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Ajay Nirula, M.D., Ph.D.

Ajay Nirula, M.D., Ph.D., is Executive Vice President and Head of Research and Development at Recludix Pharma.  Prior to joining Recludix, Ajay has served in various senior roles at pharmaceutical companies over the last two decades.  Most recently, Ajay was Senior Vice President and Immunology Therapeutic Head for Eli Lilly & Company. He has also served as the site head for Lilly Biotechnology Center in San Diego which was the company’s second largest global research site. Dr. Nirula joined Lilly in 2015 and where he was responsible for discovery research and early and mid-phase clinical development in immunology.  Over that time, he helped establish Immunology as a new therapeutic area for the company with four medicines approved globally and a robust early pipeline with over ten product candidates advanced to the clinic.  He also served as the medical leader for Lilly’s work during the COVID pandemic that led to emergency authorization for multiple therapeutic neutralizing antibodies. Prior to joining Lilly, Dr. Nirula held leadership positions at Amgen and Biogen Idec and was involved in several research programs and regulatory filings spanning diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and vasculitis. He begun his career at Merck and Co leading early clinical development of molecules in cardiovascular disease and inflammation.

Dr. Nirula earned his undergraduate degree in molecular biology from UC Berkeley, his M.D. from UCLA School of Medicine, and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He subsequently completed his fellowship and joined the faculty in the Division of Rheumatology at UCSF Medical Center. He has published extensively in the scientific literature in journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and Nature Immunology.