Ajay Nirula, M.D., Ph.D.
Sr. Vice President, Immunology Research, Lilly Research Labs
Ajay Nirula is Sr. Vice President, Immunology for Lilly Research Laboratories based at the Lilly Biotechnology Center in San Diego. Ajay joined Lilly in 2015 and is responsible for discovery research and early phase clinical development in immunology for the company. 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, Ajay 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.
Ajay earned his undergraduate degree in molecular biology from UC Berkeley, his MD from UCLA School of Medicine, and his PhD from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He subsequently 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.
He and his wife Lisa have four children.