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Yukako Yokota


Utilizes her passion for healthcare R&D to help global and local clients develop innovations and use the right strategies to bring these new offerings to patients

Yukako is a leader in McKinsey’s Life Sciences Practice in Asia. By leveraging her deep experience in life sciences and her multicultural background, she serves pharmaceutical clients in a variety of ways, such as supporting Japanese pharmaceutical companies in expanding their business globally and aiding international pharma companies in entering the Japanese market. She also brings deep expertise in improving the strategic and operational functions of R&D.

Her recent client engagements include:

  • activating innovation by enhancing a client’s R&D strategy
  • improving R&D organization and effectiveness by revamping the design of preclinical processes
  • supporting the cross-border integration of Japanese pharmaceutical clients by ensuring the governance of newly acquired companies

Additionally, Yukako recently led a regenerative-medicine and cell-therapy study group, using her passion for innovative science to serve the client successfully while also contributing to McKinsey’s knowledge base.

Yukako learns continuously and contributes to the healthcare community by publishing new insights in the pharmaceuticals industry.

Prior to joining McKinsey in 2008, Yukako worked to enhance the live imaging of neurons in the developing mammalian brain while completing her PhD and during her postdoc years.

Published work

How Japan’s medtech leaders can use M&A to create a competitive advantage,” McKinsey & Company, January 2021

Past experience



University of North Carolina
PhD, physiology and neuroscience

Tohoku University
BS, chemical engineering