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Funded Studies

Jennifer A. Johnston, PhD

CEO at NysnoBio

Location: Mill Valley, CA United States

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.

Associated Grants

  • Efficacy of PRKN Gene Delivery toward Mitigation of Alpha-synuclein-induced Degeneration


  • In Vivo Approach to Elucidate the Pathobiology of Parkinson’s-associated Genes Using Human Diseased Neurons


  • Parkin-activating Small Molecules in a Model of Mitophagy


  • Identification of Small Molecule Activators of Parkin Protein


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