John Leonard, M.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
After a 30-year career in pharmaceutical R&D, John Leonard retired from his position as Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President of Research and Development at AbbVie in 2013. Inspired by the opportunity to work with a new therapeutic modality and form a new company, he returned to his life’s passion and joined the Intellia team to direct the research and development effort to make Adapted from a naturally occurring bacterial immune system, CRISPR is an acronym for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. One of the proteins in the CRISPR system is known as CRISPR-associated 9 protein or Cas9 protein, which acts as a pair of ‘molecular scissors’ to cleave DNA. Researchers have co-opted the bacterial CRISPR/Cas9 system to make specific changes in the DNA of humans, other animals and plants. CRISPR/Cas9 was first harnessed in 2012 as a genome editing tool in the lab. More recently, scientists have begun engineering and testing CRISPR systems to be very specific to a desired genetic target. technology into a therapeutic reality.
John is among the leading R&D executives who have led breakthrough medicines through their discovery, development and launch into blockbuster drugs. While serving as the Global Head of Pharmaceutical R&D at Abbott Laboratories, John oversaw the development of numerous novel therapeutics. His ground-breaking work with HIV protease inhibitors Norvir® and Kaletra® led to new treatment paradigms for AIDS, his years of work with Humira® made it the all-time top-selling drug worldwide and he led significant growth of the R&D pipeline at Abbott and Abbvie. John’s teams were twice recognized with the prestigious Prix Galien Award for excellence in pharmaceutical research.
In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of Intellia, John serves on the Board of Directors of IQVIA (NYSE: IQV) and IFM Therapeutics. He received his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine followed by a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.