Who We Are

Dan O'Connor

Daniel J. O’Connor

Chief Executive Officer & Director

Mr. O’Connor is the Chief Executive Officer of OncoSec Medical, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing intratumoral cancer immunotherapies.

Most recently, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Advaxis Immunotherapies, Mr. O’Connor successfully turned around the company, raising more than $250 million in funding and transforming it into a patient-focused, leading cancer immunotherapy company.  He was also instrumental in establishing major partnerships with companies that include Amgen Inc., Merck & Co. and Bristol Myers Squibb. In addition, under his leadership, the company advanced four new cancer immunotherapy drug candidates into clinical trials, as well as several PD-1 combination clinical studies with Keytruda® and Opdivo®.  Previously, Mr. O’Connor was Senior Vice President for ImClone Systems where he supported the clinical development, launch, and commercialization of ERBITUX®, and the sale of the company to Eli Lilly in 2008. Mr. O’Connor served as General Counsel at PharmaNet (inventive Health) and was part of the senior leadership team that grew the company from a start-up contract research organization into a leader in clinical research.

Mr. O’Connor is a 1995 graduate of the Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and currently serves as an Entrepreneur Trusted Advisor to its Dean. He graduated from the United States Marines Corps Officer Candidate School in 1988 and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marines, attaining the rank of Captain while serving in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield. Mr. O’Connor is currently the Vice Chairman of BioNJ and was a former New Jersey criminal prosecutor.

Punit Dhillon

Punit Dhillon

Co-Founder, Director, President

Mr. Dhillon is the Co-Founder and President of OncoSec Medical, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing its advanced-stage immunotherapy to treat solid tumors. He was formerly Vice President of Finance and Operations at Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In his management experience, Mr. Dhillon has raised over $160 million through multiple financings and several licensing deals including early stage deals with Merck and Wyeth. His management experience spans corporate finance, M&A, integration, successful in-licensing of key intellectual property, strategy implementation, corporate transactions and collaborations with leading universities and working with several key opinion leaders worldwide. Mr. Dhillon is also the founder of BeCancerPositive.org, an online community where people can share their experiences with cancer and inspire hope for others. Mr. Dhillon holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Political Science and a minor in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University.

Avtar Dhillon

Avtar Dhillon, M.D.

Co-Founder / Chairman

As former president and CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (formerly Inovio Biomedical Corporation), Dr. Dhillon successfully created a vertically integrated DNA vaccine development company with one of the strongest development pipelines in the industry.  Dr. Dhillon also raised over $200 million and secured more than $200 million in licensing deals from global companies including Merck and Wyeth (now Pfizer). Dr. Dhillon was a founding board member of Protox Therapeutics, Inc. and currently sits on the Board of Directors of BC Advantage Funds, the largest venture capital corporation in British Columbia.

Anthony E. Maida

Anthony E. Maida, III, Ph.D., M.A., M.B.A.

Director

Dr. Maida is currently Senior Vice President – Clinical Research for Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc., a cancer vaccine company focused on therapy for patients with glioblastoma multiforme and prostate cancer. Dr. Maida was formerly Vice President of Clinical Research and General Manager, Oncology, Worldwide for PharmaNet, Inc.  Prior to PharmaNet, Dr. Maida served as Chairman, Founder and Director of BioConsul Drug Development Corporation and Principal of Anthony Maida Consulting International, servicing pharmaceutical firms, venture capital, hedge funds and Wall Street, in the clinical development of therapeutic products and product/company acquisitions. Dr. Maida sits as a board member of Stevia First, Inc. and was elected to the board of directors of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Over recent years, Dr. Maida has raised or assisted in financings, in excess of $200 million for start-up and emerging biotechnology companies.

Jim DeMesa

Jim DeMesa, M.D., M.B.A.

Director

Dr. DeMesa has served as a senior executive with several international pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the areas of corporate management, regulatory affairs, and pre-clinical and clinical pharmaceutical and medical device product development. Most recently, Dr. DeMesa served as President, CEO, and Director of Migenix Inc., a public biotechnology company. Dr. DeMesa was also president, CEO and Director of GenSci Regeneration Sciences Inc., a public biotech company, Vice President of Medical and Regulatory Affairs at Biodynamics International, Inc., and Vice President of Medical and Regulatory Affairs at Bentley Pharmaceuticals. He has been a practicing physician and is a Co-Founder of CommGeniX, a medical communications company, and MedXcel, a medical education company.

Annalisa Jenkins

Annalisa Jenkins, MBBS, FRCP

Director

Dr. Jenkins brings over 25 years of global industry experience to OncoSec’s board with a wealth of knowledge in advancing programs from scientific research through clinical development, regulatory approval and into healthcare systems globally.

Dr. Jenkins is the President and CEO of Dimension Therapeutics. Prior to Dimension Therapeutics, Dr. Jenkins served as Executive Vice President and Head of Global Research and Development for Merck Serono, a global division of Merck KGaA focused on biopharmaceuticals. She also led Global Medical Affairs and Quality at Merck Serono and was a member of its Pharmaceutical Executive Committee. Dr. Jenkins also had a nearly 15-year career at Bristol-Myers Squibb, attaining the role of Senior Vice President and Head of Global Medical Affairs. She began her career as a Medical Officer with the British Royal Navy during the Gulf conflict, rising to the rank of Surgeon Lieutenant Commander. Dr. Jenkins received an MBBS in Medicine from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in the University of London and trained in cardiovascular medicine in the National Health Service (U.K.).

Currently, Dr. Jenkins serves as a director for several companies including: Ardelyx, Inc., Biothera Pharmaceutical Inc., iOX Therapeutics Limited, MedCity and Vium. She also is a committee member of the Science Board to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, serves on the Board of the Center for Talent Innovation (U.K.) and is on the Advisory Panel of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.

Dan O'Connor

 Daniel O’Connor

Chief Executive Officer & Director

Mr. O’Connor is the Chief Executive Officer of OncoSec Medical, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing intratumoral cancer immunotherapies.

Most recently, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Advaxis Immunotherapies, Mr. O’Connor successfully turned around the company, raising more than $250 million in funding and transforming it into a patient-focused, leading cancer immunotherapy company.  He was also instrumental in establishing major partnerships with companies that include Amgen Inc., Merck & Co. and Bristol Myers Squibb. In addition, under his leadership, the company advanced four new cancer immunotherapy drug candidates into clinical trials, as well as several PD-1 combination clinical studies with Keytruda® and Opdivo®.  Previously, Mr. O’Connor was Senior Vice President for ImClone Systems where he supported the clinical development, launch, and commercialization of ERBITUX®, and the sale of the company to Eli Lilly in 2008. Mr. O’Connor served as General Counsel at PharmaNet (inventive Health) and was part of the senior leadership team that grew the company from a start-up contract research organization into a leader in clinical research.

Mr. O’Connor is a 1995 graduate of the Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and currently serves as an Entrepreneur Trusted Advisor to its Dean. He graduated from the United States Marines Corps Officer Candidate School in 1988 and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marines, attaining the rank of Captain while serving in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield. Mr. O’Connor is currently the Vice Chairman of BioNJ and was a former New Jersey criminal prosecutor.

Punit Dhillon

Punit Dhillon

Co-Founder, Director, President

Mr. Dhillon is the Co-Founder and President of OncoSec Medical, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing its advanced-stage immunotherapy to treat solid tumors. He was formerly Vice President of Finance and Operations at Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In his management experience, Mr. Dhillon has raised over $160 million through multiple financings and several licensing deals including early stage deals with Merck and Wyeth. His management experience spans corporate finance, M&A, integration, successful in-licensing of key intellectual property, strategy implementation, corporate transactions and collaborations with leading universities and working with several key opinion leaders worldwide. Mr. Dhillon is also the founder of BeCancerPositive.org, an online community where people can share their experiences with cancer and inspire hope for others. Mr. Dhillon holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Political Science and a minor in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University.

Richard B. Slansky

Richard B. Slansky

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Slanksy brings more than 25 years of operational and financial leadership to OncoSec with a breadth of experience in both public and private life science, healthcare, and technology organizations. Prior to joining OncoSec, Richard was a financial and operational consultant for several companies. He was also the CFO of GenMark Diagnostics, Inc., an early stage molecular diagnostic company focused on infectious disease tests. He implemented strong financial controls, led the financial and due diligence teams that successfully raised over $130 million in the public market, directed cross functional changes to improve performance, and developed a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. Previously, Richard held presidential, financial, and operating positions at companies including: Digirad, SpaceDev, and Calbiochem.

Mr. Slanksy earned a bachelor’s of science degree in economics with a concentration in decision sciences from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and a master’s degree from the University of Arizona’s Eller Graduate School of Management in business administration, with a concentration in finance and accounting.

Sheela Mohan-Peterson

Sheela Mohan-Peterson

Chief Legal and Compliance Officer

Ms. Mohan-Peterson has spent more than 27 years working in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, most recently as a Senior Patent Counsel with Merck & Co., Inc. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis, and her master’s degree in Molecular Biology from Rutgers University.

In 1986, Ms. Mohan-Peterson joined Tumor Biology department of Schering-Plough Research Institute in Bloomfield, New Jersey, as a scientist.  In 1991, she transferred to the Human Immunology department at DNAX Research Institute, a subsidiary of Schering-Plough, located in Palo Alto, CA. After graduating from law school in 1997, she began her career as a patent attorney at Incyte Genomics in Palo Alto, and then as a patent counsel at Roche Bioscience, also in Palo Alto. In 2000, she returned to DNAX as a senior patent counsel and remained there for several years after a merger with Merck.

Sharron Gargosky

Sharron Gargosky, Ph.D.

Chief Clinical and Regulatory Officer

Dr. Gargosky has over 20 years of experience in clinical development and operations in the field of pharmaceutical and biologic development having managed global programs from early research phase through the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval process. Recently, Dr. Gargosky was the Chief Technical and Operations Officer at Prima Biomed, Ltd., where she led the immuno-oncology program in ovarian and pancreatic cancer globally overseeing international manufacturing, regulatory approvals, and clinical execution. Prior to Prima Biomed, Dr. Gargosky served in positions of increasing clinical and scientific responsibility at biopharmaceutical companies including Pharmacia, Medicis, and Hyperion Therapeutics. In her career, she was involved in small molecule development attaining orphan drug approvals in rare diseases. Dr. Gargosky received her Ph.D. from the University of Adelaide, Australia and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University.

Richard Heller

Richard Heller, Ph.D.

Biography

Dr. Heller has over 25 years of experience in evaluating effects of electric pulses on biological systems. He is recognized as a pioneer on the use of electrotransfer for drug and gene delivery.

His research group has developed new protocols or devices that are being tested for potential therapies for cancer, wound healing and vascular diseases (peripheral or coronary ischemia) as well as vaccine and immunotherapy protocols. His work in this gene therapy approach was translated into the clinic and represents the first-in-human study utilizing in vivo gene electrotransfer of a plasmid. Richard Heller is currently Director of the Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics (CBE) and Professor in the School of Medical Diagnostics and Translational Sciences in the College of Health Sciences at Old Dominion University (ODU).

Iacob Mathiesen

Iacob Mathiesen, Ph.D.

Biography

Dr. Mathiesen has a PhD from University of Oslo, Norway. He was a co-founder of Inovio AS, Norway and inventor on numerous electroporation related patents covering devices and methods for gene based immune therapy. After Inovio AS was acquired by Genetronics Biomedical in 2005 (now Inovio Pharmaceuticals), IM was director of gene delivery at Inovio in San Diego. Iacob has more than 10 years’ experience with IP, electroporation devices and methods and worked closely with University of Southampton to initiate the first human clinical trial using electroporation do delivery a gene based vaccine. Iacob is currently CEO of Otivio AS in Norway, a new startup developing methods and devices for wound healing and temperature management.

Soldano Ferrone

Soldano Ferrone, M.D., Ph.D.

Biography

Dr. Ferrone leads a research program focused on the characterization of escape mechanisms deployed by tumor cells to avoid immune-mediated recognition and destruction. He has also studied how combined immunotherapeutic strategies can counteract these tumor escape mechanisms. These studies are greatly facilitated by the large panel of HLA antigen- and human tumor antigen-specific monoclonal antibodies he has developed and shared with the scientific community over the years.

Dr. Ferrone received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in 1964 and in 1971, respectively, from the University of Milan, in Milan, Italy. He has held faculty positions at the University of Milan; Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, CA; Columbia University, New York, NY; New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY; Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY; and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA. He was recently appointed Professor in Residence of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, in Boston, MA. For the last 30 years, he has been a member of many review committees including NIH Study Sections, and editorial boards of many scientific journals. Furthermore, he is a member of several external scientific advisory boards.

Dr. Ferrone has received numerous awards and honors. He has described the results of his studies in more than 600 papers published in peer-reviewed journals. Moreover, he has been the editor of 14 books and the guest editor of five special issues of oncology journals.

Alain Algazi, M.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology), UCSF
Program Leader, UCSF Head and Neck Medical Oncology
Melanoma Specialist, UCSF Medical Center

Robert H.I. Andtbacka, M.D.,CM, FACS FRCSC

Associate Professor, Surgical Oncology Department of Surgery University of Utah, Co-Director Melanoma Program , Co-Director Melanoma Clinical Research Program Huntsman Cancer Institute

Axel Hauschild, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Dermatology, Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel, Germany

Georgina Long, BSc, Ph.D., MBBS, FRACP

Conjoint Medical Director Melanoma Institute Australia
Professor of Melanoma Medical Oncology and Translational Research
Melanoma Institute Australia, University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital 

Pamela Munster, M.D.

Professor, Department of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology), UCSF; Director, Early Phase Clinical Trials Unit, Co-leader of the Center for BRCA Research, and Leader, Experimental Therapeutics Program, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Walter J. Urba, M.D., Ph.D.

Medical Oncologist; director of cancer research; co-director, Providence Melanoma Program

Real Time Web Analytics