About Us 

We have dedicated our careers to understanding Parkinson’s disease, advancing novel therapeutics, and alleviating the burden of neurological disorders. We believe in what we do and pursue it passionately. You can be confident that your project is predicated on deep scientific knowledge, painstaking attention to detail, and transparent communication throughout our collaboration. Generating the data for informed decisions is our purpose, and partnering with us ensures that your potential breakthrough receives its best possible opportunity for advancement.

Meet Our Leadership

At Atuka, we pride ourselves on our reputation for applying the deepest degree of scientific expertise, passion, and rigor in the industry to the testing of every preclinical therapeutic prospect.  

Management

Jonathan Brotchie

Dr. Jonathan Brotchie

Chief Executive Officer 

Jonathan founded Atuka in 2003 and was its first CEO. He has led translational research that has supported the assessment of efficacy of more than 70 drug candidates in non-human primate models of Parkinson’s disease and the advancement of 16 drug candidates to clinical studies. He has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Manchester, U.K. (1991) and has more than 25 years’ experience in Parkinson’s disease research managing teams that have identified and validated many drug targets for Parkinson’s disease. Jonathan has over 200 peer-reviewed publications. In addition to his role at Atuka, he enjoys a reputation for excellence as an academic researcher, leading research programs at University Health Network (2002-present) and University of Manchester, U.K. (1991-2002). 

Dr. Michael Hill

Dr. Michael Hill

Chief Revenue Officer

Michael joined Atuka in 2011. Previously, he held the position of Chief Operating Officer at a CRO where he led translational research that has supported the assessment of efficacy of more than 30 drug candidates in rodent and non-human primate models of Parkinson’s disease, seven of which advanced to clinical studies. He has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Manchester, U.K. (1997) and has more than 15 years’ experience in Parkinson’s disease research. Michael has over 30 peer-reviewed publications. 

Mr. David Sefton

Mr. David Sefton

General Council

David joined Atuka’s board as a Nonexecutive Director in 2011 and took responsibility for Atuka’s commercial affairs in 2012. He studied law at the University of Manchester, U.K., and qualified as a lawyer (solicitor) in the U.K. in 1995 specializing in corporate and commercial matters. In addition to his role at Atuka, David was the managing partner of Laytons Solicitors LLP Manchester, U.K., office for over 10 years (until 2012) and remains a consultant to the firm. 

Dr. James Koprich

Dr. James Koprich

Chief Technology Officer

James’ research expertise includes animal models of Parkinson’s disease and the preclinical evaluation of novel disease modification and symptomatic therapeutics. In recent years, his work has led to the development of progressive rodent and non-human primate models of Parkinson’s disease alpha-synucleinopathy. James received his H.B.Sc. and M.A. in experimental psychology from Lakehead University (Thunder Bay, ON), his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Rush University Medical Center (Chicago, IL), and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA) where he also joined their faculty. These and other studies are detailed in James’ 40+ peer-reviewed publications. In addition to his role at Atuka, James is a visiting Professor of Neurology at Huashan Hospital/Fudan University and occasionally serves as a lecturer at the University of Toronto. 

Dr. Tom Johnston

Dr. Tom Johnston

Chief Operating Officer

Tom joined Atuka in 2003 and oversees all operational aspects of the company. He received his B.Sc. in pharmacology from the University of Manchester in 1999 and Ph.D. in neuropharmacology from King’s College London in 2003. He has considerable experience in preclinical Parkinson’s disease models and the development and translation of novel therapies that are featured in 50+ peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Patrick Howson

Dr. Patrick Howson

Chief Innovation Officer

Patrick joined Atuka in 2013. Prior to joining Atuka, he was Head of Preclinical Sciences at Phytopharm plc, a U.K.-based pharmaceutical company, and he has over 25 years’ experience working in drug discovery and development. He has been involved in managing projects from early preclinical evaluation through to Phase II clinical studies, including clinical studies in Parkinson’s disease. Patrick also has experience in the generation and management of intellectual property and is a named inventor on several patents. He has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Bristol, U.K. (1999). 

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Rubaiya Hassan

Chief People Officer

Board of Directors 

Jonathan Brotchie

Dr. Jonathan Brotchie

Chairman, Director and Co-Founder

Jonathan founded Atuka in 2003 and was its first CEO. He has led translational research that has supported the assessment of efficacy of more than 70 drug candidates in non-human primate models of Parkinson’s disease and the advancement of 16 drug candidates to clinical studies. He has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Manchester, U.K. (1991) and has more than 25 years’ experience in Parkinson’s disease research managing teams that have identified and validated many drug targets for Parkinson’s disease. Jonathan has over 200 peer-reviewed publications. In addition to his role at Atuka, he enjoys a reputation for excellence as an academic researcher, leading research programs at University Health Network (2002-present) and University of Manchester, U.K. (1991-2002). 

Dr. Michael Hill

Dr. Michael Hill

Director and Co-Founder

Michael joined Atuka in 2011. Previously, he held the position of chief operating officer at a CRO where he led translational research that has supported the assessment of efficacy of more than 30 drug candidates in rodent and non-human primate models of Parkinson’s disease, seven of which advanced to clinical studies. He has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Manchester, U.K. (1997) and has more than 15 years’ experience in Parkinson’s disease research. Michael has over 30 peer-reviewed publications. 

Mr. David Sefton

Mr. David Sefton

Director and Co-Founder

David joined Atuka’s board as a Nonexecutive Director in 2011 and took responsibility for Atuka’s commercial affairs in 2012. He studied law at the University of Manchester, U.K., and qualified as a lawyer (solicitor) in the U.K. in 1995 specializing in corporate and commercial matters. In addition to his role at Atuka, David was the managing partner of Laytons Solicitors LLP Manchester, U.K., office for over 10 years (until 2012) and remains a consultant to the firm. 

Dr. Christopher Page

Dr. Christopher Paige

Director

Christopher joined Atuka’s board in 2011. He is an active educator in the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs at the University of Toronto and is internationally recognized as a leader in lymphocyte development and antibody formation, with an active research program in training the immune system to recognize cancer cells. Christopher is the Vice President of Research at the University Health Network, which is comprised of the Toronto Rehab, Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret Hospitals. He received his Ph.D. in immunology at the Sloan-Kettering Division of Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in 1979. 

Sites & Facilities

Atuka’s partners benefit from experienced scientists using advanced technologies at leading-edge research facilities in Canada and China.

Our Toronto headquarters site: 

  • Macaque in vivo facility 
  • Rodent in vivo laboratory 
  • In vitro laboratory 
  • Administrative office 

Our sites in China: 

Suzhou 

  • Macaque in vivo facility 
  • In vivo imaging 
  • Surgical studies 
  • Bioanalytical services 
  • Behavioural studies 

Shanghai 

  • Bioanalytical services 
  • Medicinal chemistry 
  • Chemical procurement

Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity

Inclusiveness is one of Atuka’s three pillars. We place a high value on collaborative problem-solving and believe in working together as one — both within our organization and with our partners. This approach is foundational to maximizing our mutual odds of success. As our partner, you become a true member of the team, collaborating throughout the research process and assimilating our expertise while maintaining control of your therapy’s preclinical development. In short, our team becomes part of yours.  

When you partner with Atuka, you don’t outsource the science, you insource scientists. 

That philosophy underpins our approach to supporting partners and how we support and engage our team members and community. 

Atuka is proud to support and partner with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) and Indigenous Works (IW)  

Atuka is an Employer Partner with CCDI, which provides numerous benefits that support us on our diversity and inclusion journey, including Diversity Ink, the CCDI monthly newsletter, access to the CCDI Knowledge Repository, monthly webinars, and in-person events, in which CCDI hosts best-practice forums and Community of Practice events. 

Atuka is also a proud member of the Leadership Circle of Indigenous Works (IW), a Canadian not-for-profit with a mandate to improve the inclusion and engagement of Indigenous people in the Canadian economy.