Michael Ehlers, MD, PhD

Chair and Co-Founder

Dr. Michael Ehlers is chief scientific officer and a venture partner at ATP (Apple Tree Partners), applying expertise gained through a successful career leading research and development at major biopharmaceutical companies. Before joining ATP, Dr. Ehlers was executive vice president for Research and Development at Biogen, where he led discovery sciences, translational medicine, clinical development, and regulatory sciences, with a focus on neurological, immunological, and rare diseases. He significantly expanded and diversified Biogen’s clinical portfolio, transformed its R&D productivity, advanced more than 20 novel clinical candidates, and oversaw global filings and approvals of Spinraza™ (nusinersen), the first drug approved for spinal muscular atrophy.

Prior to Biogen, Dr. Ehlers was Biotherapeutics group senior vice president and Neuroscience chief scientific officer at Pfizer, where he created and advanced the neuroscience and rare disease portfolios; directed global development activities in biologics design, synthesis, and manufacturing; steered academic collaborations focused on immunology and oncology; and successfully brought 22 compounds into the clinic.

Before entering industry in 2010, Dr. Ehlers was a professor and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Duke University Medical Center, where he pioneered studies on neuronal organelles and the trafficking of neurotransmitter receptors. He has received numerous awards, authored more than 100 scientific papers, and served on multiple editorial boards as well as advisory boards for the National Institutes of Health, private foundations and many other organizations spanning industry, academia and government.

Dr. Ehlers earned a B.S. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and holds M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.