The New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), a corporation of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Michael Johnson as NJII President. Johnson emerged from a deep and talented pool of candidates and will begin his tenure at NJII on October 10, 2023.
Working as Managing Director at Visikol and Chief Commercial Officer of MatTek Life Sciences, Johnson is a visionary leader who has focused his career on solving the big problems that our world faces by leading the development and commercialization of paradigm-shifting life science technologies. Johnson founded the advanced cell culture and imaging contract research service business Visikol, which he sold in 2021 to Swedish biotech company BICO. At Visikol, Johnson led all scientific, commercial, strategic, operational and finance efforts and attracted all 20 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies as clients. He oversaw 200+ discovery programs and led the development and launch of many advanced cell culture models, assays and imaging approaches.
Following the sale of Visikol, Johnson assumed his current role at MatTek Life Sciences (a BICO sister company), where he oversees an international sales, marketing and business development team.
Johnson also held positions at Johnson & Johnson and NASA earlier in his career and earned a bachelor of science degree in biology from Muhlenberg College as well as Ph.D. in microbiology from Rutgers University.
In addition to his impressive professional credentials, Johnson exhibited all of the traits necessary to effectively lead NJII, which partners with business and government entities to turn ideas into workable solutions across an array of sectors and create industry-centric ecosystems that help drive innovation and deliver solutions that make a direct and significant impact on the economy as well as the health and welfare of individuals. Johnson demonstrated poise, a high capacity for both internal and external engagement, a penchant for curiosity and innovation, a collaborative leadership style, and an understanding of how to move a complex organization forward throughout the search process.
NJIT President Teik C. Lim said, “We are very excited to have attracted someone of Michael’s experience and capability to serve as NJII’s next president. He is an excellent match for this opportunity, and we have great confidence that he will have a tremendous and positive impact on NJII. I very much look forward to working with him as we expand the ways in which NJII and NJIT engage with government and industry to develop mutually beneficial partnerships.”
Robert Medina, Chair of the NJII Board of Directors, added, “I am thrilled to have Michael joining NJII. Throughout this search, we worked very hard to make sure we found someone who had demonstrated a capacity to drive results and who would be the right fit to lead NJII and its extraordinarily innovative leadership team, into the future. Michael clearly checked both boxes.”
Johnson said, “I am passionate about translating cutting-edge research into innovative technologies that change the world, and the opportunity at NJII to be the conduit between a leading R1 research organization and industry was very attractive to me. As I look at NJII, I see an opportunity to greatly expand the organization’s scope, size and impact over the next few years as we look to form stronger public and private partnerships, accelerate the translation of NJIT technologies, expand corporate education programs and spur innovation within the state while leveraging NJIT’s vast resources. I am very grateful for this opportunity to join such a great team and really appreciate the efforts of President Lim as well as the NJII Board of Directors and the NJIT Board of Trustees.”
NJIT Board of Trustees Chair Robert Cohen added, “The Board of Trustees is enthusiastic about Michael Johnson assuming the presidency of NJII. His professional accomplishments align well with the NJII operating model, and he understands what it will take for NJII to take a leap forward. At his core, Michael is a proven innovator and problem solver, which is exactly what NJII is all about.”
About the New Jersey Innovation Institute
The New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), an NJIT corporation, was founded in 2014 and serves as a portal and platform for university partnership with corporations and funding agencies by turning technological ideas into workable solutions across four divisions: healthcare, entrepreneurship, defense and homeland security, and professional and corporate education. NJII links its strong and far-reaching industry relationships with the vast resources of NJIT to build and support business-centric ecosystems that foster innovation and entrepreneurship and deliver practical solutions that make a direct impact on the economy and improve the quality of life.
About New Jersey Institute of Technology
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is the greatest producer of technological talent and knowledge in New Jersey. NJIT is a leading public polytechnic research university that prepares students for uncommon career success and spurs innovations that improve lives while fostering economic growth. The New York Times college ranking tool rates NJIT No. 1 nationally among all public universities when you prioritize high alumni earnings, economic mobility, and academic profile. Additionally, NJIT is rated among the top 50 public national universities and top 100 overall by U.S. News & World Report.