Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson, Ph.D.[La Jolla]

  • Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery and Development
  • Research

    Dr. Jackson oversees the daily operations of the chemical biology and drug discovery resources within the Conrad Prebys Center for CPCCG.

  • Biography

    Dr. Jackson received his Ph.D. from the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Dundee in Scotland.



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Michael Jackson's Research Focus

Current Drug Discovery and Development Efforts at Sanford-Burnham

Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics’s overall mission is to develop a pipeline of innovative drugs based on discoveries made at the Institute. To this end, Dr. Jackson provides strategic, financial and tactical leadership to the Assay Development, ultra High Throughput Screening, Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology and Cheminformatics Units to ensure effective integration and efficient operations across the bicoastal organization. He is responsible for leading the transformation of the Center as its focus evolves from chemical biology and probe production to drug discovery, including translational studies essential for drug development. He works closely with Sanford-Burnham’s senior leadership to seek new support avenues and preclinical and clinical drug development initiatives.

About Michael Jackson


Dr. Jackson is senior vice president of drug discovery and development at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, where he oversees the operations of the Prebys Center a 70 person Drug Discovery enterprise equipped with state of the art ultra High Throughput Drug Screening and lead discovery capabilities. His overall goal is to generate a pipeline of first in class drugs based on the break through research conducted at the Institute.

Dr. Jackson brings many years of drug discovery and development experience to CPCCG. Prior to joining Sanford-Burnham in 2009, Dr. Jackson spent 15 years working within Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical research organization. He managed cross-disciplinary teams of scientists focused on discovering chemical leads and clinical candidates directed at novel first-in-class drug targets. In 1999, he took on the role of vice president of discovery research at Johnson & Johnson’s La Jolla, California location, where he helped establish a state-of-the-art drugs discovery institute. Dr. Jackson oversaw all aspects of the new institute, from building design to hiring the staff of 300 scientists. Over the past 10 years the site has discovered and developed multiple innovative drug candidates that have subsequently advanced to the clinic. In 2001, Dr. Jackson took on the role of senior vice president of drug discovery at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development (U.S.) where he was responsible for the research conducted by hundreds of drug discovery scientists spread over five geographical sites in the United States. Under his leadership, this drug discovery organization advanced many clinical candidates into preclinical development, over half of which advanced to the clinic. In 2005, Dr. Jackson was appointed President of ALZA Corporation, a large biotech company acquired by Johnson & Johnson that focused on drug delivery. There, his responsibilities included management of Transform Pharmaceuticals, a Boston-based biotech company that uses innovative approaches to solve drug form and formulation issues. As president of ALZA, he managed all aspects of research and development, successfully gaining regulatory approval for several drug delivery products.

Prior to his industry career, Dr. Jackson was a post-doctoral fellow and subsequently assistant professor at The Scripps Research Institute, where he published widely in the fields of cell biology and immunology. His work included identification of motifs that direct intracellular targeting of proteins to subcellular organelles, and the relevance of this and protein folding to antigen presentation and processing in the immune system. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Dundee in Scotland.

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