Michael Ehlers is Executive Vice President for Research & Development at Biogen, a leading biotechnology company. Dr. Ehlers grew up rural Nebraska and earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Caltech. He holds MD and PhD degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he trained with Rick Huganir. Prior to joining Biogen in 2016, Dr. Ehlers was Senior Vice President for BioTherapeutics and Chief Scientific Officer for Neuroscience at Pfizer, where he led the transformation of the Neuroscience and Rare Disease portfolios, successfully bringing 22 compounds into the clinic, as well as directing global activities in biologics design, synthesis, and production. Before entering his industry career in 2010, Dr. Ehlers was the George Barth Geller Professor of Neurobiology and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Duke University Medical Center, where he pioneered studies on neuronal organelles and the trafficking of neurotransmitter receptors. Dr. Ehlers’ current research focuses on the interface between neuronal cell biology, the plasticity of neural circuits, and neurological disease. At Biogen, Dr. Ehlers oversees global research and development including discovery sciences, drug design, translational medicine, clinical development, medical affairs, and business development with a focus on neurological diseases.
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