John Isaac, PhD
John is Senior Director, Neuroscience External Innovation at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, London. In this role John uses his drug discovery and scientific experience to identify and advance external opportunities in the areas of Alzheimer’s Disease and Mood Disorders.
Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, since November 2014, John was Head of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the Wellcome Trust. Previous to that he worked at Eli Lilly and Company at their neuroscience research campus near London, UK. At Lilly he led a team of labs dedicated to identifying new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.
John’s scientific interests centre on synaptic mechanisms in circuit function, and how dysfunction causes psychiatric and neurological disease. John obtained a BSc in Pharmacology and Biochemistry at the University of Southampton in 1990 and remained at Southampton for his graduate work, studying mechanisms of epilepsy with Prof Howard Wheal.
In 1994 he joined Dr Robert Malenka’s laboratory at University of California San Francisco working on mechanisms of long-term synaptic plasticity in hippocampus and somatosensory cortex, also in close collaboration with Dr Roger Nicoll. After completion of this post doc position, John joined Prof Graham Collingridge’s laboratory at the University of Bristol back in the UK in 1996, where he completed a one year post doc before establishing his own lab there. He rose up through the ranks to full Professor before leaving in 2004 to set up a lab at the Intramural Program at NINDS/NIH in Bethesda, MD, USA studying mechanisms and roles of synaptic plasticity in developing cortical circuits.