Dr. Jennifer Johnston has studied the Ub-proteasome pathway, starting with work on protein folding and substrate degradation by the proteasome with Dr. A. Varshavsky at Caltech. Subsequently, her work with Dr. R. Kopito at Stanford resulted in the discovery and description of aggresomes, the first example of cellular proteostasis, and provided 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 serving as VP Research/Head of Exploratory Research, Dr. Johnston lead 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 and CSO of An2H Discovery, a biotech company focused on the modulation of the ubiquitin pathway for critical unmet medical needs in neurology and oncology.