Featured Researcher: Alyssa Johnsen – Bristol Myers Squibb

Alyssa Johnsen

Alyssa Johnsen, MD, PhD

Senior Vice President and Head of Clinical Development, Immunology, Cardiovascular and Neuroscience

Central New Jersey


Alyssa serves as senior vice president and head of Clinical Development, Immunology, Cardiovascular and Neuroscience at Bristol Myers Squibb. In this role, Alyssa leads a team that oversees the clinical development of potential medicines for people with immune-mediated and fibrotic diseases, where she applies knowledge and insights from years of experience in immunology, specifically rheumatology, and oncology.


Alyssa’s team is responsible for designing and executing clinical trials, interpretation of the data/findings and collaboration with a cross-functional team that works with health authorities to gain regulatory approval for medicines. Her team also helps to successfully transition new medicines to the market to deliver them to patients.


Alyssa previously held a leadership role at Janssen, where she led strategy development for rheumatology indications and created a new focus in maternal-fetal immunology, managing a portfolio of assets from discovery through commercialization across these indications. Prior to her time at Janssen, Alyssa held various roles at Bristol Myers Squibb across Immunology and Oncology, including Clinical Program Lead for programs in the Immunology portfolio and Early Asset Development Team Lead in Oncology.


Before entering the pharmaceutical industry, Alyssa was a physician-scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, where she performed translational research in lupus. She trained as a rheumatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital after completing her residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Alyssa received her MD and PhD in immunology from Case Western Reserve University.

Interests and Expertise

Alyssa rejoined Bristol Myers Squibb because of the potential of the Immunology pipeline to deliver transformational medicines to people with serious immune-mediated diseases.


“The evolution in our understanding of immune-mediated diseases combined with the unique insights of my colleagues here at Bristol Myers Squibb inform our clinical studies and help us to bring meaningful innovations forward for patients. We have a remarkably diverse and deep pipeline—it is such an exciting time to be a part of Immunology development at BMS,” she said.


Outside of work, Alyssa enjoys spending her free time hiking with her family.