Aubrey Watkins III appointed David Shaw Family Endowed Vice President of Corporate Development

A headshot of The Jackson Laboratory's Aubrey Watkins III in a stylized frame.

Industry leader and innovator will help advance JAX’s mission.

The Jackson Laboratory announces the appointment of Aubrey Watkins III, Ph.D., M.S., as the nonprofit biomedical research institution’s inaugural David Shaw Family Endowed Vice President of Corporate Development.

In this key new role, Watkins leads JAX’s corporate development initiatives, including researching and analyzing business opportunities, forging connections with prospective partners and potential customers and exploring business models to amplify JAX’s impact in the field of biomedical research and beyond.

“Aubrey’s appointment to this endowed position underscores his leadership in driving innovation at JAX,” said JAX president and CEO Lon Cardon, Ph.D., FMedSci. “We have a truly exceptional range of research models, products and services to help advance scientific discovery, and we are uniquely poised to build connections that will enable us to share them with new partners from all over the world. Aubrey is exactly the type of leader we need right now. I am grateful to David Shaw for his philanthropic vision in endowing this role that will magnify JAX’s global impact.”

Watkins brings a wealth of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, along with proven success in business development, corporate strategy and oversight of research and development activities.

“I am honored to serve JAX at this exciting time,” Watkins said. “JAX is known worldwide as a place that embraces bold ideas and new opportunities in the pursuit of its mission to improve human health and I am grateful for the chance to be part of this essential work.”

Prior to joining JAX, Watkins was senior director of business development and corporate strategy at Emergent BioSolutions, where he played a pivotal role in expanding the company’s product portfolio and revenue from $600 million to $1.6 billion. His expertise in search and evaluation, due diligence and market analysis has been instrumental in identifying high-value business opportunities and driving corporate growth. Watkins also previously held key positions at Merck & Co., where he strengthened partnerships with institutions and biotech and expanded the clinical stage oncology pipeline, advancing innovative and lifesaving therapies. Watkins holds a Ph.D. in molecular pharmacology and structural biology, and an M.S. in pharmacology from Thomas Jefferson University, and a B.S. in biochemistry and biophysics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Watkins’ role is generously funded by JAX Chair Emeritus David Evans Shaw who served on the JAX Board of Trustees from 1990 to 2001, and has a longstanding commitment to harnessing the power of science to address crucial needs in healthcare and other markets.

“I join others in welcoming Aubrey Watkins III in this role that my family and I established to support innovation and translation at JAX,” Shaw said. “I’m confident that his skills and expertise will expand JAX’s commercial enterprise and support our quest to improve human health.”

About The Jackson Laboratory

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution with a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center and more than 3,000 employees in locations across the United States, Japan and China. Its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and to empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health. For more information, please visit