Najat Khan, Ph.D.

Najat Khan, Ph.D., is the Chief R&D Officer and Chief Commercial Officer at Recursion Pharmaceuticals. Previously she was the Chief Data Science Officer and Global Head of Strategy & Operations for R&D at the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. In this combination of leadership roles—unique in the healthcare industry—Najat is responsible for overseeing the Janssen R&D strategy, pipeline and portfolio optimization and investment, and for fully integrating data science and digital health end-to-end across the pharmaceutical pipeline to drive transformational innovation for patients.

As Chief Data Science Officer for Janssen R&D, Najat has end-to-end responsibility for reimagining the discovery and development of medicines and vaccines across all Janssen therapeutic areas and global functions to drive novel insights that are allowing us to do things in pharma R&D that couldn't be done before. She leads a team of 100+ data scientists and data engineers who—in collaboration with clinicians, researchers and external partners—are leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Digital Health, and Real-World Evidence (RWE) across Janssen’s pipeline, with the goal of innovating better and faster and driving impact for patients. Data science applications range from new target discovery and validation, de novo molecule design, AI- and RWE-driven clinical trial design, patient stratification, digital endpoints, external control arms and precision site selection, and clinical operations with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. Najat also co-chairs the Johnson & Johnson Data Science Council, which drives the accelerated adoption of data science across Johnson & Johnson, and sits on the board of The Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare (AAIH).

In her role as Global Head of R&D Strategy & Operations, Najat shapes Janssen’s R&D strategy, including key pipeline and portfolio decisions and new strategic initiatives—all focused on delivering on the company’s mission of changing the trajectory of healthcare. Najat collaborates with Janssen R&D therapeutic and functional heads, as well as commercial and business development leaders, on a wide variety of cross-functional strategic, portfolio-related, and operational priorities. She serves as a core member of Janssen’s pipeline decision-making bodies, including the Development Committee and Investment Committee.

In 2022, Najat was named on Endpoints News’ list of top 20 leaders under 40 in biopharma and biotech. Prior to joining Janssen, she was a Partner at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). She received her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and was a fellow at the Penn Center for Innovation (PCI) focused on translating Penn's various medical and tech innovations into new products and businesses. Najat completed her B.A. in Computational Chemistry with a minor in Economics from Colgate University.