Executive Leadership

Michael D. Ehlers is our Executive Vice President, Head of R&D. Before coming to Biogen in 2016, Dr. Ehlers was Senior Vice President & Head, BioTherapeutics R&D and the Chief Scientific Officer, Neuroscience & Pain at Pfizer. Prior to joining industry 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. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Eppendorf & Science Prize in Neurobiology, the John J. Abel Award in Pharmacology, the Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award, a National Institute of Mental Health MERIT Award, the National Alliance for Schizophrenia and Depression Distinguished Investigator Award, and the Massachusetts Medical Society Honored Business Leader Award.

In 2013, Dr. Ehlers became the 11th recipient of the Thudichum Medal of the Biochemical Society of the United Kingdom. Past recipients include two Nobel laureates. Dr. Ehlers has authored over 100 scientific papers, has served on the Editorial Boards of Annual Reviews in Medicine, Annual Reviews in Pharmacology and Toxicology, the Journal of Neuroscience, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, and has sat on advisory committees of the National Institutes of Health. He is a member of the PhRMA Foundation Basic Pharmacology Advisory Committee, the Janelia Research Institute Advisory Committee, the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience Board, and the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Brain Research.

Dr. Ehlers grew up in rural Nebraska and earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. He holds M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

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