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.

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.

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Gregory T. Mayes

Director

Mr. Mayes is President, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Engage Therapeutics, and brings over 20 years of experience as a biopharmaceutical executive with an extensive network in the life sciences field to OncoSec’s board of directors.

Prior to Engage Therapeutics, Mr. Mayes served as Chief Operating Officer of Advaxis Immunotherapies, and a member of its board of directors.  While at Advaxis, Mr. Mayes was instrumental in establishing major pharma partnerships and developing a Phase 3 registration strategy and clinical development plan for the Company’s lead product candidate, which resulted in an FDA Special Protocol Assessment and Fast Track Designation.  Prior to Advaxis, Mr. Mayes served as the President and General Counsel and Board member for Unigene Laboratories where he led out-licensing efforts for a novel oral peptide drug delivery platform. Mr. Mayes also served as Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Compliance Officer at ImClone Systems, an Eli Lilly subsidiary, where his contributions significantly contributed to the clinical development and commercialization of ERBITUX® (cetuximab), and the $6.5 billion-dollar sale of the Company to Eli Lilly in 2008. Mr. Mayes also served as Senior Counsel at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, where he provided a wide range of legal services in connection with the development and commercialization of five approved products in the Company’s oncology portfolio.  Mayes is a cum laude graduate of Syracuse University where he was recognized as a Remembrance Scholar and he earned his J.D. degree magna cum laude from Temple University School of Law, where he was the Articles Editor on the Temple Law Review.

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.

C-Twitty

Christopher G. Twitty, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Twitty brings over 20 years of experience in tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy, including the discovery and development of OncoSec’s leading clinical immune monitoring and biomarker program. Dr. Twitty earned his PhD from Oregon Health & Science University where his work was focused on novel tumor vaccine strategies and was awarded an American Cancer Society fellowship training grant for his post-doctoral studies in Dr. Bernard Fox’s Molecular Tumor Immunology Laboratory. After developing a preclinical and clinical immunological program focused on glioblastoma at Tocagen, Dr. Twitty joined Oncosec. Previously, Dr. Twitty held scientific positions of increasing responsibility at Bayer Pharmaceuticals and Cell Genesys, Inc.

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.

Sharron Gargosky

Sharron Gargosky, PhD

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

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