Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Johnston serves as Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she currently oversees the HIV team’s advanced clinical development grant portfolio, and plays a key role in representing the foundation with private and government partners.
She previously held the position of Director, Vaccine Research Program, Division of AIDS, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) (1998-2010). 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 has been involved in HIV research since 1998, holding positions of increasing responsibility in the Division of AIDS (1987-95) and serving as the founding Scientific Director of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (1996-98). 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, 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.