Mike Dillon, Ph.D.

Chief Technology Officer, Curasen Therapeutics

Dr. Mike Dillon is an experienced drug discovery scientist with more than 30 years of industrial experience in large pharma and biotech companies. Dr. Dillon is currently the chief technology officer at Curasen Therapeutics, a company pursuing the development of novel treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.

Most recently, Dr. Dillon was chief scientific officer and head of research at IDEAYA Biosciences, where he was responsible for establishing the company’s drug discovery strategy, team building and selection of its early portfolio. Under his leadership, IDEAYA established itself as one of the leading synthetic lethal oncology companies, with four clinical programs and a robust discovery portfolio focused on first-in-class DDR therapeutics. The company completed an IPO in 2019 and established a multiprogram collaboration with GSK in 2020.

Prior to joining IDEAYA, Dr. Dillon worked for the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NBIR), where he served in various executive leadership roles, including global discovery chemistry head, oncology and new therapeutic modalities, and head of chemical sciences and executive director of oncology chemistry. Under his leadership at NIBR, several small molecules advanced into the clinic, resulting in a number of successful new medicines. Dr. Dillon started his industrial career at Roche and Syntex (acquired by Roche), where he led multiple small molecule programs that advanced to the clinic, including the first-in-class treatment for chronic cough Gefapixant.

Dr. Dillon is an author or inventor on more than 60 publications and patents.

Dr. Dillon obtained his B.Sc. (Hons) in chemistry from the University of Leicester and his Ph.D. from the University of Bristol, studying the biosynthesis and total synthesis of natural products. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in chemistry at Oregon State University with Professor James D. White.