Jonathon Sedgwick, Ph.D., is an Immunologist, educated at the University of Western, Australia, with postdoctoral education at the University of Oxford, U.K., with Don Mason, Neil Barclay, and Alan Williams. His subsequent career included 10 years in academic research at the University of Wurzburg, Germany, and the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine, Sydney, Australia; six years as Group Director for Immunology at the DNAX Research Institute, Schering Plough/Merck’s biotech arm in Palo Alto, California; and 11 years with Eli Lilly and Company. At Eli Lilly, he held a number of roles including chief scientific officer, Cancer Inflammation Research; managing director and chief scientific officer of Lilly’s Singapore Research Center; chief scientific officer, Autoimmunity Discovery Research; and distinguished research fellow, Biotechnology and Autoimmunity.
In November 2015 Sedgwick joined the German biopharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. Sedgwick was appointed to the new role of vice president and global head of Cancer Immunology and Immune Modulation in December 2016. In this role, he is responsible for the development of the immuno-oncology discovery and early clinical portfolio, and for immune-modulation research globally contributing immunology target concepts and discovery portfolio programs across all therapy areas.
Amongst his key contributions to the immunology field was the discovery with colleagues at DNAX of the dominant biological role of the interleukin-23 (IL-23) cytokine in autoimmune inflammation, subsequently identifying the IL-17-producing T-cell subset, Th17. This work was fundamental in reorienting the autoimmune therapy field towards a focus on therapeutics in the IL-23/Th17/IL-17 axis, with drugs directed to these pathway components now launched (IL-17A inhibitors including the mAb ixekizumab from Eli Lilly) and others including IL-23p19 inhibitors launched or in phase 2 and 3 clinical testing across multiple companies and indications (e.g., J&J’s guselkumab, Boehringer Ingelheim/Abbvie’s risankizumab). Sedgwick has authored or co-authored 120 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.