MANAGEMENT TEAM

Management Team

CHRISTOPHER G. TWITTY, Ph.D.

CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER

Dr. Twitty brings over 20 years of experience in tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy. He oversees OncoSec’s R&D program and was responsible for the development of clinical immune monitoring and biomarker program.

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CHRISTOPHER G. TWITTY, Ph.D.

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Dr. Twitty brings over 20 years of experience in tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy.  He oversees OncoSec’s R&D program and was responsible for the development of the 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 pre-clinical 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.

SANDRA AUNG, Ph.D.

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, CHIEF CLINICAL DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

Dr. Aung has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, and has led teams and projects in companies of different sizes.

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SANDRA AUNG, Ph.D.

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Dr. Aung has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, and has led teams and projects in companies of different sizes. Dr. Aung has a versatile background in autoimmunity, immune-oncology, and infectious disease and has authored over 20 peer-reviewed publications and received multiple Small Business Innovate Research (SBIR) grants from the National Cancer Institute/ National Institutes of Health (IH/NCI) for her work in immune-oncology drug development.

Dr. Aung helped lead Nektar Therapeutics’ lead clinical compound, pegylated interleukin-2 (IL-2) (bempeg), from First-In-Human studies to multiple Phase 3 registrational trials in less than 3 years.  Her cross industry and academic relationships with KOLs and more importantly expertise with high dose IL-2 (Proleukin®) were instrumental for this success. Dr. Aung’s extensive immuno-oncology drug development experience additionally comes from previous research and leadership positions she held at UbiVac, Inc. and Cell Genesys, Inc. Dr. Aung earned her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Vanderbilt University and performed her post-doctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute.

ROBERT W. ASHWORTH, Ph.D.

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, REGULATORY QUALITY AND CMC

With more than 35 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Ashworth is well-versed in drug development and global regulatory strategies and has made significant contributions to the FDA approval of 12 new drugs.

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ROBERT W. ASHWORTH, Ph.D.

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With more than 35 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Ashworth is well-versed in drug development and global regulatory strategies and has made significant contributions to the FDA approval of 12 new drugs.

Prior to joining OncoSec, Dr. Ashworth served as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Quality & Compliance for Advaxis, Inc., where he developed and executed the global regulatory strategy for the company’s immunotherapy platform and served as the company’s regulatory representative for clinical development programs involving Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck. Importantly, Dr. Ashworth was instrumental in securing a groundbreaking investigational new drug application (IND) for a personalized medicine, neo-epitope program. Before Advaxis, Dr. Ashworth was Vice-President, Global Regulatory Affairs at NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he built the company’s international regulatory department and was instrumental in negotiating the approval of NATPARA (PTH) for hypoparathyroidism. As Vice-President, Global Regulatory Affairs for Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development, Inc., Dr. Ashworth was responsible for the regulatory strategy for the company’s flagship product, ABILIFY®*. Dr. Ashworth’s career experience also includes regulatory positions at Biovail Corporation, Forest Laboratories, Inc., Knoll Pharmaceutical Company (BASF), and CIBA-Geigy Corporation.

Dr. Ashworth earned a B.S. in Chemistry from St. John’s University and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from MIT.

ROBERT J. DELAVERSANO, C.P.A.

VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCE

Mr. DelAversano is a certified public account and has over fifteen years of experience in accounting including thirteen years in public accounting.

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ROBERT J. DELAVERSANO, C.P.A.

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Mr. DelAversano is a certified public account and has over fifteen years of experience in accounting including thirteen years in public accounting.

Prior to this appointment as OncoSec’s Principal Accounting Officer and Controller, Mr. DelAversano served as OncoSec’s Executive Director of Finance since 2018 where he had global responsibility for accounting, external financial reporting, and financial controls covering all aspects of OncoSec’s business. Prior to joining OncoSec, he was the Director of Financial Reporting and Taxation at Brio Financial Group (“Brio”), consulting with various public companies in financial reporting, internal control development and evaluation, budgeting and forecasting. Prior to joining Brio, Mr. DelAversano was a manager at Bartolomei Pucciarelli, LLC and oversaw their accounting and tax practice with industry focuses in manufacturing, wholesalers and medical devices services. In addition, he performed audit services, outsourced chief financial officer functions, and consulted clients through difficult Securities and Exchange Commission comment periods particularly through application of complex accounting principles for a large public company client base.

Mr. DelAversano holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Rider University.

BRIDGET O'KEEFFE, Ph.D.

VICE PRESIDENT, CLINICAL DEVELOPMENT

Dr. O’Keeffe is a biotech industry veteran who brings more than 15 years of clinical development and leadership experience largely focused on Oncology, including the combination of cytokines and check-point inhibitors.

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BRIDGET O'KEEFFE, Ph.D.

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JOE SMITH

VICE PRESIDENT, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Mr. Smith brings over 12 years of business development leadership experience in the life sciences industry.

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JOE SMITH

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Mr. Smith was most recently an independent transaction advisor and acting Head of Business Development to a number of biotechnology and specialty pharmaceutical companies, including an antibody-focused start-up, an orphan ophthalmology specialty business and a vaccine technology business focused on COVID-19.

Previously, he was Executive Director & Head of Business Development & Strategy for EyePoint Pharmaceuticals where he led Strategy and Business and Corporate Development activity. Mr. Smith has led or managed Business and Corporate Development at three other specialty pharmaceutical companies including Adare Pharmaceuticals, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, and Aton Pharma. His experience also includes more than eight years between management consulting and biotechnology equity research.

ROB SCHINAGL

VICE PRESIDENT, PROGRAM & ALLIANCE MANAGEMENT

Dr. Schinagl has more than 25 years of program and alliance management experience in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and device industries.

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ROB SCHINAGL

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Dr. Schinagl’s most recent experiences include program and alliance management, cross-functional team leadership, and management of various drug development functions. Prior to joining OncoSec, Dr. Schinagl served as Chief Operating Officer at Prothex Pharma, Inc., a venture capital-funded biotech company.  Earlier in his career, he served in a variety of research and development roles, including project and alliance leadership positions, at Drais Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly, ImClone Systems, Yamanouchi Pharma America, Quintiles Advanced Phase Solutions, Osiris Therapeutics, and Electro Biology Inc. In these roles, Dr. Schinagl contributed to a range of leading drug development programs largely focused on oncology. 

Dr. Schinagl earned Ph.D. and master’s degrees in bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego and his bachelor’s degree in bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

JEFF SILVERMAN

VICE PRESIDENT, PRODUCT ENGINEERING

Mr. Silverman joins OncoSec with over two decades of electroporation device quality and manufacturing experience

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JEFF SILVERMAN

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Mr. Silverman, an engineering management veteran, brings to OncoSec extensive global industry experience spanning more than 20 years, in the development, manufacturing and scale up of Medical Devices including electroporation and gene delivery equipment for the delivery of DNA drugs in support of cancer and vaccine research.

For more than five years, Mr. Silverman served as Vice President at Ichor Medical Systems, Inc., an industry leader focused on the development, manufacture and sale of electroporation devices for the intracellular delivery of nucleic acid-based drugs encoding therapeutic proteins.  While at Ichor, he was responsible for establishing and leading the engineering, operations and quality teams for the  company’s electroporation equipment for the delivery of DNA drugs in support of cancer and vaccine research.  Mr. Silverman was also responsible for engineering design execution and planning, supply chain, supplier audits, internal and external manufacturing and contract coordination.

Prior to joining Ichor Medical Systems, Mr. Silverman was the Managing Director at Varioscale, Inc.  Adding to his past experience, he held a variety of engineering and business manager roles, including his time at Abbott Laboratories and Guidant Corporation where he managed business alliance, program management, engineering/manufacturing process development and improvements.

“Jeff’s extensive clinical development experience with electroporation and intertumoral gene delivery technologies aligns perfectly with OncoSec’s mission of utilizing intratumoral electroporation to achieve targeted and sustained delivery of IL-12 for significantly underserved cancer patients.  He will be replacing John Rodriguez, former Vice President of Product Engineering and Manufacturing, who is retiring after five years at OncoSec,” said Daniel J. O’Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer of OncoSec.  “As we continue advancing our lead product candidate, TAVO™, through clinical trials, we believe Jeff’s prior experience in R&D and commercialization of electroporation and gene delivery devices will be crucial in our mission to deliver this treatment directly into patients’ tumors, thereby avoiding system toxicities while still having a whole-body anti-tumor effect, in the hopes of providing long-term benefits.”

Mr. Silverman added, “The preliminary data seen in OncoSec’s clinical trials evaluating TAVO™ in combination with KEYTRUDA® for the treatment of anti-PD-1 checkpoint refractory metastatic melanoma and for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer present an encouraging path toward bringing this therapy to market.  I look forward to working with Dan and the leadership team to develop and execute OncoSec’s clinical trial strategy and lead manufacturing operations.”

Mr. Silverman earned his bachelor’s degree in biology with minors in chemistry and psychology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

Board of Directors

MARGARET R. DALESANDRO, Ph.D.

CHAIR

Dr. Dalesandro brings more than 25 years of drug development experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics industries.

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MARGARET R. DALESANDRO, Ph.D.

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Dr. Dalesandro brings more than 25 years of drug development experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics industries.

She currently serves as the President of Brecon Pharma Consulting, a full-service pharmaceutical and biotech consultancy firm. She previously served as Business Director of Corning Integrative Pharmacology. Before that, Dr. Dalesandro held an executive leadership role at ImClone Systems where she oversaw project management for the clinical development of ERBITUX® (cetuximab), making significant contributions to the sale of ImClone to Eli Lilly in 2008. Prior to that, Dr. Dalesandro served as an Executive Director at GlaxoSmithKline, managing cardiovascular, urology, and oncology drug product commercialization. Earlier in her career, she was a senior consultant at Cambridge Pharma Consultancy and a Director of Immunobiology and Diagnostic Research at Centocor.

Dr. Dalesandro holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Biochemistry from Bryn Mawr College and an A.B. in Biology and Chemistry from Rosemont College, where she graduated summa cum laude.

ROBERT E. WARD

DIRECTOR

Mr. Ward is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Eloxx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., roles he has held since December 2017. He was a Director and Chair of the Governance Committee of Akari Therapeutics from October 2016 to August 2018.

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ROBERT E. WARD

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Mr. Ward is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Eloxx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., roles he has held since December 2017. He was a Director and Chair of the Governance Committee of Akari Therapeutics from October 2016 to August 2018.

Mr. Ward previously served as the Chief Executive Officer, President and member of the board of directors at Radius Health, Inc. from December 2013 to July 2017. Prior to joining Radius, Mr. Ward was Vice President for Strategy and External Alliances for the New Opportunities iMed of AstraZeneca from 2011 to December 2013. He has held a series of progressive management and executive roles with established companies such as NPS Pharmaceuticals, Schering-Plough (Merck), Pharmacia (Pfizer), Bristol-Myers Squibb and Genentech. Mr. Ward has been a Director of Akari Therapeutics, Plc since October 2016. Mr. Ward received a B.A. in Biology and a B.S. in Physiological Psychology, both from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a M.S. in Management from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and an M.A. in Immunology from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Mr. Ward’s extensive experience and expertise in the biopharmaceuticals industry are the primary qualifications the Board considered in nominating him as a director of the Company.

HERBERT KIM LYERLY, MD

DIRECTOR

Dr. Herbert Kim Lyerly is the George Barth Geller Professor of Cancer Research, professor of surgery, immunology and pathology, and director of the surgical sciences applied therapeutics section at Duke University.

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HERBERT KIM LYERLY, MD

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Dr. Herbert Kim Lyerly is the George Barth Geller Professor of Cancer Research, professor of surgery, immunology and pathology, and director of the surgical sciences applied therapeutics section at Duke University, and former director of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.  He is an internationally recognized expert in cancer therapy and immunotherapy, has published over 300 scientific articles and book chapters, and has edited ten textbooks on surgery, cancer immunotherapy and novel cancer therapies.  He serves on the editorial board of 12 scientific journals.

Dr. Lyerly was appointed in 2008 by President George Bush to serve on the National Cancer Advisory Board, which oversees the National Cancer Institute, where he served until 2014.  He has served as chair of the Cancer Centers Subcommittee and served on the Global Health Subcommittee of the National Cancer Advisory Board.  He has served on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Councils, and on the board of the NIH Office of AIDS Research.  He has also been a member of the scientific advisory boards of Susan G. Komen and the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation.

He is a highly sought-after consultant and advisor and has served on the Cancer Center’s external advisory boards for the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, University of Michigan, University of Chicago, University of Alabama, University of Arizona, Boston University and Purdue University.  He has served as an advisor to the University of Washington and Case Western Reserve Clinical and Translational Science Institutes.

CHAO ZHOU

DIRECTOR

Chao Zhou is currently the Executive Deputy Officer of China Grand Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Holdings Limited, a public company listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

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CHAO ZHOU

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Chao Zhou is currently the Executive Deputy Officer of China Grand Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Holdings Limited, a public company listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange that develops, manufactures and distributes pharmaceutical products and medical devices to retailers and medical organizations with significant experience in R&D and product commercialization in China.

Since 2018, Mr. Zhou has served on the Board of Directors of Grand Pharma Sphere Pty Ltd, a Singapore based company that indirectly wholly-owns the Australian based global medical device company, Sirtex Medical Pty. Ltd. Prior to his role as Executive Deputy Officer, Mr. Zhou served as a Management Director in the Department of Legal Security for China Grand Enterprises, Inc., an investment company engaged in the operation and management of businesses covering pharmaceuticals and healthcare, commodity trading, real estate investment, financial service and other sectors. He earned his Bachelor in Law from Ocean University of China and a Master in International Law from the University of International Business and Economics.

KEVIN R. SMITH

DIRECTOR

Kevin R. Smith is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Sirtex Medical US Holdings, Inc. He combines more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the medical device industry with the keen instincts of an entrepreneur.

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KEVIN R. SMITH

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Kevin R. Smith is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Sirtex Medical US Holdings, Inc. He combines more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the medical device industry with the keen instincts of an entrepreneur.

Prior to his appointment to CEO, Mr. Smith was Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Americas. Before joining Sirtex, Mr. Smith was Executive Vice President of Business Development at Gel-e, Inc., a company based at the University of Maryland specializing in advanced material hemostasis products. His previous positions include Chief Commercial Officer of Sensium Healthcare along with Global Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Teleflex, where he was the senior sales and marketing executive in the company’s cardiac business unit. Kevin holds a Master of Business Administration in Global Management from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Kentucky.

JIM DEMESA, M.D., MBA

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.

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JIM DEMESA, M.D., MBA

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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.

YUHANG ZHAO, Ph.D., MBA

DIRECTOR

Dr. Yuhang Zhao, a graduate from Peking University, received her Doctorate in Molecular Biology from Rockefeller University and her MBA in Finance from NYU Stern Business School.

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YUHANG ZHAO, Ph.D., MBA

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Dr. Yuhang Zhao, a graduate from Peking University, received her Doctorate in Molecular Biology from Rockefeller University and her MBA in Finance from NYU Stern Business School.

Dr. Zhao was most recently a member of the Bayer Global Leadership Circle. She established one of Bayer’s four Global Clinical Development sites, located in Beijing, China in 2009. She then became Head of Global Strategy for Bayer Consumer Health, reporting to the President. Prior to her positions in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Zhao held positions as a stock analyst at PaineWebber and was a management consultant specializing in strategies for life science companies. Dr. Zhao currently serves on the board of R2 Technologies and is a senior adviser to China Grand Enterprises.

JOON KIM

DIRECTOR

Joon Kim is a highly accomplished attorney and partner in Lee & Ko’s Corporate, International Litigation and Dispute Resolution, and White Collar Crime Practice Groups. Mr. Kim advises clients, both domestic and international, on a broad range of litigation, dispute-resolution and transactional matters.

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JOON KIM

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Joon Kim is a highly accomplished attorney and partner in Lee & Ko’s Corporate, International Litigation and Dispute Resolution, and White Collar Crime Practice Groups. Mr. Kim advises clients, both domestic and international, on a broad range of litigation, dispute-resolution and transactional matters.

With a particularly strong background in representing clients in court proceedings, Mr. Kim has a comprehensive understanding of every stage of the litigation process, including all aspects of initial investigatory/discovery proceedings, settlement negotiations, hearings, motions, trials, evidentiary issues and the handling of post-judgment challenges and appeals.

Prior to joining Lee & Ko, Mr. Kim worked for several years as a litigation lawyer and served from 2008 to 2017 as a public prosecutor in California. Mr. Kim has first-chaired both jury and non-jury trials, and has been trained in all aspects of litigation. During his time as a public prosecutor, Mr. Kim also had the experience of serving in 2016 as a research fellow in Korea at the Institute of Justice, under the auspices of the Korea Ministry of Justice, where he worked together with Korean public prosecutors. Joon received his J.D. from Berkeley School of Law and his B.S. from the Berkeley School of Business.

Scientific Advisory Board

RICHARD HELLER, Ph.D.

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.

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RICHARD HELLER, Ph.D.

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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, Ph.D.

Dr. Mathiesen has a Ph.D. 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.

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IACOB MATHIESEN, Ph.D.

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Dr. Mathiesen has a Ph.D. 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, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Ferrone leads a research program focused on the characterization of escape mechanisms deployed by tumor cells to avoid immune-mediated recognition and destruction.

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SOLDANO FERRONE, M.D., Ph.D.

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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.

Clinical Advisory Board

ALAIN ALGAZI M.D.

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