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Our Team

Our Team

Human Microbiome Institute

Human Microbiome Institute 

Microbial artwork credit: Mehmet Berkmen, Ph.D. and Maria Peñil

The Janssen Human Microbiome Institute team combines our pioneering expertise in the microbiome with the drug discovery, product development, and commercialization know-how of a leading global biopharmaceutical company. Together with our colleagues at Janssen and Johnson & Johnson, we have the knowledge and resources to identify the most promising innovations taking place across the microbiome ecosystem and help our partners translate early-stage innovations into product concepts and, ultimately, new solutions with the power to impact human health.

As the Global Head of the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI), Dirk deepens the Janssen R&D’s leadership, scientific understanding and capabilities in this emerging and exploding area of science.

Dirk joined from his most recent role as Senior Group Leader of Microbial Systems and Communities at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. In this position, Dirk served as a scientific liaison between different organizational components, including the Broad Institute’s data generation platforms and both clinical and analytical collaborators on a number of microbiome-related projects. Dirk’s research efforts at the Broad Institute included the characterization of the microbial imbalance associated with diseases such as Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes and colorectal cancer. He was also involved with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Microbiome Project (HMP), holding a leading role in the Data Analysis Working Group, consisting of over 50 investigators focused on human microbiome research.

Dirk received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Ghent University (UGent), Belgium, and completed postdoctoral training at UGent and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in bioinformatics, comparative and evolutionary genome analysis and microbial ecology. 

 

Dirk Gevers, Ph.D

Global Head

As the Head of Scientific Innovation of the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI). Anuk is responsible for developing and maintaining partnerships across a multitude of collaborators and stakeholders working closely with the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centers to solidify JHMI’s industry leadership position in delivering microbiome healthcare solutions.

Anuk joined the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson in 2001 and has since catalyzed the evaluation of emerging areas of research with promising scientific potential for the Immunology Therapeutic Area (TA). Following a successful record of program and functional leadership spanning several disease areas focused upon the discovery and development of potential new medicines, she led External Research. In this role she delivered new areas of scientific research that shaped the Disease Area Stronghold (DAS) strategies for disease interception and prevention. Her work helped to establish a global network of external partners in academia and biotechnology for the Immunology TA and further drove investments in emerging areas of interest, including several ongoing projects focused on the microbiome. Most recently, Anuk served as Senior Director, Disease Integrative Biology (DIB), and launched the Immunology Exploratory Science Laboratory (I-ExSL) and Immunology Postdoctoral Program. As the founder of these groups, Anuk built productive scientific functions that leveraged human disease knowledge and the network pharmacology disease platform to establish new paradigms for identifying and validating novel therapeutic mechanisms.

Anuk obtained her BS (Honors) at the University of Bath (UK) in pharmacology and completed her Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the National Heart & Lung Institute, University of London (UK) focused on allergic inflammatory mechanisms. She has co-authored over 50 scientific articles, patents and patent applications.

Anuk Das, Ph.D.

Head, Scientific Innovation

As the Director of External Alliances of the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI), Julie is responsible for driving excellence in Research Planning, Research Operations and Alliance Management across a range of partnerships from Discovery to Early- and Late-Stage Development in support of the JHMI's goal to accelerate the translation of exciting microbiome science into innovative products in multiple disease areas.

Julie most recently served as an independent consultant providing strategic program and alliance management services to clients in the biopharmaceutical industry. Prior to establishing her own consulting firm, Julie led the Corporate Alliances team at Harvard’s Office of Technology Development, aiming to maximize the value of existing alliance and research collaborations to the Harvard Faculty and Industry Partners. In this role Julie was responsible for a portfolio of ~$40M overseeing eight major drug discovery focused industry alliances encompassing over 35 projects. Julie worked to tailor alliance strategies to deliverables aligned with partner’s interest and desired value leading efforts to identify, monitor and guide scientific, publication and intellectual property strategy in the context of a drug discovery effort. Julie also led business development and marketing campaigns to establish and expand existing alliances with new projects. She joined Harvard’s Office of Technology Development in 2011 as an Alliance Manager and began leading the team in 2014. Prior to joining Harvard, Julie worked in Boston University’s Office of Sponsored Programs negotiating and administering federal and industry contracts in the life science space. Julie began her biopharmaceutical career at Merck Research Laboratories, Boston, in Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics.

Julie holds a BS in chemistry from Villanova University and an MBA with a concentration in health sector management from Boston University.

Julie Hamill

Director of External Alliances

In the role of Operations Specialist, Polina is responsible for a wide range of responsibilities for the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI), including management of strategic projects and leading detailed execution of processes related to communications, affiliate management, procurement, finance and hiring.

Polina joined the JHMI from Baxalta, a biopharmaceutical company in Cambridge, MA, where she supported the Global Head of Hematology on several complex R&D initiatives and projects, including the governance and organizational re-design following Baxalta’s recent separation from Baxter. Prior to Baxalta, Polina worked at Novartis Vaccines working with the Global Head of Human Resources, conducting change management workshops and resilience training after an acquisition by GSK, as well as participating in several GSK/Novartis HR operations work-streams. She previously spent more than five years working as an Investor Relations Manager in both the finance and energy sector. 

Polina holds a JD from the University of Massachusetts School of Law-Dartmouth, and a BS in Political Science and Journalism from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Polina Ioffe

Operations Specialist

In the role of Computational Biologist for the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI), Jens conducts analyses of microbiome data leading to new target and diagnostic identification. This includes supporting the design of microbiome data analysis strategies, interpretation of results and generation of actionable insight to drive decision-making in the JHMI’s therapeutic project portfolio.

Prior to this role, Jens completed his Ph.D. in Bioinformatics at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). There he developed one of the first metagenomic processing pipelines for Illumina data under the supervision of Dr. Peer Bork. His work has been an integral part of the metagenomics efforts at the EMBL. Prior to that, he completed his masters in bioinformatics at Uppsala University. He has conducted research at MIT, Harvard and institutions in China, Brazil and New Zealand.

Jens Roat Kultima

Computational Biologist

As the Head of Product Development for the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI), Dan Meyers works closely with internal and external collaborators to drive unique microbiome product development strategies.

Dan joined the JHMI from the Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research (NIBR), where he was a Senior Translation Medicine Expert, chairman of NIBR's protocol review committee and member of the first-in-human safety committee. During his decade plus time at NIBR, Dan gained an expertise in bringing medicines from the earliest stages of preclinical research and through late-stage clinical development. As a project leader, he led teams to successfully file investigational new drug applications and clinical trial applications, and has planned and executed over 25 clinical studies including multiple first-in-human, proof-of-concept, mechanistic profiling and clinical pharmacology studies for both small and large molecules. He was also a core member of a late-stage development team which progressed a novel drug through Phase 2 and Phase 3 programs. Prior to joining NIBR, Dan spent the first few years of his career as a physician scientist at the Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Long Beach, California, where he conducted basic and clinical research and cared for patients in the endocrinology and lipid clinics.

Dan holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Brigham Young University and a M.D. from The University of Washington in Seattle. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the University of Utah, followed by a clinical and research fellowship in Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition at the University of Washington.

Dan Meyers

Head, Product Development

As Senior Computational Scientist of the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI), Keng is responsible for designing and developing appropriate data analysis strategies for the analysis of microbiome data for new targets and diagnostics.

Keng joined the JHMI from Genedata Inc, USA, a software and consulting company headquartered in Switzerland that specializes in computational and consulting solutions for the life sciences industry. As a Scientific Account Manager of the Selector business unit, he was responsible for various customers in the industrial biotech and agriculture space, providing technical support and scientific consulting for their next-generation sequencing (NGS) projects. Prior to Genedata, Keng worked with Ciris Energy, an industrial biotech company based in Colorado where he was an Advanced Metabolic Engineer working on computational pipelines for building metabolic models for microbial host optimization as well as bioprocesss data analysis and modeling for the production of biochemicals and biofuels from renewable feedstocks. Before embarking on his scientific career, Keng spent four and a half years as a Principal Manager in the Singapore Workforce Development Agency where he helped design, develop and implement Continuing Education Training frameworks for adult workers to ensure that they remain competitive and employable in their respective industries.

Keng obtained his Ph.D. from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland specializing in metabolic modeling and network analysis. He also received an MS in bioinformatics from Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, an MS in industrial and operations engineering, a BS in economics and BSE in Mechanical Engineering from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Keng Soh

Senior Computational Scientist

 

The JHMI is based at the Johnson & Johnson Boston Innovation Center located in the healthcare and biotech innovation hub of Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass.

Janssen Human Microbiome Institute
255 Main Street, 7th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142

 

Join Our Team

 

We are seeking curious, resourceful, and inventive teammates to help develop microbiome solutions that will improve world health. See openings and apply here.

Let’s Work Together

 

Translating microbiome science into transformative products will require multidisciplinary collaboration. Learn more about our approach to partnership here.

Contact Us

 

Are you a researcher, clinician, or entrepreneur who is using the microbiome to change healthcare? Let’s talk.