Wendy S. Johnson is a venture partner with ProQuest Investments, and the CEO of two San Diego-based companies, Aires Pharmaceuticals and Palkion. She has broad experience in the establishment and operations of venture-backed life science companies. Working with life science start-up companies since 1986, she has established a broad network of contacts including venture capital organizations, high level individuals involved in research and development as well as business development in the major pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies throughout the world. In addition to these business contacts, she is well-known in the technology transfer offices of many of the leading academic and research institutions in the U.S. and Europe.
After leaving a ten-year career with the Food and Drug Administration she became involved in the biotechnology industry working in a number of start-up venture backed companies. She joined ProQuest Investments, a $1B life science venture fund as a venture partner in October 2005. In November 2006, she founded Aires Pharmaceuticals a pulmonary drug development company and secured Series A financing. In February 2007 she founded Palkion, Inc. a joint venture company with a Crystal Genomics, Inc. a public biotechnology company in South Korea, and secured series A financing. Prior to ProQuest she served as Senior Vice President, Corporate of Salmedix until its sale to Cephalon in May 2005. She has served as part of senior management teams in several San Diego-based life science companies since 1988. Ms. Johnson holds an M.B.A. from Loyola University, an M.S. in clinical microbiology from the Hahnemann Medical School and a B.S. in microbiology from the University of Maryland.