Featured Researcher: Johan Oslob – Bristol Myers Squibb
Johan Oslob, PhD
Scientific Senior Director
Johan Oslob, PhD, serves as a scientific senior director at Bristol Myers Squibb’s Brisbane, CA, site where the focus is to find new and improved approaches to treat mechanistically-defined subsets of heart disease. In his role, Johan leads a team of researchers that discovers small molecules that modulate disease-causing pathways through novel interactions. Working cross-functionally, Johan’s team uses these small-molecule modulators for preclinical validation as well as starting points for chemical optimization to obtain refined molecules with properties that may be suitable for a medicine.
Johan joined Bristol Myers Squibb in 2020 by way of MyoKardia, where he was part of the team that built the company’s research platform and discovered new potential heart medicines that are now in clinical trials.
Prior to MyoKardia, Johan was the director of Chemistry at 3-V Biosciences and also held leadership and lab research positions at Ardelyx, Sunesis Pharmaceuticals and Pharmacopeia.
Johan completed his degrees in organic chemistry (PhD and MS from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden) followed by post-doctoral studies in professor Barry Trost’s laboratories at Stanford University.
Interests and Expertise
Johan’s biggest motivation for working in drug discovery is developing treatments for patients with few or no viable options. When he first started at MyoKardia, patients would come in and talk about how their disease limited their daily lives, which amplified the passion and determination he already had to help patients live a more robust life through medical advancements.
“The science is cutting edge, that’s what drew a lot of us in, but what’s really energizing is the passion for doing work that can actually help people,” said Oslob. “That’s the motivation behind everything I and my colleagues do, as we know our work can have a tremendous positive impact on patients’ lives.”
In his free time, Johan plays ice hockey and spends times with his family which also includes a cat and two (permanent) dogs. For several years, he and his family have also been fostering and rehabilitating homeless rescue dogs until they can find a permanent home. Many of these dogs have been abused and lived in horrific environments. It is an amazing feeling to see canines transition from being very scared and sometimes aggressive to playful and loving dogs within a few weeks, Johan said. He and his family also volunteer at foodbanks.