Leading with Integrity, Authenticity and without Limitations


Dr. Ehlers brings more than 20 years of experience in biopharmaceutical leadership and biomedical research and academia to Limelight Bio. Prior to joining Limelight and Apple Tree Partners, Dr. Ehlers was Executive Vice President and Head of Research & Development at Biogen, where he served on the executive committee and was responsible for setting a vision and overseeing more than $2 billion annually in R&D investment.  During his time at Biogen, Dr. Ehlers significantly expanded and diversified Biogen’s clinical portfolio and boosted R&D productivity across the value chain.  Previously, Dr. Ehlers was Senior Vice President & Head, BioTherapeutics R&D and the Chief Scientific Officer for Neuroscience & Pain at Pfizer.  Prior to joining industry in 2010, Dr. Ehlers was the George Barth Geller Professor of Neurobiology and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Ehlers is the recipient of numerous awards and has authored more than 100 scientific papers. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and holds M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Fun Fact:

Mike is an avid runner who enjoys French wine, kayaking, and vinyl records.

Chief Executive Officer

Michael Ehlers, MD, PhD

Over the past three decades, Dr. Johnson has led large research enterprises at two of the world’s premier academic pediatric hospitals, while running his own NIH-funded research laboratory focused on viral vectors and vaccines.  He has authored over 140 articles in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, is an inventor on over 20 US patents and applications, and has been an international leader in the development of adeno-associated virus (AAV) as a vector for gene transfer in humans.  Dr. Johnson has received multiple national honors including election to the American Pediatric Society and being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.  After receiving undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina, Dr. Johnson completed residency and fellowship training at Vanderbilt University. He went on to work at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD and Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH for 20 years before assuming his last role as Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and The University of Pennsylvania.  While at Nationwide Children's Hospital, he founded the academic gene therapy program that has led to major breakthroughs in new treatments for rare genetic disorders in children and multiple spin-out companies.  In addition, Dr. Johnson’s laboratory invented two novel HIV vaccines that have been tested in hundreds of normal human subjects in four countries. 

Fun Fact:

Phil channels John Lennon in a Beatles cover band.

Chief Scientific Officer

Phil Johnson, MD

Dr. Shin brings 19 years of healthcare industry experience in corporate strategy, product development and institutional investment management to Limelight Bio, where he serves as Chief Operating Officer. He was a founding investment professional at Ayer Capital, a healthcare-specific hedge fund, where he served as Principal and senior analyst covering public companies in all sub-sectors of healthcare.  As an operating entrepreneur, Dr. Shin was Vice President of strategy at Alpine Biosciences, a biotechnology company developing a nanotechnology therapeutics platform that was subsequently sold to Oncothyreon, a public oncology company.  He was also the senior technologist for new products at InnaPhase corporation, a software company serving the biopharmaceutical industry, which was acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific where he remained as Director of Technology for the Informatics business unit. David completed his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University with University Honors.  He received his MD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where he also trained in Ophthalmology. 

Fun Fact:

In his spare time, Dave indulges his life-long passion for cycling and relaxes reading hard-science, speculative fiction.

Chief Operating Officer

David Shin, MD

Jessica Imrie has more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical development and over eight years of experience working in cell and gene therapies.  Jessica started her career working for Ernst & Young consulting to hospital networks within New Zealand and in 2002, she joined GSK where she worked across discovery and development in Strategy & Operations.  In 2012, Jessica joined the GSK Rare Diseases Team and worked cross-functionally to help deliver ground-breaking cell and gene therapy treatments for multiple immunodeficiency and leukodystrophies.  As head of Strategy and Operations, Jessica led multiple growth strategy plans for cell and gene therapy treatments worldwide and in 2016, she led the European launch of the first autologous ex-vivo gene therapy (Strimvelis) for children born with ADA Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID).  She received her MBA in healthcare and pharmaceuticals from Drexel University in Philadelphia and her undergraduate degree in Strategic Management and Industrial Psychology at the University of Waikato in New Zealand.  

Fun Fact:

Jessica enjoys competitive sailing, reading and teaching her kids about fascinating countries around the world.

Chief Business Officer

Jessica Imrie, MBA

Limelight Bio is a privately held, multi-platform, multi-disease biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Philadelphia, PA and Cambridge, MA. Since 2017, Limelight has been developing proprietary technologies, advanced targets, and leading drug candidates designed to overcome key limitations of current gene therapy and gene editing approaches.

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