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Novel Vaccines: Innovations & Adjuvants

2013 Speaker Biographies

Peter Palese, Ph.D., Horace W. Goldsmith Professor and Chair, Microbiology, Professor, Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Peter Palese is a Professor of Microbiology and the Chair of the Department of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His research is in the area of RNA-containing viruses with a special emphasis on influenza viruses. Specifically, he established the first genetic maps for influenza A, B, and C viruses, identified the function of several viral genes, and defined the mechanism of neuraminidase inhibitors (which are now FDA-approved antivirals). He was also a pioneer in the field of reverse genetics for negative strand RNA viruses, which allows the introduction of site-specific mutations into the genomes of these viruses. This technique is crucial for the study of the structure/function relationships of viral genes, for investigation of viral pathogenicity and for development and manufacture of novel vaccines. An improvement of this technique has been effectively used by him and his colleagues to reconstruct and study the pathogenicity of the highly virulent, but extinct, 1918 pandemic influenza virus. His recent work in collaboration with Garcia-Sastre has revealed that most negative strand RNA viruses possess proteins with interferon antagonist activity, enabling them to counteract the antiviral response of the infected host. Peter Palese has been a Member of the National Academy of Sciences since 2000. At present he serves on the editorial board for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Peter Palese was president of the Harvey Society in 2004, president of the American Society for Virology in 2005, a recipient of the Robert Koch Prize in 2006, and the recipient of the European Virology Award (EVA) in 2010. In 2012 Peter Palese was awarded the 2012 Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Award and he was elected Member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Manon Cox, Ph.D., CEO, Protein Sciences

Manon Cox is currently President and CEO at Protein Sciences Corporation. Since 2006, she serves on the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of Pall BioPharmaceuticals and in 2011 she joined the SAB of I'Cubed. She joined Protein Sciences in 1998 as Director of Business Development and was Chief Operating Officer from 2000 - Feb2010. Previously she was with Gist-brocades, a large Dutch company specialized in fermentation, where she held various management positions most recently in New Business Development, and before that in Production and Research and Development. Prior to joining Gist-brocades she worked as a Molecular Biologist on the development of a PCR screening test for cervical cancer at the University of Amsterdam. She holds a Doctorate from the University of Wageningen; received her MBA with distinction from the University of Nijenrode and the University of Rochester, NY and holds a Doctorandus degree in Molecular Biology, Genetics and Biochemistry from the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Alan Shaw, Ph.D., President and CEO, Vedantra

Alan Shaw joined the Company in May of 2012 from VaxInnate where he was Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer. Prior to VaxInnate, Dr. Shaw was the Executive Director of the Public Policy, Public Health and Medical Affairs group at the Merck Vaccine Division. Previously, Dr. Shaw was responsible for a broad range of vaccine development programs at Merck Research laboratories, including Varivax® (chickenpox), ProQuad® (measles-mumps-rubella-varicella), RotaTeq® (rotavirus/infant diarrhea), Zostavax® (shingles), and Gardasil® (cervical cancer). Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Shaw was a Senior Program Executive at Biogen S.A in Geneva, Switzerland where he led projects on hepatitis B vaccines, malaria vaccines, cytokines and their inhibitors, and cell trafficking. Dr. Shaw served as the Chairman of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Association Biologicals Committee and has extensive experience in national and international vaccine development and policy matters. Dr Shaw is currently on the NIH-NIAID Board of Scientific Counselors, The Hilleman Laboratory SAB, and the European Union Group 7 "ADITEC" / Novartis consortium External Advisory Board. Dr. Shaw serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for grants from the Wellcome Trust.

Dr. Shaw received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the Medical College of Ohio, and was a post-doctoral fellow at the International Institute for Cellular Pathology in Brussels and at the Rockefeller University in New York. Dr. Shaw's expertise is in the areas of virology, molecular biology, immunology and protein chemistry. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at Temple University in Philadelphia, and he continues to teach part of an immunology course at the University of Pennsylvania.

Harriet Robinson, Ph.D., CSO, GeoVax Labs, Inc.

Harriet Robinson is currently Chief Scientific Officer at GeoVax, Inc., a biotech company focused on the commercialization of an HIV/AIDS vaccine. The vaccine developed in her former laboratory at the Emory Vaccine Center was in collaboration with Dr. Bernard Moss's laboratory at the US NIH and researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The vaccine, a DNA prime, modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) boost vaccine, uses single DNA and MVA components to express virus-like particles displaying the native envelope protein of HIV. A second generation of the GeoVax vaccine co-expresses granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) with the virus-like particles in the DNA prime to enhance mucosal and systemic antibody responses. Dr. Robinson co-founded GeoVax to facilitate taking the vaccine from the research laboratory to clinical use. Harriet received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and held an NSF Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Virus Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley. During her academic career, she served as Staff, Senior and then Principal Scientist at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology, Professor of Pathology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Emory University, and Chief of the Division of Microbiology and Immunology at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University. Dr. Robinson is internationally recognized for her early studies on insertional mutagenesis and oncogene transduction in retroviral-induced cancers, her pioneering studies on the use of recombinant DNA for vaccination, and her recent work towards an HIV/AIDS vaccine.

Jon Heinrichs, Ph.D., Director, Microbial Vaccines, Vaccines Research, Merck & Co., Inc.

Jon Heinrichs is the Director of Microbial Vaccines at Merck Research Laboratories in West Point, PA, where he leads a team of scientists developing vaccines for several bacterial pathogens including Clostridium difficile, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Chlamydia trachomatis. Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Heinrichs held positions of increasing responsibility at the biotechnology company, MedImmune, where he contributed to the identification of vaccine candidates for numerous bacterial pathogens, particularly S. pneumoniae. He was also involved in research on the efficacy of monoclonal antibodies for the prevention of infectious diseases and the treatment of cancer, and was head of the In Vivo Biology group. Dr. Heinrichs earned his doctoral degree in microbiology and molecular genetics from Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, elucidating the pathogenesis of the food-borne organism Bacillus cereus, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology at The Rockefeller University where he examined global regulation in S. aureus.

Geoffrey Stone, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Microbiology, and Group Leader, Immmunology, HIV Immunotherapy Program, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Geoffrey Stone, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of the Miami Miller School of Medicine. Following postdoctoral work at Stanford University and Biotech research with NewBiotics Inc., Dr. Stone became involved in HIV vaccine research at the University of California, San Diego under the mentorship of Dr. Douglas Richman and Dr. Richard Kornbluth. Dr. Stone has spent the past decade exploring methods to translate TNF superfamily ligands into effective adjuvants for HIV and cancer vaccines. More recently he has explored to use of the Epstein Barr virus protein LMP1 as a scaffold for a new family of rationally designed vaccine adjuvants. Other research in the lab explores the human immunology of HIV-1 infection, and the role of HIV-1-mediated inflammation and type I interferon in the control of viral replication.

Nikolai Petrovsky, Ph.D., Professor, Endocrinology Department, Flinders Medical Centre, Flinders University, and Research Director, Vaxine Pty Ltd.

Nikolai Petrovsky MBBS, PhD is Professor of Medicine at Flinders University and founder of Vaxine Pty Ltd. Known internationally for his vaccine adjuvant research he has held several large Adjuvant Development contracts from the U.S. National Institutes of Health. His research has won many awards including the 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 2011 BioSpectrum Asia-Pacific Emerging Company of the Year Award and a 2011 Vaccine Industry Excellence Award for Most Innovative Asian Biotech. He has personally taken multiple vaccines, including seasonal and pandemic influenza and hepatitis B vaccines from the bench to the clinic and has authored over 100 research papers.

Thomas Dubensky, Ph.D., CSO, Research and Development, AduroBioTech, Inc.

Thomas W. Dubensky, Ph.D. is the Chief Scientific Officer of Aduro Biotech, located in Berkeley, CA. He has been at multiple biotechnology companies including Viagene, Chiron, Onyx and Immune Design in positions of increasing responsibility over his career spanning nearly 25 years. He has facilitated the development of several vaccine vector platforms that have been evaluated clinically, including retroviruses, lentiviruses, adenoviruses, alphaviruses, and Listeria monocytogenes, as well as plasmid DNA and adjuvants. Dr. Dubensky has co-authored more than 60 scientific papers and is an inventor on more than 25 issued U.S. patents and multiple pending applications. Dr. Dubensky received his B.A. in Bacteriology and Immunology from the University of California, Berkeley; he earned his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center; and he was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Pathology.

Shan Lu, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Infectious Diseases and Immunology, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Shan Lu, MD, PhD, MHA is a pioneer in DNA vaccines. In the last two decades, while most other scientists used DNA vaccines for the induction of T cell responses, he has used DNA immunization to elicit high quality antibody responses against HIV-1, bioterrorism (plague, smallpox, anthrax and botulinum) and emerging pathogens (SARS, seasonal and pandemic influenza), pathogens causing chronic infectious diseases (hepatitis viruses and h-CMV) and pathogens causing neglected infectious diseases, including diarrhea. Dr. Lu is a professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is the current President of International Society for Vaccines (ISV).

Wei Kong, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, The Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University

Dr. Wei Kong, research assistant professor, received a Ph.D. degree in bacterial genetics from the Kyushu University, Japan. She was a Postdoctoral Associate, mentored by Dr. Roy Curtiss III at the Department of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis and the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, working on the projects of vaccine development. Dr. Kong's research interest is to develop a protective antigen and DNA vaccine delivery platform using self-destructing Salmonellafor the prevention and treatment of infectious and non-infectious diseases, such as Pneumonia, Influenza, and Cancer. Some progress on these projects were described in the following articles http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-07/asu-fft070808.php and http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-11/asu-ndv110512.php. With support of NIH/NCI and NIAID grants, her team is currently developing self-destructing Salmonella based anti-colorectal cancer therapeutic vaccine and anti-Influenza vaccine.

Gerald Pier, Ph.D., Professor, Medicine, Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Gerald Pier is currently a Professor of Medicine (Microbiology and Immunobiology) at Harvard Medical School where he has been conducting independent research since 1978 at the Channing Laboratory (now Division of Infectious Diseases) in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the liberal arts program at Raymond College, part of the University of the Pacific, Stockton, Ca and from there entered the University of California at Berkeley where he received his Ph.D. degree in microbiology in 1976. From Berkeley he headed east after receiving a National Research Council post-doctoral fellowship to conduct research at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research with Dr. Jerald Sadoff, where he began his career-long studies of virulence and immunity to Pseudomonas aeruginosa. After 2.5 years in Washington, D.C. Dr. Pier joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Dr. Pier spends most of his time conducting research on bacterial pathogenesis, host immune responses and vaccine development. He has been continuously funded by the NIH and various private foundations since 1979. The major research focus of his professional work has been the role of bacterial capsules in pathogenesis and as antigenic targets for vaccines. His current research encompass not only P. aeruginosa but also Staphylococcus aureus and a larger number of microbes that have been found, along with staphylococci, to produce a surface polysaccharide termed poly-N-acetyl glucosamine (PNAG). PNAG vaccines and immunotherapies constitute a large interest in his lab's ongoing research activities, as do vaccines and immunotherapies for P. aeruginosa. Dr. Pier has published over 230 peer reviewed papers and authored a textbook for ASM Press entitled Immunology, Infection and Immunity, as well as contributed chapters to the major textbooks of medicine and infectious diseases on microbial virulence and P. aeruginosa pathogenesis and therapy. In addition to being an elected member of the American Academy of Microbiology and an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science as well as a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Association of Immunologists. He has trained over 60 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, some of whom are now professors in their own right and leaders in the field of microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases.

Kate Rittenhouse-Olson, Ph.D., Professor and Director, Biotechnology Program, Department of Biotechnical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University at Buffalo

Dr. Rittenhouse-Olson has been involved in research concerning the immune response to carbohydrate antigens since 1984, when she was a post-doctoral fellow at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), gaining clinical diagnostic experience with T. Ming Chu (the discoverer of Prostate Specific Antigen) and then carbohydrate experience with Khushi Matta. Since then, she has been involved in the development of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies to defined saccharides as diagnostic markers or as vaccine candidates in both bacterial and cancer research. Her laboratory, based at RPCI for the first 9 years, and now at The University at Buffalo for the last 19 years, has had an emphasis on tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens. Rittenhouse-Olson is Professor and Director of the Biotechnology Program in the Department of Biotechnical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences at the University of Buffalo, School of Medicine, and the editor of Immunological Investigations. In her research at the University of Buffalo, she is currently investigating vaccination strategies to create an active immune response to TF-Ag. Her start-up company, For-Robin, Inc. has as its mission "to improve therapy for women with breast cancer through the addition of JAA-F11 monoclonal antibody. This therapy is anticipated to kill tumor cells and block metastasis of TF-antigen-bearing tumors".

Graham J. Clarke, CEO & Director, ImmunoBiology, Ltd.

Graham has a master degree in Biophysics from King's College London and an MBA. Working first in "big Pharma" then as a partner in the Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology Practice of PA Consulting, he returned to industry as: • VP, Strategic Product Management, SmithKline Beecham; then • Head of Executive Decision Support, GSK R&D; and most recently • VP, Strategy & Business Development, GE Healthcare Biosciences. Graham joined the Board of ImmunoBiology as a non-executive director soon after its formation. He was then appointed its CEO at the beginning of 2006, as part of its series C funding round.

Ruth M. Ruprecht, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

After studying chemistry at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, Dr. Ruprecht received a Ph.D. in human genetics from Columbia University, New York, and an M.D. from the University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida. She completed training in internal medicine at UCLA and in hematology/oncology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. In 1984, she joined the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, where she is Professor of Medicine. In 2001, she received an Honorary Professorship from the Institute of Medical Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, Kunming, People's Republic of China.

Dr. Ruprecht directs a multi-institutional AIDS research program that involves collaborators in the United States, Europe, and Africa. Her expertise is in lentiviral pathogenesis and AIDS vaccine development. She has served as consultant for WHO and the China CIPRA, as member of the NIAID AIDS Research Advisory Committee and the NIAID Council and as the US Chair of the US-Japan AIDS Panel. She is a member of several scientific advisory boards, including the National Cancer Institute's Vaccine Branch and the China CDC.

Evelyn A. Kurt-Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Dr. Kurt-Jones received her Ph.D. in biomedical science and immunology from the University of Connecticut Health Center Graduate Program in Biomedical Science. She did her post-doctoral work at Harvard Medical School as fellow with Dr. Emil Unanue. She was promoted to Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School in 1988 and established her laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital and later at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. In 1999, Dr. Kurt-Jones moved her laboratory to the University of Massachusetts Medical School where she is now Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology. Dr. Kurt-Jones' research focuses on understanding how the innate immune response to infection and injury is regulated by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The goal is to identify the molecular mechanisms that underlie the development of either protective immunity or pathogenic inflammatory responses upon challenge with microbes or particles.

Aliasger K. Salem, Ph.D., Leader, Cancer Signalling and Experimental Therapeutics, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, College of Pharmacy and Engineering, University of Iowa

Aliasger K. Salem is a Professor of Pharmaceutics at the University Of Iowa College Of Pharmacy. Salem's primary appointment at the University of Iowa is based in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics, with additional appointments in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. Salem was an American Cancer Society Research Scholar from 2009 to 2013. Prof. Salem is currently the program leader of the Cancer Signaling and Experimental Therapeutics (CSET) program at the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. Aliasger Salem is an editorial board member for a number of high profile pharmaceutical sciences journals including the AAPS Journal (flagship journal for the American Association for Pharmaceutical Scientists) and the International Journal of Pharmaceutics. Aliasger Salem is a member of a number of grant review study sections including panels for the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense (DoD): Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) Prostate Cancer Research Program. Prior to joining the University of Iowa in 2004, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completed his PhD at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Nottingham in the UK. Prof. Salem's group is currently exploring the synergistic application of new polymers including a new class of nitrogen-sulfur based polymers, polymer particle technology, CpG oligonucleotides, adenoviruses and heat shock protein therapy for generating sustained stronger immune responses against tumors.