Leadership

Passion for development and commercialisation of novel medicines

Our team includes pioneers in T cell therapies and leaders in cancer immunotherapies who are committed to the development and delivery of novel medicines that offer life-changing benefits for cancer patients

John H Johnson

John H Johnson

Chairman of the Board of Directors
John H Johnson

John H Johnson

Chairman of the Board of Directors

John Johnson was appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Autolus in September 2021. He is a recognized leader in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry with more than three decades of experience and was most recently the CEO of Strongbridge Biopharma plc.

Mr. Johnson has held executive management roles at leading global corporations, including Johnson & Johnson, where he spent the majority of career. Mr. Johnson served as the Company Group Chairman of Biopharmaceuticals within Johnson & Johnson, where he was responsible for the Johnson & Johnson Biotechnology, Immunology and Oncology commercial businesses.

Mr. Johnson served as president of Eli Lilly & Company's Worldwide Oncology Unit, following the company's 2008 acquisition of Imclone Systems, Inc., where he served as chief executive officer and a member of ImClone’s Board of Directors.

He has served as a member of the board of directors of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and as a member of the Health Section Governing Board of Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). He also served as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Dendreon Corporation and other executive roles within the biotech industry. Mr. Johnson is an experienced director having served on numerous boards across both biotech and biopharmaceutical services companies.

He is currently a member of the board of directors of Xeris Biopharma Holdings, Inc., Axogen (AXGN), and Verastem Oncology (VSTM).

Dr Christian Itin

Dr Christian Itin

Chief Executive Officer
Dr Christian Itin

Dr Christian Itin

Chief Executive Officer

Christian Itin joined Autolus as Chairman of the Board of Directors at the inception of the company and subsequently also took on the role of Chief Executive Officer. In April 2021, a new Chairman was appointed with Christian remaining as Chief Executive Officer.

Previously he was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cytos Biotechnology Ltd, a public biotechnology company that merged with Kuros Biosurgery Holding Ltd, and until May 2019 he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the merged entity, renamed Kuros Biosciences Ltd.

Prior to joining Cytos, Christian was President and Chief Executive Officer of Micromet Inc., a formerly Nasdaq-listed biopharmaceutical company which was acquired in March 2012 by Amgen, Inc. for USD 1.2 billion in cash. Micromet pioneered T-cell engaging antibodies and with blinatumomab developed the first approved product in this field.

After serving in senior management roles at Micromet, Christian was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2004. Prior to joining Micromet in 1999, Christian co-founded Zyomyx, Inc., a protein chip company based in Hayward, CA, USA.

He received a diploma in biology and a PhD in cell biology from the University of Basel, Switzerland. In addition, he also performed post-doctoral research at the Biocenter of Basel University and at Stanford University School of Medicine, CA, USA.

Dr Martin Murphy

Dr Martin Murphy

Non-Executive Director
Dr Martin Murphy

Dr Martin Murphy

Non-Executive Director

Martin Murphy was appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Autolus in April 2021. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Syncona Limited. Previously, he was a Partner at MVM Life Science Partners LLP, a venture capital company focused on life science and healthcare investments. During his time at MVM, Martin was a member of the Management and Investment Committees and led MVM’s European operations.

Before MVM, Martin had roles with 3i Group plc and McKinsey & Company. Martin has a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge.

Dr Joe Anderson

Dr Joe Anderson

Non-Executive Director
Dr Joe Anderson

Dr Joe Anderson

Non-Executive Director

Joe Anderson is a Partner in the Sofinnova Crossover Fund. He has over 25 years’ experience in the healthcare and life sciences industries. Previously, he was a Partner at Abingworth LLP for over a decade, where he led venture-style investments in public companies and the formation of the firm’s public equities fund.

Most recently, Joe was Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Arix Bioscience plc, a venture capital firm listed on the London Stock Exchange.He has substantial experience as an active Board Member developing innovative life sciences companies in the UK and the US and his investments have involved numerous private and public financing rounds, IPOs, M&As, and exits.

Joe began his career at the Ciba (now Novartis) Foundation, before joining The Wellcome Trust in 1990 where he became Head of the strategy group. He then moved to the City as a pharmaceuticals analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, before being appointed Head of Global Healthcare and Portfolio Manager at First State Investments, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, in London.

He then joined Abingworth LLP as a Partner for 12 years before moving on to co-found Arix Biosciences in 2016 and lead its IPO on the London Stock Exchange the following year. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry.

John Berriman

John Berriman

Lead Independent Director
John Berriman

John Berriman

Lead Independent Director

John Berriman has significant experience in the biotech industry at board and operational level and as a strategic consultant. He has served as our Lead Independent Director since June 2018. He is currently Chairman of Confo Therapeutics NV, Depixus SAS, ReNeuron Group plc and Autifony Therapeutics Ltd.

He is a past Chairman of Heptares Therapeutics Ltd (sold to Sosei in February 2015) and Algeta ASA (sold to Bayer AG in 2014) and was a Director of Micromet Inc. until its sale to Amgen in 2012. Previously he was a Director of Abingworth Management, an international healthcare venture capital firm, where he was involved in founding, financing and serving as a director of several biotechnology companies in Europe and the USA, many of which obtained listings on public stock exchanges.

Prior to that, John spent 14 years with Celltech Group plc and was a member of its Board when it listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1994.

He has a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from the London Business School.

Dr Kapil Dhingra

Dr Kapil Dhingra

Non-Executive Director
Dr Kapil Dhingra

Dr Kapil Dhingra

Non-Executive Director

Kapil Dhingra is the Managing Member of KAPital Consulting, a healthcare consulting firm he founded in 2008, which provides oncology-related strategic consulting services to biopharmaceutical companies. From 1999–2008, he served in positions of increasing responsibility at Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., including Vice President, Oncology Clinical Development and Head, Oncology Disease Biology Leadership Team.

Before joining Roche, he worked at Eli Lilly & Co and on the faculty of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. During his tenures at both Eli Lilly and Hoffmann-La Roche, Kapil maintained an active academic career, first as a Clinical Associate Professor at Indiana University School of Medicine and most recently as a Clinical Affiliate at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

He also serves on several emerging life science company boards, including Exosome Diagnostics Inc., Advanced Accelerator Applications SA, and LAVA Therapeutics.

He previously served on the boards of several successful companies, including Biovex, Micromet, Algeta, YM Biosciences, Epitherapeutics, and Five Prime Therapeutics that were acquired by major pharmaceutical companies.

Cynthia M Butitta

Cynthia M Butitta

Non-Executive Director
Cynthia M Butitta

Cynthia M Butitta

Non-Executive Director

Cynthia M. Butitta is a seasoned financial and operational executive with over 25 years of leadership experience in both the biotechnology and high-technology industries.

Most recently, Ms. Butitta served as Chief Operating Officer of Kite Pharma, where she played an instrumental role leading up to Kite Pharma’s acquisition by Gilead Sciences for approximately $11.9 billion in cash. From 2014 to 2016, Ms. Butitta served as Kite Pharma’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. During her tenure at Kite Pharma, Ms. Butitta was responsible for securing over $1 billion in equity financing and oversaw the rapid growth of the organization.

Prior to joining Kite, Ms. Butitta served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of NextWave Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was acquired in 2012 by Pfizer, Inc. for $700 million. Previously, Ms. Butitta served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Telik Inc., a public biotechnology company focused on the development of small molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer, prior to its acquisition by MabVax Therapeutics, Inc.

Prior to this, Ms. Butitta served as Vice President of Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer for Connetics, Inc., a public biotechnology company. She has served as a director of publicly held biopharmaceutical companies UroGen Pharma Ltd. since October 2017, and Olema Pharmaceuticals Inc. since August 2020, and of privately held Century Therapeutics since February 2021.

Ms. Butitta received a B.S. degree with honors in Business and Accounting from Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin, and a M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Linda Bain

Linda Bain

Non-Executive Director
Linda Bain

Linda Bain

Non-Executive Director

Linda Bain is Chief Financial Officer of Codiak BioSciences, the leader in the emerging field of exosome therapeutics. Ms. Bain joined Codiak BioSciences from Avalanche Biotechnologies where, as Chief Financial Officer, she led a successful IPO and follow-on financing. She previously served as Vice President of Finance and Business Operations at bluebird bio, where her tenure included a Series D financing and IPO.

Ms. Bain has held senior roles at Genzyme Corporation, including Vice President of Finance, Global Manufacturing and Operations and Vice President of Finance of Genzyme Genetics, where she was a member of the team that divested the business unit to LabCorp for $925 million. Earlier in her career, she served in senior finance roles at Fidelity Investments and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals and as an auditor at Deloitte & Touche.

Ms. Bain received her B.S in Accounting and Business Administration and an Honors Degree in Accounting and Business Administration from the University of the Free State, South Africa. She is a Certified Public Accountant.

Dr Jay T Backstrom

Dr Jay T Backstrom

Non-Executive Director
Dr Jay T Backstrom

Dr Jay T Backstrom

Non-Executive Director

Jay Backstrom serves as President and CEO of Scholar Rock, a role he has held since October 2022. Prior to that, he Served as EVP, Head of Research & Development at Acceleron. Earlier in his career he spent 10 years at Celgene where he latterly served as Chief Medical Officer and Head of Regulatory Affairs with a focus in hematology/ oncology. Prior to Celgene, he served as Vice President, Global Medical Affairs and Safety at Pharmion.

Dr. Backstrom began his career in industry in 1990 at Marion Merrell Dow and continued as part of its successor companies including Hoechst Marion Roussel, where he held positions in Clinical Research and Global Drug Surveillance and Pharmacoepidemiology.

He also spent nearly three years at Quintiles in Medical and Scientific Services, including Therapeutic Head, Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Critical Care, where he oversaw extensive clinical work across a variety of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.

Prior to his move to industry, Dr. Backstrom served as staff physician and Medical Director of the Samuel U. Rodgers Community Health Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Dr. Backstrom holds an M.D. from Temple University School of Medicine and received post-graduate training in Internal Medicine at Temple University Hospital. He also earned a Master’s in Public Health from Saint Louis University School of Public Health.

William D Young

William D Young

Non-Executive Director
William D Young

William D Young

Non-Executive Director

William D. Young is a Senior Advisor to the Blackstone Life Sciences group. Mr. Young became a Venture Partner with Clarus (now known as Blackstone Life Sciences) in 2010 after serving as CEO of Monogram Biosciences, a leader in personalized medicine, from 1999 through to the sale of the company to LabCorp in 2009.

Prior to Monogram he was at Genentech since 1980 at positions of increasing responsibility, including COO, responsible for all of the biotechnology company's development, operations and commercial functions. Prior to Genentech, Mr. Young was at Eli Lilly and Company for fourteen years.

Mr. Young currently serves on the Board of Directors of Nanostring Technologies (Chairman), Theravance Biopharma and Praxis Precision Medicine. Previously he was Chairman of the Board of Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB) and served on the Board of Directors of BioMarin Pharmaceutical and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Mr. Young received his Bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University, his MBA from Indiana University and an honorary doctorate in engineering from Purdue University. In 1993 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his leadership in research, development and manufacturing of recombinant proteins using recombinant DNA technology.