Jim joined Samsara BioCapital as a Venture Partner in Fall, 2022 and has over 28 years of experience in drug discovery across multiple therapeutic disciplines.
Prior to joining Samsara, Jim spent 22 years at Janssen Research & Development in roles of increasing responsibility. Most recently, he was Vice President and Global Head, In Silico Discovery & External Innovation, leading a multi-disciplinary group of computational & data scientists providing predictive and design tools across all modalities within the Therapeutics Discovery organization at Janssen. Prior to this he was Vice President & US Regional Head, Discovery Chemistry, leading drug discovery teams at multiple sites. These teams were responsible for the design and synthesis of small molecule drug candidates working with partners across all six Therapeutic Areas within JRD and delivered clinical-stage small molecule drug candidates against targets ranging from GPCRs & kinases to cytokines & cytokine receptors. From 1999-2014, Jim led various Immunology medicinal chemistry groups at J&J/Janssen which progressed clinical-stage molecules against novel first-in-class targets such as cathepsin S, histamine H4, and LTA4H. Jim began his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, working on non-steroidal AR & PR modulators.
Jim received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, working with Professor Scott Denmark, and his B.S. from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA. He also performed post-doctoral studies with Professor Lanny Liebeskind at Emory University.