David Milich, Ph.D., CEO: Dr. Milich is a leading expert in the immune response to HBV, spending his career of 25+ years in this field of study. His work has been validated both by the NIH and industry, receiving in excess of $25 million in NIH grant support as well as support for various vaccine programs from companies such as MedImmune/AstraZeneca. These studies have resulted in 150+ peer reviewed publications in top tier journals as well as 12 US patents. In 2000, Dr. Milich left his position as Associate Professor at The Scripps Research Institute, to found the non-profit, The Vaccine Research Institute of San Diego (VRISD) as well as the for-profit, VLP Biotech. Dr. Milich holds the positions of Professor and Chairman of the Board at VRISD and is the CEO of VLP Biotech. Drawing from his vast experience and insights in vaccinology and immunology, Dr. Milich directs the vaccine pipeline at VLP Biotech.
Joyce E. Jones, BSc., COO: Ms. Jones began her career at The Scripps Research Institute in the Weigle Lab studying immune suppression and tolerance. Upon joining Dr. David Milich's group, her focus became mechanisms of tolerance in chronic hepatitis B. Her work on this subject has resulted in co-authorship of multiple publications and several millions of dollars in grant and industry funding. In 2000, she left TSRI, joining Dr. Milich in founding the Vaccine Research Institute of San Diego and VLP Biotech. Ms. Jones currently serves VLP Biotech as COO and Senior Research Scientist, bringing to bear her expertise in administration and project management. She also serves as the COO of VRISD.
David Whitacre, Ph.D., VP of Scientific Operations: Dr. Whitacre was recruited by VLP Biotech in 2007, from the UCSD Moores Cancer Center in La Jolla, California, where he developed viral-vectored cancer immune therapeutics. Drawing on this experience he quickly became an integral part of the VLP team, providing expertise in chimeric protein engineering and biochemistry in a set of multifaceted collaborations. His work has been pivotal in the exploitation of the features of the VLP vaccine platform, leading, thus far, to multiple publications and patents and several millions of dollars in grant and industry funding. In addition to his role at VLP Biotech, Dr. Whitacre holds an appointment as an Associate Professor at the Vaccine Research Institute of San Diego.
Darrell Peterson, Ph.D., Advisor/Consultant: Dr. Peterson is one of the world's leading experts in hepadnaviral nucleocapsid biochemistry, including but not limited to the production, purification and characterization of nucleocapsids from hepadnaviruses. His work has resulted in the authorship of 100+ peer reviewed journal articles, 6 patents and millions of dollars in grant and industry awards. He is a Professor of Biochemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Co-director of The VCU Massey Cancer Center Protein Production Core Facility. As a co-founder and active collaborator of VLP Biotech, his expertise is invaluable as we focus on optimization of expression and process development for our vaccine candidates.
Yemi Onakunle Ph.D., MBA, Director and President: Dr. Onakunle brings to VLP Biotech extensive industry experience drawing from both his technical and business expertise. He has held positions at several leading biopharmaceutical manufacturing organizations including Lonza Custom Manufacturing, Diosynth RTP Inc., and Bachem Americas Inc. Currently he holds the position of Vice President, US West Coast Licensing and Business Development for Selexis SA.
Charles E. Prussak, Ph.D., Senior VP of Operations: Dr. Prussak brings to VLP Biotech 20+ years of pharmaceutical industry experience ranging from early stage R&D to advanced clinical trials. He has been responsible for the overall coordination of pre-clinical research leading to clinical trial testing in the US and Europe.
Images courtesy of Princeton University & National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
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