Sheila Mikhail, JD, MBA

"I work tirelessly to bring gene therapy technology to the lives of millions. When I see anyone suffering from genetic disease, it is a reminder of the importance of our work.”

Sheila Mikhail, JD, MBA

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Sheila Mikhail co-founded AskBio over twenty years ago with the unwavering belief that gene therapies could cure disease and change the world. At the founding of the company, most investors were skeptical about gene therapy. As such, AskBio spun out several spin-out companies that focused on developing therapeutics using a slice of AskBio’s technology. Sheila served as the CEO of Bamboo Therapeutics, which developed a drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and was bought by Pfizer in 2016 for $827 million. Prior to that, she was part of the management team of Chatham Therapeutics, which developed treatments for hemophilia and was acquired by Baxter (now Takeda) in 2014. Since the conversion of AskBio from an IP holding company to an operating company in 2017, Sheila has grown the company to over 700 employees operating in five countries, established two CDMO businesses (Viralgen and TAAV), and oversaw the sale of the company to Bayer at the end of 2020 in a deal valued at up to $4 billion. She is also the Co-founder of Columbus Children’s Foundation, which develops gene therapy drugs for ultra-rare disease.

She earned a JD with honors from Northwestern University, a finance MBA with honors from the University of Chicago, and a BS with highest honor from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She was named the Overall US Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernest & Young (2021),received the Distinguished Alumni Award – Entrepreneurial from the Booth School at the University of Chicago (2022), and was recognized with Springboard Enterprise’s Northstar Award (2019). She earned a JD with honors from Northwestern University, a finance MBA with honors from the University of Chicago, and a BS with highest honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.