhD
Jennifer Johnston, PhD, has been studying neurodegenerative disease for the last 20 years, starting with her work with Dr. R. Kopito at Stanford which resulted in the discovery and description of aggresomes. This discovery provided the first example of cellular proteostasis and demonstrated a link between the proteasome pathway and canonical neurodegeneration pathology phenotypes. At Elan Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Johnston directly applied the tenets of aggresome biology, protein folding, and cellular proteostasis to basic research and drug discovery for Parkinson’s disease and neurodegeneration in general. In addition to VP Research and Head of Exploratory Research, Dr. Johnston also leads the Parkin Project, a drug discovery program focused on the identification of specific small molecule therapeutics that modulate the activity of Parkin E3 ligase. Presently, Dr. Johnston is co-founder/CEO of NysnoBio, a biotech company focused on the modulation of the parkin enzyme pathway for critical unmet medical needs in neurology and oncology.