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Jim Johnston, PhD
Vice President of Research

A2 Biotherapeutics

Jim Johnston is Vice President of Research at A2 Biotherapeutics in LA California. Previously Jim was Executive Director of Research at Amgen with responsibility for Inflammation and Immuno-Oncology.

He received his PhD in Biochemistry and Immunology from the University of Manchester, England. In his career he made a number of key discoveries – including the identification and characterization of JAK3 and work which outlined its importance in autosomal SCID. He was awarded the Most Valuable Scientist award at the BRMP, NIH (1996), the Hajime Award at DNAX, (1999) and the Irish Society of Immunology RDS Public Lecture Award (2010). He founded and was Chief Scientist at Fusion Antibodies Ltd, a company that develops humanized monoclonal antibody therapeutics.

 At Amgen his group are responsible for the development of nine drugs now in clinical development.

He has 15 issued patents and has >130 peer reviewed manuscripts.


Hemali Patel, PhD
Medical Science Liaison


Hemali Patel is a Senior Medical Science Liaison specializing in Neuroscience with Biogen. She has a diverse professional background in industry including roles in marketing, sales, analytics, research & development, and consulting. She has worked at several biopharmaceutical and medical device companies including Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and most recently at Avanir Pharmaceuticals in Orange County. She holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University and currently lives in Los Angeles county.  


Burcin Ikiz, phd
neuroscientist/science Writer/consultant

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Burcin is a neuroscientist and a science writer based in San Francisco. She has an endless curiosity to understand how our brains work, why we get diseases and how to cure, manage or prevent them. She got her B.Sc. in Biomedical Computation from Stanford University and Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Columbia University. She has over 10 years of research experience studying neurodegenerative diseases, and is also passionate about promoting STEM education for children and making science and wellness accessible to everyone. Her research has been published in scientific journals, such as Cell Reports and Neuron.