CHICAGO, Ill., Jan. 8, 2024 – Today, the Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization, iBIO, the trade association representing the 91,000 jobs in Illinois’ life sciences sector, announced a new Chair and added three new members to its Board of Directors. Ken Johnson, Pharm.D., senior vice president for global development and medical affairs at Xeris Biopharma, transitioned to Chair of the board. Heidi Gilmore from TerSera, Joe Hrdlicka from Genentech, and Kevin Johnson from Amgen have joined the Board of Directors. 

“Illinois’ life sciences industry has seen robust growth, and as the trade association representing the sector in Illinois, iBIO will continue to drive that momentum in 2024 with Ken Johnson as our new Board Chair and the addition of Heidi Gilmore, Joe Hrdlicka, and Kevin Johnson as a Board Members,” Said John Conrad, President & CEO of iBIO. “With more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and academia, Ken Johnson brings a wealth of expertise and insight into the Board Chair role that will further our strategic plan in collaboration with officials in Springfield and Congress to help our member companies transform lives through groundbreaking research and grow the Illinois economy. I also extend my deepest gratitude to Marilyn Vetter, who has served as iBIO’s Board Chair over the past two years, for her leadership and commitment to iBIO and our community.”

“I am honored to be elected Chair of the iBIO Board of Directors and look forward to continuing the great work of my predecessor, Marilyn Vetter. I am excited to work with the board and our members to advance policies that drive innovation, foster collaboration, and promote the growth of Illinois’ biosciences industry. And look forward to collaborating with stakeholders across the biosciences ecosystem to create a more resilient and inclusive community that delivers innovative solutions to patients,” said Ken Johnson, Chair, iBIO Board of Directors and Senior Vice President, Global Development and Medical Affairs, Xeris Biopharma. 

About Ken Johnson, Xeris Biopharma

Dr. Ken Johnson is the Senior Vice President, Global Development and Medical Affairs of Xeris Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Johnson is responsible for leading clinical and nonclinical development, regulatory, quality and medical affairs to effectively generate high-quality scientific and clinical evidence for Xeris’ products to support product approval, advance clinical education and practice, inform policy, and improve health outcomes for patients.

Dr. Johnson has more than 30 years of professional experience in the pharmaceutical industry, pharmaceutical benefits management, and academia. Dr. Johnson was most recently Executive Director, US Medical Affairs for Hospital Specialty Products at Merck. Previously, Dr. Johnson held senior management positions in Medical Affairs and Outcomes Research at Circassia Pharmaceuticals, Durata Therapeutics, Horizon Pharma, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, NeoPharm, Searle/Pharmacia, and Bristol-Myers Squibb. 

About Heidi Gilmore, TerSera

Heidi Gillmore is the Senior Vice President of Marketing / Strategic Planning at TerSera Therapeutics. Heidi has been with TerSera since the company’s inception in 2016 and has held several different commercial leadership roles during that time. Prior to TerSera, Heidi served as Vice President of Marketing at Crealta Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Horizon Pharma in 2016. Heidi also worked in marketing, market access and business development for TAP Pharmaceuticals and Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America. Heidi spent the early part of her career at Arthur Andersen in the supply chain technology services practice within the firm’s business consulting division.

About Joe Hrdlicka, Genentech

Joe Hrdlicka is the Senior Manager of State Government Affairs for Genentech. He’s responsible for several Upper Midwest states working with executive and legislative branch policymakers to develop favorable policy toward innovation and patient access toward innovative treatments. Hrdlicka was the executive director of the Iowa Biotechnology Association from 2014 to 2018. He served as chief executive of this 100- member organization of biotech companies where he was responsible for annual budgeting and direction of all operations including strategic planning, member communication, events and advocacy.

About Kevin Johnson, Amgen

Kevin Johnson is Senior Manager, State Government Affairs at Amgen, where he supports Amgen’s State and Local legislative and regulatory efforts and shapes the advocacy environment in 6 midwestern states. He is the Health Equity and Inflammation team lead, charged with developing the team’s State and Local educational and engagement strategies to demonstrate Amgen’s ongoing commitment to addressing health disparities.

About iBIO

The Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO) is a life sciences industry association that represents the 91,000 life sciences employees in Illinois. iBIO promotes the industry’s value to the public and policymakers; connects innovators to investment and talent; stimulates collaboration and fosters the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to transform patient lives through groundbreaking research and works to grow the Illinois economy. To learn more about iBIO and its programs, visit