Dr Johnston is currently an independent consultant working with profit and non-profit clients to further their business objectives. Dr Johnston previously served as Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she oversaw the HIV team’s advanced vaccine clinical development, laboratory and statistical support grants, and helped represent the foundation to private and government partners.
She previously held the positions of Assistant Director for AIDS Vaccines, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Director, Vaccine Research Program, Division of AIDS, NIAID, which is part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). In this capacity, she led NIAID’s extramural HIV vaccine research grant and contract programs totaling over $250 million a year to support HIV vaccine discovery, preclinical evaluation and development, and clinical research, including NIH’s multi-center, international HIV Vaccine Trials Network, the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology and an interagency agreement with the Military HIV Research Program. She also served as NIH’s representative to the Global HIV/AIDS Vaccine Enterprise Science Committee as well as several non-US HIV vaccine advisory groups.
Dr. Johnston became involved in HIV research in 1998, holding positions of increasing responsibility in the Division of AIDS, NIAID, and then serving as the founding Scientific Director of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. Before HIV/AIDS she was following an academic research/teaching career that included positions at the Rega Institute in Belgium, the National Institutes of Health, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
Dr. Johnston earned a BS in chemistry from Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU) and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Tufts University. Her honors include an Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award from CMU, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service (team award), two NIH Director’s Awards, five NIH Merit Awards, and several non-government awards and citations, reflecting her contributions to the fields of HIV/AIDS therapeutics, vaccine and prevention research and development.
Peggy, a dual US and Canadian citizen, resides in Vancouver and Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada.