Leadership

Board of Directors
Executive Office
Senior Leadership Team
Regional Office Leadership
External Advisory Groups

Board of Directors

Lota S. Zoth, CPA (Chair)
Former CFO of MedImmune, Inc.

Lota Zoth is a strategic finance and operations expert who served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of MedImmune, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Ms Zoth contributes extensive financial and operational experience from her tenure as CFO at MedImmune and her previous senior corporate financial, accounting and management positions. In addition to her role as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at MedImmune from 2002 to 2007, she has also held senior financial and accounting roles at PSINet, Sodexho Marriott Services, Inc., Marriott International, Inc., PepsiCo, Inc. and Ernst & Young, the global accounting and consulting firm. She currently serves as audit committee chair on the governing boards of several biopharmaceutical companies, including Spark Therapeutics, Orexigen Therapeutics, NewLink Genetics and Circassia Pharmaceuticals. Ms. Zoth is a certified public accountant.

Barry Bloom, PhD
Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University

Barry Bloom has been a pioneer in infectious disease research and vaccine science. He served as dean of the Harvard School of Public Health from 1999 to 2009 and spent over 35 years as principal investigator researching the immune response to TB in his Harvard lab. Prior to his work at Harvard, Dr. Bloom served as chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and as an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Bloom earned his BS from Amherst College and PhD from Rockefeller University. He is the recipient of multiple prestigious awards, including the first Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Infectious Diseases Research, a shared Novartis Prize for Clinical Immunology and the Robert Koch Gold Medal for lifetime research in infectious diseases. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Philosophical Society. He currently serves on over 15 boards and advisory committees, including the Board of Trustees for the Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI), and as Chairman Emeritus of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI).

David L. Blumberg, MBA
Former Life Sciences Sector Leader of KPMG

David L. Blumberg has more than 20 years of business and consulting experience across the life sciences continuum, including global, specialty, and generic pharmaceuticals, biotech, and medical devices and products. Mr. Blumberg recently retired from KPMG where he led their U.S. Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences Advisory practice. Previously, he was the Executive Vice President of Professional Services and Customer Support of a public software company that specializes in contract and demand management for life sciences corporations. He spent several years at Accenture, where he served as lead partner for the Pharmaceutical and Medical Products Industries and led one of the corporation’s largest account relationships. Mr. Blumberg has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Ohio State University. He is a guest lecturer at The Wharton School, the Harvard Business School and at the New York Institute of Technology. Mr. Blumberg also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Vagelos Life Sciences and Management Program at The Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania.

Jim Connolly
Former President & CEO of Aeras

Jim Connolly is the former President and CEO of Aeras. He joined Aeras after more than two decades of pharmaceutical industry experience. As Executive Vice President and General Manager of Wyeth Vaccines from 2005 to 2009, he played a leading role in expanding access to the breakthrough pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar to more than 100 countries and 35 national immunization programs, including numerous emerging and developing countries where pneumococcal disease is a major cause of child mortality. In the course of his career at Wyeth, Mr. Connolly held a number of increasingly senior management, commercial and finance positions, including President and Managing Director of Wyeth Canada; Area Business Director for California and Nevada; Business Director of Wyeth’s disease management joint venture with Merck-Medco; and Director of Finance for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, with a degree in Business Administration.

Marja Esveld, MSc
Senior Advisor, Global Health and Innovation

Marja Esveld is an infectious diseases epidemiologist by training and currently holds the position of Senior Advisor for International Innovation and Research at the Ministry of Health in the Netherlands. In her current job she is, among others, Member of the Health Committee for the 7th EU Research Framework and the Advisory Committee of the EU Public Health Programme. In these positions she is the link between the Dutch Topsector Policy for Life Sciences and Health and international policy. She is vice-chair of the European Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), and also represents the Netherlands on the WHO Expert Working Group on Global Health Research and Financing (CEWG). Recently she was appointed as Government Representative on the Expert Review Committee of the Access to Medicines Index 2014.

Ms. Esveld was seconded for four years to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were her main areas of work were global TB control and biomedical research for poverty related diseases. As part of her work, she managed grants with Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) in the areas of AIDS, TB and other neglected diseases. She also represented The Netherlands and Sweden on the Board of the UN Special Programme for Tropical Diseases Research (TDR) and represented the Netherlands and UK on the StopTB Partnership Board. For the last two years she represented the Netherlands in the constituency of the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Earlier positions were with the National Institute of Public Health (RIVM), the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (Geneva) and the Inspectorate for Health Care.

Marian Eslie Jacobs, MD
Former Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town

Professor Marian Eslie Jacobs is based in Cape Town, South Africa, where she was Dean and Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health Faculty of Sciences at the University of Cape Town. She is currently retired and serves as the Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee, Academy for Leadership and Management in Healthcare, and the National Department of Health. She is also a member of the Gulbenkian Foundation Global Mental Health Initiative Advisory Committee, Doris Duke Africa Health Initiative Advisory Board, and the World Health Organization (WHO) Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Technical Reference Group. Professor Jacobs has her M.B. and Ch.B. from the University of Cape Town and has authored numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals, as well as books, chapters, proceedings and technical reports in the fields of paediatrics, child health, child policy, public health and health systems (including global health).

Professor Michel Kazatchkine, MD
Senior Fellow, Global Health Programme, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

Professor Michel Kazatchkine has spent the last 30 years fighting AIDS as a leading physician, researcher, administrator, advocate, policymaker, and diplomat. He attended medical school at Necker-Enfants-Malades in Paris, studied immunology at the Pasteur Institute and completed postdoctoral fellowships at St Mary’s Hospital in London and Harvard Medical School. Professor Kazatchkine has played key roles in various organizations, including serving as Director of the National Agency for Research on AIDS (ANRS) in France (1998-2005) and Chair of the WHO’s Strategic and Technical Committee on HIV/AIDS (2004-2007). From 2005 to 2007, Professor Kazatchkine served as French Ambassador for the fight against HIV/AIDS and Communicable Diseases.

In 2007, he was elected Executive Director of the Global Fund, a position in which he served until March 2012. In July 2012, Professor Kazatchkine was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Wayne F. Pisano
President and CEO, VaxInnate

Wayne Pisano is the President and CEO of VaxInnate, a privately held biotech company whose recombinant protein technology is being developed to produce highly immunogenic vaccines that can be manufactured at low cost. He is the former President and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur, one of the largest vaccine companies in the world. Mr. Pisano retired from Sanofi Pasteur in February 2011 after 14 years with the global vaccines company, during which he played a leading role in its overall growth and success. During his career at Sanofi Pasteur, he held several increasingly senior leadership positions in global commercial operations and sales and marketing. He also played a key role in the organization’s strategic research and development efforts to advance the company’s portfolio of vaccines against diseases in both the developed and developing world. Mr Pisano also previously served as a Vice President at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. In 2010, he was named Pharma Executive of the Year at the World Vaccine Congress.

Regina Rabinovich, MD, MPH
Exxon Mobil Malaria Scholar in Residence, Harvard School of Public Health

Regina Rabinovich is the ExxonMobil Malaria Scholar in Residence at Harvard University. She has over 25 years of experience in global health across research, public health, and philanthropic sectors, with focus on strategy, global health product development, and the introduction and scale-up of tools and strategies resulting in impact on endemic populations. From 2003-2012, Dr. Rabinovich served as Director of the Infectious Diseases division at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, overseeing the development and implementation of strategies for the prevention, treatment, and control of infectious diseases of particular relevance to malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, and neglected infectious diseases. Dr. Rabinovich has served in Chief of the Clinical and Regulatory Affairs Branch at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), focusing on the development and evaluation of vaccines through a network of US clinical research units. She participated in the Children’s Vaccine Initiative, a global effort to prevent infectious diseases in children in the developing world. In 1999, Dr. Rabinovich became director of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance efforts to develop promising malaria vaccine candidates. She serves on the boards of AERAS, a non-profit biotech focused on development of vaccines for tuberculosis, and the Catholic Medical Mission Board.
Dr. Rabinovich holds a medical degree from Southern Illinois University and a Masters of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina.

Jacqueline E. Shea, PhD
CEO of Aeras

Jacqueline Shea is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Aeras. With more than 20 years in the life sciences, she spent eight years in a variety of senior management roles with Emergent BioSolutions at their UK office, where from 2008 to 2013 she was general manager and vice president of The Oxford-Emergent Tuberculosis Consortium (OETC), an Aeras product development partner on the clinical development of the candidate vaccine, MVA85A. Dr. Shea is well known and widely respected in the TB vaccine development community, where she plays a leading role for Aeras in advancing new TB vaccines for the world.

Prior to Emergent, Dr. Shea served in increasingly responsible roles in vaccine discovery, business development, and external collaborations at Microscience Ltd, from 1998 to 2005, when the company was acquired by Emergent. While at Microscience and Emergent, Dr. Shea led and contributed to several vaccine discovery and development projects against key bacterial pathogens. She started her career as a senior researcher at Imperial College, London, where she contributed to the development of signature-tagged mutagenesis which received a Prix Galien special commendation for excellence in innovative research. Dr. Shea holds five patents, including those for gene identification technology and Salmonella virulence genes. She received a BSc in Applied Biology with First Class Honors from University of Bath and a PhD, from the National Institute for Medical Research.

Gerd Zettlmeissl, PhD
Former CEO of Intercell AG

Gerd Zettlmeissl is the former CEO of the Austrian-based biotechnology company Intercell AG, and is an accomplished vaccine expert and biopharmaceutical business executive. Dr. Zettlmeissl has more than 25 years of scientific and leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. While at Intercell AG from 2001 to 2011, he built the company from a private start up venture to a publicly listed international organization with more than 400 employees. As CEO, he secured regulatory approval for and led the launch of an improved Japanese Encephalitis vaccine, and oversaw efforts to build and advance a broad based development portfolio of vaccines. Prior to joining Intercell, Dr. Zettlmeissl held senior management roles at Chiron Corp and Behringwerke AG. In 2010, he was named Vaccine Biotech CEO of the Year at the World Vaccine Congress.

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Executive Office Team

Jacqueline E. Shea, PhD
Chief Executive Officer

Jacqueline Shea is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Aeras. With more than 20 years in the life sciences, she spent eight years in a variety of senior management roles with Emergent BioSolutions at their UK office, where from 2008 to 2013 she was general manager and vice president of The Oxford-Emergent Tuberculosis Consortium (OETC), an Aeras product development partner on the clinical development of the candidate vaccine, MVA85A. Dr. Shea is well known and widely respected in the TB vaccine development community, where she plays a leading role for Aeras in advancing new TB vaccines for the world.

Prior to Emergent, Dr. Shea served in increasingly responsible roles in vaccine discovery, business development, and external collaborations at Microscience Ltd, from 1998 to 2005, when the company was acquired by Emergent. While at Microscience and Emergent, Dr. Shea led and contributed to several vaccine discovery and development projects against key bacterial pathogens. She started her career as a senior researcher at Imperial College, London, where she contributed to the development of signature-tagged mutagenesis which received a Prix Galien special commendation for excellence in innovative research. Dr. Shea holds five patents, including those for gene identification technology and Salmonella virulence genes. She received a BSc in Applied Biology with First Class Honors from University of Bath and a PhD, from the National Institute for Medical Research.

Danilo Casimiro, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer

Danilo Casimiro is the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at Aeras. Dr. Casimiro oversees all preclinical activities, including vaccine discovery, pre-clinical development, quality assurance and scientific affairs, and shares executive responsibility for the organization with the CEO and CMO. He started working at Aeras this year.

Dr. Casimiro joins Aeras from the Merck Research Laboratories, where he was Executive Director in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Vaccine Research. He has 20 years of experience in research and development at Merck, where he was responsible for several vaccine and biologics discovery programs in the infectious disease and oncology areas. Before his current position, he oversaw the Viral Vaccine Discovery Organization, New Vaccine Technologies Group, Vaccine Clinical Assay Laboratories, and HIV Vaccine R&D team at Merck.

Dr. Casimiro has contributed to the development and licensure of Merck’s papillomavirus vaccines, and the selection of 13 novel vaccine candidates (including Merck’s current cytomegalovirus, Ebola, and dengue vaccine development candidates) and three monoclonal antibodies for clinical development. He has also served on numerous advisory committees to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, HIV Vaccine Enterprise, NIH Integrated Preclinical/Clinical AIDS Vaccine Development Program, Human Vaccine Project, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.  Dr. Casimiro currently holds over 20 patents on vaccine candidates and technologies, and has co-authored more than 100 scientific articles in biological and biomedical research. He received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of the Philippines and his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology.

Ann M. Ginsberg, MD, PhD
Chief Medical Officer

Ann Ginsberg is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO). In this role, Dr. Ginsberg oversees all of Aeras’ clinical programs and projects. In addition, Dr. Ginsberg is a member of Aeras’ Portfolio Review Committee and manages its external Vaccine Advisory Committee.

Dr. Ginsberg served as Head of Clinical Development and then Chief Medical Officer at the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development from 2004 to 2011. Prior to her work at the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, Dr. Ginsberg was Director of Project Management at Merck & Co. and served for 15 years at the U.S. National Institutes of Health in a variety of roles, including Chief of the Respiratory Diseases Branch of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Trained as a molecular biologist and Board Certified Anatomic Pathologist, Dr. Ginsberg holds a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.D. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from Washington University. She is the author of numerous scientific publications and recipient of several prominent awards, including the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service in 2000. She has served on multiple global health committees, Advisory Panels, and Boards, and was a former member of Aeras’ Board of Directors.

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Senior Leadership Team

Dara Erck
Vice President, External Affairs

Dara Erck is the Vice President, External Affairs. In this role, Dara is responsible for advocacy, communications, and resource mobilization for the organization. She is focused on maintaining and strengthening relationships with key external partners and stakeholders. Most recently, Dara was a consultant to The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for nearly four years. She worked on a range of topics including Global Health R&D Advocacy and the foundation’s relationship with the Chinese FDA. Prior to the Gates Foundation, Dara was an independent consultant to a variety of global health non-profit organizations with projects focused on program strategy and financial systems and tools. She became a consultant after serving as the Director of Finance and Planning for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). She also has industry experience as a former management consultant with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and as a Program Manager in Clinical Research at Genzyme.

Dara received her Bachelors degree from The George Washington University in International Relations and a Masters degree from Columbia University in International Business and Finance.

Wendy Penry
Chief Human Resources Officer

Wendy Penry is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Aeras where she is responsible for providing leadership in the development, communication, and execution of a human resources strategy in support of the organizational goals. Among her many areas of focus, Ms. Penry leads initiatives for talent management, compensation, and employee and leadership development. She also directs the day-to-day administration of benefits and employee relations. Ms. Penry has more than 10 years’ experience as a human resources professional in the biotechnology sector. Prior to joining Aeras, she was with Human Genome Sciences for eight years, most recently serving as the Associate Director for Human Resources. From 1998 to 2003, she served in a variety of human resources roles with Gene Logic Inc. of Gaithersburg, Maryland, including from 2001-2003 as the Human Resources Manager.

Ms. Penry holds a BS from Virginia Tech and an MS from the University of Maryland. She currently co-chairs the HR Bioscience Alliance professional network.

Daniel Reznikov, CPA, MBA
Chief Financial Officer

Daniel Reznikov, Chief Financial Officer, is responsible for all financial and fiscal management aspects of Aeras’s operations. In this senior leadership role, he provides leadership and direction for all administrative, business planning, accounting and budgeting efforts of the organization.

Mr. Reznikov has 30 years of financial and administrative management experience. He was previously employed as CFO at The ALS Association, and prior to ALS he worked for 10 years as Vice President of Operations and Finance at The University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute.

Mr. Reznikov has an M.B.A. in Finance and Investments from George Washington University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland. He is a certified public accountant.

Dereck Tait, MB ChB
Senior Clinical Director & Office Lead, Aeras Africa

Dereck Tait is Senior Clinical Director & Office Lead in Aeras Africa in Cape Town. As a key member of the clinical development department, Dr. Tait provides product specific clinical development leadership. Prior to joining Aeras in 2012, Dr. Tait was Director of an independent clinical research consultancy providing expert advice to a number of companies on various aspects of antiviral drug development. Prior to this he served as Chief Medical Officer for Arrow Therapeutics in London for four years, Vice President of Clinical Research at Idenix Pharmaceuticals in Boston for two years, and spent 10 years in clinical research with a focus on anti-infective drug development at the Wellcome Foundation/GlaxoWellcome/GlaxoSmithKline.

Dr. Tait completed his undergraduate medical training at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and postgraduate training in Microbiology and Virology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London.

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Regional Office Leadership

Sharon Chan, DPhil, MBA
Head of Aeras Asia

Sharon Chan is Head of Asia and is based in Beijing, China. Dr. Chan overseas and directs vaccine research and development, resource mobilization and stakeholder relations in Asia. She is responsible for designing, implementing and executing regional programs, ensuring global orientation, impact and sustainability. Prior to joining Aeras, Dr. Chan spent 5 years in Shanghai at Baxter Healthcare and led all business development activities for China. She also has Asia Pacific experience and has worked on a number of vaccine, renal, biopharma and medical device deals in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, India and Australia. Dr. Chan began her career as a Business Development Manager with the Japanese biopharmaceutical company Sosei in London.

Dr Chan receivedher M.Biochem. and Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry from theUniversity of Oxford, and an Executive M.B.A. from IE Business School, Madrid,Spain. She is currently studying for a M.P.H. at the JohnsHopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dereck Tait, MB ChB
Senior Clinical Director & Office Lead, Aeras Africa

Dereck Tait is Senior Clinical Director & Office Lead in Aeras Africa in Cape Town. As a key member of the clinical development department, Dr. Tait provides product specific clinical development leadership. Prior to joining Aeras in 2012, Dr. Tait was Director of an independent clinical research consultancy providing expert advice to a number of companies on various aspects of antiviral drug development. Prior to this he served as Chief Medical Officer for Arrow Therapeutics in London for four years, Vice President of Clinical Research at Idenix Pharmaceuticals in Boston for two years, and spent 10 years in clinical research with a focus on anti-infective drug development at the Wellcome Foundation/GlaxoWellcome/GlaxoSmithKline.

Dr. Tait completed his undergraduate medical training at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and postgraduate training in Microbiology and Virology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London.

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External Advisors

Vaccine Advisory Committee

Aeras’ Vaccine Advisory Committee (VAC) provides external expert advice on criteria for vaccine candidate selection, preclinical stage-gating, and priorities for advancing candidates in preclinical and clinical portfolios. The VAC, which meets at least twice a year, advises Aeras on a broad range of crucial product development issues including: development plans, regulatory strategy, epidemiology studies, innovative clinical trial designs and downstream market considerations.

  • Ann M. Ginsberg, MD, PhD (Secretariat) - Aeras
  • Marcel Behr, MD - McGill University
  • Barry Bloom, PhD - ex officio, Harvard University
  • Ralf Clemens, MD, PhD - Takeda Pharmaceuticals
  • Patricia E. Fast, MD, PhD - IAVI
  • Barney S. Graham, MD, PhD - Vaccine Research Center, NIAID, NIH
  • Willem Hanekom, MBChB - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Tom H. M. Ottenhoff, MD, PhD - Leiden University Medical Center
  • Rino Rappuoli, PhD - GSK Vaccines
  • Robin Wood, MD DSC (Med) - Desmond Tutu HIV Centre Institute of Infectious Disease, University of Cape Town
  • Gerd Zettlmeissl, PhD - former CEO, Intercell AG

Biomarkers and Correlates Working Group

The Biomarkers and Correlates Working Group (BCWG) reviews progress in the field of correlates and biomarkers, including gaps and new developments in the field. The group also helps design Aeras studies and advises on funding needs.

  • JoAnne Flynn, PhD (Chair) - University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Professor Glyn Hewinson - Veterinary Laboratories Agency
  • Willem Hanekom, MBChB - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Stefan H. E. Kaufmann, PhD
 - 
Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology
  • Tom H. M. Ottenhoff, MD, PhD - 
Leiden University Medical Center
  • Thomas J. Scriba, PhD - South African TB Vaccine Initiative
  • Robert A. Seder, M.D. - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center
  • Alan Sher, PhD - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
  • Christine Sizemore, PhD
 - Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
  • Lynda Stuart, MD, PhD - 
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Daniel Zak, PhD - Center for Infectious Disease Research

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